Tag Archives: BC Oil Pipelines and Supertankers

Schematic drawing for closed-containment fish farm - from DFO's feasibility study on the subject

One Step Forward with Fish Farms, Two Steps Back with Proposed Fossil Fuel Exports


A couple of thoughts today.

A promising article on fish farms appears in today’s Vancouver Sun. At face value it looks like great news – the story of fish farming on land with no contact with the ocean.

As I say, it looks great but I want to hear what Alexandra Morton has to say.

The objection industry has always made is that it’s too expensive for them to compete that way. The answer to that, according to the Sun article, is that excrement can be recycled for profit and that expenses such as fish lost to predators, or to kill sea lice are avoided.

There is only one fair way to compare the two approaches: charge fish farms an appropriate rent for their leases to include ALL the environmental losses. This levels the playing field and is only fair.

The market for farmed fish is there as we deplete wild stocks around the world. The trouble is that our wild stocks are not depleted by over-fishing anymore but by allowing poisoned farmed fish to mingle with the wild.

Bringing the farms on land will only happen if ocean farms are taxed their appropriate due.

On another note, no sooner had the news been out that the US was looking to be self-sufficient in energy than the bottom feeders rose as one to tell us this means we must update our mining of the tar sands and the piping of it though BC to the coast then shipping by tanker to Asia. The US will no longer need our filthy bitumen so we must redouble our efforts to bugger up the environment in BC to ship even more of the stuff down our fjords.

What ever happened to weaning ourselves off fossil fuels?

If the rapacious industry must continue to mine bitumen, send it to a refinery in Alberta. Irrespective of US capabilities, there will always be a world market for oil.

Moreover, there is an economic reality being ignored. The price of fossil fuels will reduce considerably over what we figure makes a profit. It’s an open ended market. China takes our bitumen if that’s the cheaper way to get energy, it abandons us if it’s not.

I invoke Mair’s Axiom I: “You make a serious mistake assuming that people in charge know what the hell they’re doing!”

Here we are in BC doing everything we can to press forward with LNG plants to convert natural gas to liquid to ship it to new markets while the gas prices plummet. With “fracking”, supply around the world has dramatically increased. Do we really believe that the third largest country geographically in the world, China, doesn’t have fracking capability either at home or closer than Canada? In fact, they are just getting started.

China has it both ways – it can import from us when supply is short (don’t hold your breath for that to happen) or produce it cheaper closer to home.

We are idiots.

This neatly segues into the question of the next BC budget.

Going into the May election the Liberals will want a balanced budget. One of the main factors will be, of course, income and no prize for guessing where that will come from.

You got it – natural gas. The government hasn’t a clue what that figure will be but you can bet the ranch that they will generously err on the high side.

We must all remember that in 2009 they were more than $2 BILLION short of the real numbers and they got away with it.

Desperate people do desperate things and the false card the Liberals play is that they are better stewards of the economy than are the NDP – even though the evidence is quite to the contrary.

The NDP, in the meantime, have completely lost their minds. They are, you see, going to help the Liberals prepare the next budget! This all from Adrian Dix‘s desire to make the legislature more cooperative.

(I wrote a two-part series in The Tyee, recently on how that can be accomplished and this is not the way).

Randolph Churchill (father of Winston) once said, “it’s the duty of the Opposition to oppose”, and he’s right. My series suggests how that can be done safely.

The greatest fear of any legislator is the “unforeseen consequence” of his policy. Now the NDP are going to join the process so that we will not get the value of “the other side” and the NDP will deprive themselves of any ability to question the budget in the next election because, it will be said, it was the NDP’s budget too.

I, for one, am becoming quickly disillusioned with Dix and Co. Not only are they onside with the government’s energy policy – or prepared to go easy is areas like LNG – they seem to be laid back polishing up the crown they’re sure to get next May.

This isn’t helpful for the public but also puts the NDP into a sort of “drift”. The Liberals can see that and you can bet they will be in better political shape next May than they now are, helped along by the total collapse of the Conservatives.

Mr. Dix, in politics 6 weeks is an eternity and in this old pol’s view you are looking to inherit that which you must earn.


Addicted to Oil: The Politics of Canadian Dilbit Pipelines


Not long after the Defend Our Coast rallies, a pollster phones, wanting to know whom I plan to vote for in the provincial election. The first party to unequivocally say NO to tar sands oil in pipelines and tankers through BC land and waters, I tell her.

