Rafe- Tough on Kinder Morgan, Corrigan and Robertson are my kind of mayors

Rafe: Tough on Kinder Morgan, Corrigan & Robertson my kind of mayors

Rafe- Tough on Kinder Morgan, Corrigan and Robertson are my kind of mayors
Re-elected mayors Gregor Robertson & Derek Corrigan. Photos: CP (left) / Dale Cornish/Forest Ethics (right)

Derek Corrigan is my kind of mayor. So is Gregor Robertson.

Both of these mayors are prepared to look beyond the immediate concerns of their city and take a broader view. I have no doubt that Robertson, who won very handily I might add, did so because he was fighting Kinder Morgan. Without any question, that position greatly enhanced the existing popularity of Corrigan.

Social change demands civil disobedience

Now that protesters are being arrested, we see a number of people expressing their undying support for “law and order” and thinking that jailing protesters is a great idea.

I have a few questions to ask them.

Have they ever read any history?

Why was there a Magna Carta? Why was there a Peasants’ Revolt? Why was there a Glorious Revolution and a Bill of Rights?

Have you read about John Wilkes and the fight for free speech? Why did the Tolpuddle Martyrs exist?

How did the American revolution, unquestionably the major revolution in the Western world, come about? Have you ever read the arguments of Tom Paine? Or Benjamin Franklin? Or Thomas Jefferson?

Do you think that African American people got their freedom through the goodness of the “establishment” which managed to have slavery sanctioned by the US Constitution and make it centrepiece of the laws of the Confederacy?

Even the briefest span of history shows that every basic right people have came by standing up to unjust laws of “establishments” – they always exists and always pass laws which suit them. After passing these laws, they constantly spout the sacred need to obey the law.

Unions and Robber Barons

Does this mean that I have become a socialist, or God forbid a communist?

Hell no! All systems like that do is provide a new form of establishment with a new system of keeping themselves on top of society and new laws that are “sacred”.

Most people now accept labour unions, yet the briefest scan of history, taking one back just to the end of the 1800s, shows that labour unions were held by the establishment and its courts to be groups restraining trade and breaking workers contracts with employers. Labour leaders went to jail for standing up to employers and the governments that serve them.

Don’t go too far field – just to look at the history of Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller and the rest of the “robber barons”, all with the government and courts behind them as they broke strikes, killing and wounding 100s in the process. All pillars of the community these murderers were.

Fundamental stuff

The people of Burnaby want to have their rights protected. Those rights are simple and ancient ones – the right to protect their streets, their parks, and their neighborhoods. Pretty fundamental stuff.

Along comes a huge foreign company, earning 100s of millions a year in our country yet paying almost no Canadian taxes, that wants to pipe 900,000 barrels a day of highly toxic bitumen through the green areas, streets and neighbourhoods of Burnaby.

That oil is not going for consumption by the people of Burnaby or indeed British Columbians, but overseas. The good people of Burnaby look at this and ask: “I thought we were supposed to be weaning our way off of fossil fuels. How come we are enabling others to pollute the atmosphere and subsidizing a large foreign corporation to take our oil and helping them do it by placing our community in jeopardy?”

They are saying, and for me, with considerable force, that the lawbreakers in this scenario are Kinder Morgan, and the governments of Canada and British Columbia.

A civil matter turned criminal

Moreover, they can say with considerable force that the establishment of Canada has permitted the situation to develop where a civil dispute between citizens and the company becomes a criminal matter once the citizens try to defend what is theirs – that they will be jailed for protecting where they live!

I don’t expect the Vancouver Province or the Vancouver Sun to change. They are wired into the establishments and so far up the backside of the Harper Conservatives and the Clark/Coleman Liberals that there is no escape.

The poor old Sun simply cannot understand Gregor Robertson’s win in Vancouver, and I almost suspect they’re going to demand a recount!

They don’t understand Vancouverites

To me, as an ancient British Columbian, the Vancouver answer is simple. Mr. Robertson was blessed with an opponent, hailing from central Canada, who fell in with the ever-diminishing influence of the so-called Non Partisan Association because he had no comprehension of how we feel about pipelines and other corporate polluters in this part of the country.

There is a new world out there and the “old” had better get used to it, and soon. The “establishment” has lost its moral ability to govern and their self-serving laws will be challenged until they’re tossed into the trash can.