This causes a bit of confusion, as it clearly isn’t one of the options in front of the caller. So, she asks after some hesitation, the NDP?

Given NDP leader Adrian Dix’s tough talk on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, she might very well think so, but where is he on doubling the capacity of the Kinder Morgan pipeline into Burrard Inlet?  The silence is deafening.

Does one conclude that Mr Dix has no intrinsic objection to BC enabling fossil fuel addicts around the world? Because that’s my objection to the pipeline proposals.

Yes, I’m worried – as most people in BC are – about the inevitable environmental devastation oil spills will bring. I’m also concerned about the environmental devastation extracting oil from Alberta’s tar sands has already caused.

According to federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, the damage isn’t just environmental, it is also economic. Back in the spring, he accused the tar sands industry of causing Dutch Disease. And, while Harper & Co spluttered their objections to Mulcair’s claim, the OECD supported his assessment.  

Mind you, that was then. It seems Mulcair has had an epiphany. Apparently he has now decided tar sands oil is good for the economy – if it travels east from Alberta, not west.

With the Globe and Mail declaring the Northern Gateway pipeline all but dead and the Obama re-election making the future of the Keystone pipeline less certain, it should come as no surprise to learn – as Joyce Nelson reports at length in Watershed Sentinel – that tar sands mules Enbridge and TransCanada Corp have well-advanced plans for converting existing pipelines to transport diluted bitumen from Alberta to refineries in eastern Canada and New England.

According to Nelson, if  these plans – which seem to be attracting little mainstream media attention – go ahead, “more than 1.4 million barrels per day of tar sands crude could be piped through southern Ontario and Quebec – the most populated areas of Canada.”

Which begs the question: Just how crude do Alberta’s exports need to be?

Diluted bitumen is 16 times more likely to leak than conventional crude transported in pipelines and a far greater clean up challenge when spilled, as it was, in the Kalamazoo River.

Appearing on The National recently, fossil fuel dealer Alison Redford smiled patiently and explained to the country that without pipelines through BC to enable Alberta to ship its diluted bitumen to Asia, the province will be condemned to making less than top dollar per barrel from its resources. Really?

If Redford truly wants to maximize the economic benefits from the tar sands, perhaps she should insist, as Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, has suggested, that her province’s oily gunk be upgraded to synthetic crude oil before it’s exported. (Most dealers know you get less for crack than you do for powdered cocaine.)

Neither Enbridge nor TransCanada care whether their package is diluted bitumen or synthetic crude, but everyone along their proposed pipelines should.

Although there are obvious measures we could and should be taking to aid our withdrawal from fossil fuels, as long as Hopalong Harper is in charge, investment in green energy and electric cars is likely to remain even more of a pipe dream in Canada than in many other countries. And, as beneficial as going cold turkey might be for the health of the planet, it is not a viable option.

So, here’s the deal (because apparently someone died and made me king): No new pipelines either heading west or east and henceforth tar sands companies must upgrade their bitumen before it goes anywhere. This won’t help with our fossil fuel addiction or with arresting the impacts of climate change, but at least it might reduce the immediate threat of environmental devastation.

That’s reduce, of course, not eliminate.


Mark Hume Nails Enbridge on Caribou Paper Cheat


When a clock strikes 13, you can never trust it again.

So it must be for anyone who lies about information he is using to back up a serious scientific statement upon which a great deal is at stake.

Mark Hume had an article in Sunday’s Globe and Mail BC Edition which, in a world of decent journalism, would be a headline story, titled ENBRIDGE CHEATS ON SCIENTIFIC PAPER ON THREAT TO CARIBOU.

In fact Mark does this a lot and our newspaper chiefs should blush with shame but they don’t do that very well. I leave it to you to read this superlative article but suffice it to say that Enbridge has been caught out big time and if it weren’t for Mark they would have gotten away with it.

in a 2011 paper in support of their ghastly pipeline proposal, Enbridge claimed that their project would have little or no impact on caribou.

This issue hasn’t been dealt with much but it should be.

Caribou, like deer, moose, antelope, etc., are ungulates whose main enemy is the wolf. When nature is left alone, wolves kill so many ungulates that their numbers get knocked down, whereupon the wolves, now short of food, starve, while the ungulates recover – and on it goes. Nature is cruel but has rules we break at our peril. The very last thing we should do is interfere with this cycle, which is why it’s so necessary that man’s imprint on the wilderness be as light as possible.

This is why Enbridge is getting concerned enough to put out a presentation, purporting to be based on science, demonstrating its innocence in advance. I add parenthetically, as Mark points out, Enbridge’s proposals cannot be taken in isolation of other impacts.

Enbridge clearly didn’t expect anyone to challenge their work and hung their hat on a scientific paper that simply did not exist. This gets interesting.

In a notation backing their “scientific argument”, the sort which one expects in scientific papers, they referred to “Francis et al 2002”. Hell, whoever checks these sorts of things out?

Of all the bad luck, an environmental lawyer named Chris Tollefson looked up this reference and it didn’t exist!

Ah, but Enbridge has an answer. Whoopsy Daisy, we filed an errata correcting that, and this really should have referred to “Salmo and Diversified (2003)”.

Just a silly little error we cleared up.

Except that pesky lawyer went further and found that Salmo and Diversified (2003) had based their findings on “Francis et al 2002” – the paper that didn’t exist!

Well, you surely ask, “Francis (2002)” must have been something.

Indeed it was. It referred to a power point presentation made by an independent ecologist who had nothing to do with Enbridge to a wildlife conference about, get this, Yukon Caribou!

One expects corporations to hire, shall we say, friendly scientists. In the Kemano Completion case some years ago, Alcan’s entire case was based upon reports from an engineering firm which was nothing more nor less than Alcan’s poodle.

What you don’t expect, God Damn it, is outright deceit!

Propositions you don’t agree with, questionable scientific propositions with, yes. Deceit, no.

Enbridge takes environmental matters so lightly that it expects to be able to publish whatever crap it wants and no one will bother to check them out.

A nosy lawyer and a journalist with the guts to print and we know what we’ve always suspected of this company, better known for its disgraceful environmental disasters than its pipelines.

Now, about that clock that struck 13…


‘Canada’s Carbon Corridor’: Multi-Media Dialogue in North Vancouver Nov. 14


This Wednesday evening, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival is hosting a multi-media discussion of “Canada’s Carbon Corridor” at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver. The event is part of the festival’s Fall Series – a week of films and presentations on outdoor adventure and environmental themes.

The title for Wednesday’s event comes from a term developed by the team producing the forthcoming documentary film Fractured Landof which I am co-director. We came up with the concept to articulate a big-picture view of the interconnected web of major oil, gas, coal, mining and hydroelectric projects proposed and in development across northern BC and Alberta, and the Harper and Clark governments’ grand plan to export these resources to new markets in Asia. I view the Carbon Corridor as the biggest transformation to Western Canada’s socioeconomic, cultural and environmental fabric since the colonial, “nation building” days of the railroads of the last century. And I don’t think that’s an understatement.

I will be sharing the stage with six other “inspiring Canadians who are working to protect our coast, our environment and indigenous community’s rights and cultures”, according to VIMFF’s web page for the event. That list includes event organizer Megan Martin, young First Nations singer/songwriter Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Ben West of the Wilderness Committee, photographer Zack Embree, Great Bear Rainforest eco-tour guide and activist Norm Hann, and Kim Slater, who ran 1,177 km run across BC in search of alternatives to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline.

My 25 min presentation, titled “Traveling Canada’s Carbon Corridor Through Film: The Making of Fractured Land, will feature a series of short clips from our forthcoming film, which explores the industrialization of northern BC and Alberta through the eyes of a young First Nations law student, Caleb Behn. I’ll be retracing a recent two and a half week filming journey with Caleb across the Carbon Corridor – through the conversations we had with people in the various communities affected by these projects and visuals of both industrial activity and the spectacular, untouched wilderness threatened by this plan. 

In addition to the series of presentations on stage Wednesday evening, a number of environmental organizations will be on hand with additional information about these important issues.

The evening promises to be a dynamic, compelling discussion on the challenges and solutions facing the future of Canada’s economy, society and environment.

Tickets for the “Canada’s Carbon Corridor” event can be purchased here for $15.00 or $17.00 at the door. The show takes place on Wednesday, November 14 at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver (2300 Lonsdale Avenue). Doors open 6:30 pm, show starts 7:30.