Perhaps the best example I can give is in the small town of Squamish, where the establishment Mayor, full of support for an LNG plant, was tossed out on his ass by a newcomer who opposes it.

As ordinary people become more and more confident, this will happen more and more often.

So give ’em hell, Mayor Corrigan and Mayor Robertson! The fact that you have the press and establishment against you is all the proof you need that the majority of the people are for you.


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at rafeonline.com.

21 thoughts on “Rafe: Tough on Kinder Morgan, Corrigan & Robertson my kind of mayors

  1. Perhaps young people can get involved and go to jail for protesting.

    They could maybe escape the fact that there has been no opportunity to make good left to them and it may be the only way for them to get three squares and out of living in their parents houses.

    Thank God they have their cell phones to hide in.

  2. Sorry to be a pest but I must strongly urge everyone to read Ian Mulgrew’s magnificent column in this morning’s Sun on the abuse of the courts and judge by Kinder Morgan and the Attorney-General, thus the Clark-Coleman government.

    It’s devastatingly accurate!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, I agree it’s important to read,here’s the link:


      Unfortunately those who only wish to spew their hate will miss out on some good points.

      I like this quote from Diogenes Laertius which aptly characterizes much of the ill informed comments I’ve read from those lacking the ability to think for themselves and from those gobbling up CAPP crap:

      “He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.”

      1. Ahhhh yes.
        Anyone that disagrees with you is “ignorant” and “spews hate”.
        It must be such a lonely burden to be so intelligent in a sea of ignorance.

  3. Thanks Rafe for digging far into our collective history. A very good reminder of why we enjoy the freedoms we have and why those who live in the darkness of their hate, not anger with underlying love, but hate, are condemned to ignorance.

    I think it’s also good to point out that a recent Insight West poll in June 2014 that 72% of young people in BC opposed Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline twinning.

    Now if only the ever smiling Premier of this province would give the NEB its 30 day eviction notice from BC we’d be able to duly exercise our rights and present our objections to this pipeline to a BC Environmental Assessment without the designed bias that Harper and Company have shoved down our throats.

    And perhaps the City of Burnaby should stop paying the policing fees for the RCMP on Bby Mtn and send the bill to date to Harper.

    Remember folks, 2015 is our chance to send Mr. Harper and his backbench hand clappers to the line-ups at Service Canada rather than 90 year old veterans.

  4. Thanx, Damien

    I intend no comparison nor contrast between efforts for liberties or their causes- no equivalency twixt issues.

    I simply say that every “establishment” protects and passes laws that suit them and enforce them under the sheild of “law and order”.

  5. Sorry I guess I should mention that there has to be a energy revolution and lets try and find different ways to try and save the environment before we destroy it with fossil fuels.Slow process but why aren’t we working on it instead of sending more pollutants to be sent out there.

  6. Unfortunately were fighting are beloved Harper who flies the American flag with no thought of what Canadian’s want just look how we sell all are resources to what Harper feels is are Master. Lets get some one who is not a American puppet but a true Canadian to run are country.

  7. thank you rafe. and a big thank you to mayors Robertson and Corrigan. I does seem to me insane that we the citizens of bc have to fight government to stop this. there is absolute no reason why the pipeline should go through, as it benefits no one in Canada and the risks are high,, unfortunately many of our politicians lack common sense as how can anything be
    more important than saving our environment. thanks rafe, for reminding us of the past struggles of people to do what is morally right.

  8. Gregor has no intention of stopping or trying to stop the pipeline past the day of his re election. He probably already signed a back alley deal with the pipeline union for his next campaign funding. He is misleading in what he says about his power. He decides the color of the city garbage cans only and is more concerned in what big developer will pay him for the newest zoning bylaw change . Look to someone else for help with the pipeline. We should put our faith in ourselves before relying on the greedy rich.

    1. We should be looking to ourselves because local politicians will only have power if their citizens provide them with their voices also.

      There is one thing we could do and that’s start a campaign to get Premier Clark off her duff and give the NEB 30 days notice to pull out of this Harper created charade. And instead of spending millions of dollars fighting over and over again in courts against the teachers our Premier should be asking the courts to reconsider its injunction in favour of KM and protecting the duly legislative authority granted to local governments.