Stephen Harper shakes hands with China’s President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Feb. 9, 2012 (photo: Chris Wattie, Reuters)

How You Can Help Stop Ratification of Canada-China FIPA


The FIPA Environmental Assessment is an important, official avenue to request the delay of the FIPA Order in Council

The vast implications of the now highly controversial Canada-China trade deal known as FIPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement) are mind-boggling and Canadians have not had the time to fully comprehend what we are being entered into by our federal government.

Numerous campaigns have been launched to bring attention to the issue and prevent ratification of the agreement – most involving online petitions.

Yet there is an official avenue for public opposition that has been largely missed and presents a clear path to delaying FIPA or even preventing its ratification.

The Conservative government must pass an Order in Council in order to facilitate ratification. This is done at the cabinet table.

If you act now and submit your feedback outlining the grave concerns and serious shortcomings in the FIPA Environmental Assessment process, which is still active and open, we may be able to convince cabinet to delay the Order in Council until the pivotal Environmental Assessment is properly undertaken and completed.

You have until Remembrance Day, November 11, 2012, to file your letter with the FIPA EA and we encourage you to copy all Federal Cabinet members and BC Conservative MPs with your submission.


We have provided below a short form letter including some key FIPA concerns for your consideration.

We have also provided below a list of the Conservative members of Cabinet who will be deliberating the enabling Order in Council and their email contacts – as well all BC Conservative MPs and their contacts, for our readers in British Columbia.

Simply copy and paste them into your email to ensure they are copied on your submission, and email to EAconsultationsEE@international.gc.ca by Nov. 11.


Sample FIPA EA Submission

To Environmental Assessments of Trade Agreements,

I am copying Conservative MPs and Cabinet Members on this brief submission to the Final Environmental Assessment of the Canada-China FIPA.

I am submitting these comments to the Final EA before the November 11th deadline to request an extension for this important process, while urging cabinet to delay the FIPA-enabling Order in Council until the serious concerns outlined in this letter and by many other Canadians have been properly addressed.

It has been confirmed that no public input has been received over the 11-year FIPA EA process, including two separate month-long periods requesting feedback from stakeholders and the general public.

The conclusions of the Final EA and its public consultation and engagement practices reveal a great number of shortcomings – which draw into question the need for this agreement, while raising dire concerns of how it came about and grave reservations with respect to its recommendations.

It is stated in the Final EA analysis that FIPA will not result in any investment, nor will it impact the environment.

Given these conclusions, and the lopsided risk-benefit analysis provided by credible independent analysts, I am requesting that the FIPA EA process be extended to include a review of these contradictory analyses and conclusions.

I also believe the domestic consultations and engagement were not properly conducted, resulting in no feedback or input. The recent outpouring of public concern clearly suggests this lack of EA submissions does not accurately reflect the level of public concern about the issue. Therefore, I also request the opportunity to revisit and extend this vital component of the Environmental Assessment.

The Canada-China FIPA is of concern for a number of reasons, which have been raised through recent independent, expert analysis. These concerns include:

  • FIPA works to ‘lock in” the much diminished environmental regulatory regime recently ushered in by the Harper Omnibus Bill C-38, the full impacts of which have yet to be seen or understood
  • FIPA potentially negates the ability of government to legislate changes in environmental regulations, royalty rates, subsidies and any other laws that impact profitability
  • FIPA has serious constitutional implications which could have grave impacts on the environment, economy and Canadian sovereignty
  • The FINAL FIPA EA was to be included and available at the end of negotiations in February, yet no public comment has been included during the entire 11 years of negotiations
  • FIPA may have serious ramifications on the Treaty Process and on constitutional obligations to consult and accommodate First Nations where their traditional territories, resources and cultural practices are at risk from industrial development

I would like these issues addressed before Cabinet considers the FIPA OIC. Therefore, a delay in Cabinet deliberation of the OIC is imperative.


Concerned Citizen


Send your letter to this address: EAconsultationsEE@international.gc.ca

It is important that you also copy Cabinet – in addition, you may wish to include your MP or the full list from BC:

Cabinet (full list):

diane.ablonczy@parl.gc.ca,leona.aglukkaq@parl.gc.ca, rona.ambrose@parl.gc.ca, keith.ashfield@parl.gc.ca, john.baird@parl.gc.ca, maxime.bernier@parl.gc.ca, steven.blaney@parl.gc.ca, ron.cannan@parl.gc.ca, michael.chong@parl.gc.ca, tony.clement@parl.gc.ca, john.duncan@parl.gc.ca, julian.fantino@parl.gc.ca, ed.fast@parl.gc.ca, diane.finley@parl.gc.ca, jim.flaherty@parl.gc.ca, steven.fletcher@parl.gc.ca, gary.goodyear@parl.gc.ca, Bal.Gosal@parl.gc.ca, stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca, laurie.hawn@parl.gc.ca, jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca, peter.kent@parl.gc.ca, mike.lake@parl.gc.ca, denis.lebel@parl.gc.ca, peter.mackay@parl.gc.ca, ted.menzies@parl.gc.ca, rob.merrifield@parl.gc.ca, james.moore@parl.gc.ca, rob.moore@parl.gc.ca, rob.nicholson@parl.gc.ca, gordon.oconnor@parl.gc.ca, Joe.Oliver@parl.gc.ca, christian.paradis@parl.gc.ca, Peter.Penashue@parl.gc.ca, lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca, gerry.ritz@parl.gc.ca, andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca, gail.shea@parl.gc.ca, vic.toews@parl.gc.ca, tim.uppal@parl.gc.ca, Bernard.Valcourt@parl.gc.ca, peter.vanloan@parl.gc.ca, alice.wong@parl.gc.ca, lynne.yelich@parl.gc.ca


Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca, ron.cannan@parl.gc.ca, john.duncan@parl.gc.ca, ed.fast@parl.gc.ca, Kerry-Lynne.Findlay@parl.gc.ca, nina.grewal@parl.gc.ca, richard.harris@parl.gc.ca, russ.hiebert@parl.gc.ca, randy.kamp@parl.gc.ca, james.lunney@parl.gc.ca, colin.mayes@parl.gc.ca, cathy.mcleod@parl.gc.ca, james.moore@parl.gc.ca, andrew.saxton@parl.gc.ca, Mark.Strahl@parl.gc.ca, mark.warawa@parl.gc.ca, john.weston@parl.gc.ca, David.Wilks@parl.gc.ca, alice.wong@parl.gc.ca, Wai.Young@parl.gc.ca, Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca

By riding:


URGENT FIPA UPDATE: Public Comment Period Still Open for Canada-China Trade Deal


UPDATE: Step-by step ininstructions on how to submit your comments to the FIPA EA process by November 11 – act now!

The Common Sense Canadian posted a detailed breakdown of the Environmental Assessment process for the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) between Canada and China earlier this week.

In that piece we noted the fact that the final Environmental Assessment seemed absent in the soon-to-be-ratified FIPA.

Since publishing the story we have learned that indeed the final EA report has not been completed AND there is still time for input from Canadians.

We urge our readers to share their concerns about the process and inform the Government of Canada about the significant environmental impacts of FIPA.

Learn more about the FIPA EA at this government website.

And submit your comments by emailing: EAconsultationsEE@international.gc.ca

We will soon be posting more details about FIPA impacts that people can include their submissions.


Tsleil-Waututh First Nation Encourages Public to Take Part in Upcoming Kinder Morgan Open Houses


Check out this media advisory from the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation of North Vancouver, urging the public to get involved in pipeline builder Kinder Morgan’s upcoming open houses to discuss their proposed new pipeline to Vancouver and dramatic increase in oil tanker traffic. (Nov. 1, 2012)

Nation warns that sessions may be the only official forum for public to voice concerns

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 1, 2012 /CNW/ – Tsleil-Waututh Nation is calling on Lower Mainland residents and all British Columbians to attend and respectfully voice their concerns at the upcoming Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline information sessions. These sessions may be the only formal opportunity for residents to let the company know what they think of its pipeline proposal.

As part of its Trans Mountain pipeline application process, Kinder Morgan will have to demonstrate public support through consultation and engagement with communities that may be impacted by their proposal.

“It is crucial that residents attend these open houses. Unless the public voices its concerns through this forum, their silence may be deemed as consent,” says Chief Justin George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “We call on all people to make their voices heard.”

Kinder Morgan is releasing dates for upcoming open houses, and has announced dates and locations for the following Lower Mainland communities:


According to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain website, a Burnaby session should be held between November 19 and 25. Dates and details for other communities will likely also be announced through that site: http://talk.transmountain.com/key_date/index/1.