      Fat chance you say! Not until we try. I’m writing my email now to the Premier how about you?

    1. Not exactly, Don. I think Rafe’s point is that those who urge “law and order” around energy issues should recall that significant social change has rarely occurred throughout history without significant protest and “civil disobedience”.

      Moreover, isn’t climate change and protecting our environment AT LEAST a modern day equivalent to the great human dilemmas of the past? I think this discussion – and what’s happening in places like Burnaby Mountain, northern BC, Nebraska, etc. around opposition to proposed fossil fuel corridors – is pretty darned significant. Don’t you?

  9. Rafe your comment
    “To me, as an ancient British Columbian, the Vancouver answer is simple. Mr. Robertson was blessed with an opponent, hailing from central Canada, who fell in with the ever-diminishing influence of the so-called Non Partisan Association ”

    I find that somewhat simplistic.
    Gregor shouldnt be too smug.
    . The NPA swept the Parks Board, The NPA swept the School board and won a respectable amount of councillors seats on Vancouver city council. It doesnt sound like they are “ever dimishing” to me !
    All with a leader (Kirk Lapointe from ,in your words, “central Canada” like that has anything to do the issues at hand) that the average voter couldnt name 30 days before the election. Most pundits believe the election turned in Gregors favour when he surprised everyone and “apologized” to the voting public before a radio debate less than a week before the election.
    That and his ‘sweetheart deal” with the Vancouver city employees union who donated $100,000.00 to his reelection campaign after securing a promise from the city that there will be no layoffs or subcontracting for the next 4 years.
    Nice. No conflict there.
    Environmentalism had little to do with his reelection. Craven, back door deals had everything to do with it.
    Derek Corrigan was a shoo in. No real opposition.
    But I noticed he critisized Kinder Morgan before the election. Promising “this isnt over”. Hmmmmmm, The more skeptical people out there might consider empty threats towards an unpopular court ruling nothing more than political “grandstanding” just before an election.
    But thats just a theory, Lets see what Mayor Corrigan can do against a $100 Billion dollar juggernaut like Kinder Morgan that has the Law behind it.
    That is of course when Mayor Corrigan isnt (ironically enough) golfing at Burnaby Mountain golf course.


    1. I think some of your readers have forgotten that the City of Burnaby has asked the courts to decide if the NEB has the right to supercede local government’s right to zone and determine who should or should not enter its lands and conduct whatever it pleases.

      Unfortunately, the judge who heard the injunction request from Kinder Morgan ruled in favour of KM instead of reserving the decision until the higher matter of who has the right to supercede the legislative authority granted to local governments. The Supreme Court of Canada will eventually hear this case.

      And, where is our Premier? She has the authority to end this charade called a NEB hearing, give 30 days notice, and for BC to conduct its own environmental assessment of the merits of KM’s proposal. The Green’s MLA, Andrew Weaver, has been calling on the Premier to do this but silence with a smile is all we get. Perhaps this would be an effective campaign by many of us who cannot walk to the top of the mountain in support of the citizens of Burnaby and Vancouver and the rest of us living in the southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

    2. An attempt to smear Mayor Corrigan for golfing instead of looking over his record as Mayor of Burnaby and his outspoken views on many major issues facing Metro Vancouver is pretty, or should i say petty, small in my opinion.

      1. Gee , thanks Phil but I’ll let Derek Corrigan’s “promises” to “deal” with Kinder Morgan speak for themselves.
        He’s the Mayor of Burnaby. Pffft.
        The Prime Minister of Canada couldnt stop this even if he wanted to. The Courts have ruled. And by the time an appeal is heard. And then another appeal and then another appeal.
        The exploratory drilling with have long finished and the pipeline tunneling will have commenced.
        Thats reality. Petty or not.

  10. All Canadians should read Bob Altemeyer’s book The Authoritarians. It can be downloaded from the internet in PDF form for free. Careful research has lead him to certain conclusions which are eye openers to me. It explains when many conservative blindly follow where lead even though all reason says they shouldn’t. We must get rid of these followers.

  11. Rafe , upsets of the statsquo also in Prince Rupert and Kitamat also ! The community’s at ground zero of these major fossil fuel EXPANSION SCHEMES are starting to look after their health and safe futures !!

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