While these forums may be the only mechanism for the general public to officially voice their concerns, Tsleil-Waututh will not be attending. As a sovereign government, Tsleil-Waututh holds title and rights protected under the Canadian Constitution and will not participate bilaterally with Kinder Morgan in any process that may be legally styled at some point as “consultation” with respect to the pipeline project and its approval processes.

Governments have a legal obligation to consult with First Nations. Tsleil-Waututh expects informed, meaningful government-to-government consultation on the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal. The Nation is clear that the federal government cannot entirely delegate its legal obligation to consult and accommodate First Nations to third parties such as Kinder Morgan.

“Our constitutionally recognized rights and title empower our voice, and we will exercise these rights in favour of a healthy environment and sustainable economy,” continues Chief Justin George. “People from all backgrounds enjoy Vancouver’s great quality of life and we need to unite to protect this environment for all of our future generations. It will take all of us, each voicing our opposition through the channels available to us, to stop this pipeline. When we work together with one heart, one mind, and one spirit great things can happen.”

Tsleil-Waututh is adamantly opposed to Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline project. The Nation has experienced the results of crude oil handling and refining on Burrard Inlet for a number of decades. The risks associated with the pipeline expansion are just too great for its people to accept.

Read more: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1063071/tsleil-waututh-calls-on-lower-mainland-residents-to-participate-in-upcoming-kinder-morgan-pipeline-info-sessions


LNG, Plans to Ship Canadian Gas to Asia Misguided


Read this letter to the editor published in the Alaska Highway News which questions the province and gas industry’s plans to open up new markets in Asia by building massive Liquefied Natural Gas plants on BC’s coast. (Nov. 2, 2012)

…Alberta oil is not needed by China or any other part of the world. They have closer,less polluting sources available. The driving force behind Northern Gateway is nothing but corporate greed. If common sense prevails,Northern Gateway is “dead in the water”.

Now,we must also focus on what is fast becoming a horrible, depleting, destructive LNG industry. The proposed number of LNG plants and the diameters and number of proposed pipelines is totally unsustainable and amounts to nothing better than a pre-emptory attack on future generations of not only British Columbians but all Canadians. B.C. does not need to increase natural gas extraction. They simply need to collect royalties on all of the gas that is now being extracted.

While a much smaller, sustainable LNG industry might make sense, the current monstrosity does not. Government propaganda touting Canada’s vast natural gas reserves is neither accurate nor honest. My research shows Canada with 1% of the worlds proven natural gas reserves. China also has 1%. India has .57%.Why would we allow our resources to be depleted so we can give them to China which already has as much natural gas as we do? Australia has much more gas than we do (1.27% of world proven reserves) and is much closer to China and India,reducing polluting,destructive,expensive shipping. Also Russia with the worlds largest reserves(18.3%) borders on China. A land based pipeline could obviously supply China, completely eliminating the need for LNG. Because of the fact that LNG is as polluting as coal, the land based pipeline from Russia would be much, much better for our environment. LNG is NOT a “green” fuel.

Read more: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/article/20121102/FORTSTJOHN0303/311029967/-1/fortstjohn/lng-liability


Kinder Morgan Debate: Risk vs. Reward Equation of Pipeline, Tanker Expansion Doesn’t Add Up


Read this story from CKNW on the recent debate held in Vancouver over Kinder Morgan’s proposal to build a new pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to Burrard Inlet, resulting in a drastic increase in oil tanker traffic. (Oct. 30, 2012)

Risk is part of the equation for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project, but it can be managed.

That was the message from SMIT Marine Canada president Frans Tjallingii.

He argued in favour of the project at a debate Tuesday evening at UBC Robson Square.

“I think there’s always going to be a certain level of risk, but it’s about evaluating what that risk is and taking mitigating measures and then improving on those measures as we go along. Not waiting for accidents to happen, but also learning from things that are not yet an incident and improving on that basis.”

Those arguing against the pipeline said they didn’t doubt those in favour of the project would try to make it as safe as possible.

They just said they doubted protective measures would ultimately prevent an environmental catastrophe.

Documentary filmmaker Damien Gillis was on the panel opposing the pipeline expansion.

He says even from a financial perspective, the plan doesn’t make sense.

“I look at the risk versus reward. Still, I’m unpersuaded and I don’t think I will be at this point.”

Gillis says if there was an oil spill as a result of increased tanker traffic the cost could be up to $40-billion.

And as for the “Greenest City in the World” ambitions?

He says the project could lead to the city kissing that dream goodbye.

Read original story: http://www.cknw.com/news/vancouver/story.aspx/story.aspx?ID=1800236


Did Enviro Groups Drop the Ball on Canada-China Trade Deal?


IMPORTANT UPDATE TO FIPA STORY: Public Comment Window Still Open for Canada-China Trade Deal Environmental Assessment. Learn how to officially register your concerns with FIPA here.


An in-depth, out-of-the-box, common sense analysis and discussion paper issued on the day of the expected FIPA ratification.

Since May of this year we here at the Common Sense Canadian have been uncovering the behind-the -scenes legal and administrative practices undertaken by governments and industry collaborators to ensure the success of the oil and gas agenda.

Starting with “The Myth of BC Liberal Neutrality on Enbridge”, we have meticulously uncovered details of behind-the-scenes agreements that have seen British Columbia’s elected officials surrender our sovereignty, abandon our jurisdiction and capitulate to the mega-oil and gas agenda. All of which was done in silence, with the governments responsible boosted by organizations mandated to involve themselves in public processes on behalf of British Columbians to protect our rights and further our interests.

Over the past month we have seen an incredible flurry of concern arise from the Harper Government’s move to ratify the Chinese FIPA (Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement). However much of the consternation expressed has not focused on the fact that this agreement is 15 years in the making and has involved the same players responsible for ensuring the success of behind-the-scenes agreements like the Equivalency Agreement of June 2010 between the Governments of BC and Canada.

Starting in 2001, FIPA laid out a Framework for the Environmental Assessment of Trade Negotiations, which resulted in a myriad of activities and outreach to stakeholders, many of which where the same stakeholders whom must have been consulted in the similar overlapping process which resulted in the Equivalency Agreement.

The Environmental Assessment (EA) component of the Chinese FIPA was sparked in 1998, however this detailed framework led to a process that spanned over a decade, but more specifically negotiations were “re-launched in 2004” and were “expected to successfully conclude in 2008.” And just like the 2010 Equivalency Agreement, the FIPA environmental assessment component included an open invitation for a “30 day time period for input from stakeholders and the general public” which occurred between February 20 and March 21, 2008 at the end of the multi-year FIPA EA consultative process dictated by the framework linked to above and detailed on that website.

In fact, the entire Chinese FIPA Environmental Assessment component included three phases, which were designed for transparency and broad input – here is the exact text:

Three phases of assessment are generally undertaken: the Initial, Draft, and Final EA. These phases correspond to progress within the negotiations. The Initial EA is a preliminary examination to identify key issues. It occurs earlier on in the negotiations. The Draft EA builds on the findings of the Initial EA and requires detailed analysis. A Draft EA is not undertaken if the negotiation is not expected to yield large economic changes. The Final EA takes place at the end of the negotiations. At the conclusion of each phase, a public report is issued with a request for feedback.

“Negotiations, Correspondence, Public Reports” and “Requests for Feedback” were all an integral part of the multi-year Environmental Assessment Process enabling the FIPA agreement, yet few of us heard anything about it and no doubt average Canadians were completely unaware.

This process also included outreach to specific groups – again, here is the text from the government website:

 4. Invitation to Submit Comments In keeping with the Framework, an Environmental Assessment Committee (EAC) has been formed to undertake the analysis of the Canada-China FIPA. Coordinated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canada-China FIPA EAC includes representatives from other federal government departments, including Environment Canada, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and Natural Resources Canada, and is formally chaired by the lead negotiator for the agreement. An important responsibility of the EAC is to gather input from provinces and territories, stakeholders representing business, academics, and non-governmental organizations, as well as the general public.
As part of its commitment to an open and transparent process, the Government has opened this Initial EA for public comment from February 20, 2008 to March 21, 2008. Feedback on the likely economic effects and the likelihood and significance of resultant environmental impacts is especially welcome, including ways in which the GoC’s current analysis could be strengthened. It is important to keep in mind that the assessment is focused on the possible positive and negative environmental impacts in Canada.All feedback received is documented in keeping with the guidance contained in the EA Handbook, and circulated to the EAC. It will inform the Final EA of the Canada-China FIPA, as well as ongoing EA work within the Government of Canada. (emphasis added)

Please take the time to visit the link this text has been taken from as it explains in exhaustive detail the Environmental Assessment’s “Open and Transparent” Process required to enable FIPA and the way in which the process was conducted. Furthermore, it outlines in detail how Environmental Non Government Organizations (ENGOs) were solicited for input as key stakeholders in the FIPA process.

Once again, as with the June 2010 Equivalency Agreement, we are learning after the fact that our sovereign rights, interests and ability to exert jurisdictional control and decision making over our land and water are being quietly abandoned without our knowledge and seemingly behind closed doors.

This is once again occurring despite the fact that ENGOs, remunerated by governments to participate in Environmental Assessments and related processes, have mandates that read like this one from a prominent BC ENGO known as the Dogwood Initiative, whose organization has been at the forefront of the high profile tanker and pipeline issues unfolding in British Columbia for several years now:

Everything we do is about giving British Columbians ways to take back decision-making power over their land and water. Right now, 96 per cent of British Columbia’s land is owned by the people, but 88 per cent of that land is controlled by large timber, mining and oil companies. That stinks.

We believe British Columbians should have the right to make their own decisions about how the land they live on is used and we know that there is power in numbers. That’s why we work with more than 100,000 supporters, as well as First Nations, businesses and communities, to leverage political victories and find common sense solutions to some of B.C.’s most pressing problems.

Ultimately responsible for these unseemly agreements are our elected leaders like Allison Redford and yet-to-be-elected Premier Christy Clark who have continued the very public bun fight over who gets what – and in so doing Redford maintains her appointed role as the front-woman for the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC) energy strategy, while Clark simply works to cling to power.

However, it is becoming crystal clear that the strategy to massively escalate oil and gas exploitation and liquidation was in the can long ago, just like Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver recently exclaimed in a story entitled, “No need for a National Energy Strategy”:

Oliver said Tuesday he has spoken with Alberta Premier Alison Redford on a number of occasions about her plans for a National Energy Strategy. But he said as far as he could tell, Redford mentioned nothing in their conversations that his government wasn’t already covering
“[But] if you want to put a bow on it and call it a National Energy Strategy, go ahead,” Oliver said at the closing news conference of the Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Indeed, all Clark and Redford seem to be fighting over is what colour bow to put on a now longstanding and complete capitulation to the oil and gas industry and its EPIC agenda. As Rafe Mair outlined in his recent column, the BC Liberal government was admittedly consulted throughout the 15-year Chinese FIPA negotiation period – all Provinces and Territories were (as linked to and outline above).

And they have not only quietly ushered it in, but they are also boosting it at high level international investment summits and overseas junkets to the new BC government Shanghai Office. As Rafe points, out doing so has virtually removed any legal ability for Provinces to reclaim their sovereignty and push back on the Federal Government and the FIPA deal.

It is therefore no wonder why they have boosted the FIPA deal at high-level investment meetings, while resisting pushing it in the media, which has worked to keep the 15 year process away from prying eyes, such as those of local blogger and professionally trained researcher Laila Yuile. Ms. Yuile, has distinguished herself among the BC blogosphere as an astounding researcher with impeccable journalistic integrity. She has made the China file her hobby horse for quite some time now and recently felt compelled to apologize for not being aware of FIPA and issues related to the BC Government. All of which attests to the strategically stealthy component of the British Columbian collaborators on FIPA. If this stuff got by Laila, then you can rest assured very few observers, if any, know of these important issues in the entire Province.

That said, key environmental stakeholders canvassed to be involved are defined as “a very important aspect” of the FIPA process. The Environmental Assessment component, as I touched on above, seems to be one of the most exhaustive components according to the government website. Indeed, the process and its vast implications, of which I formally wrote about in detail at another fine BC political blog, are immense and far reaching.

For instance, in that piece, I mention the fact that Harper’s gutting and rewriting of the entire legislative framework pertaining to environmental regulations and processes will be locked in for as long as 31 years and applicable to any Chinese investments occurring after this agreement is ratified. Remember, during the CNOOC/Nexen review it was widely reported that the “we ain’t seen nothing yet”, as that deal only marked the opening of the Chinese investment floodgates into the oil and gas sector.

Moreover, the Chinese FIPA involved exhaustive and pivotal processes spanning 15 years, resulting in the development of numerous environmental Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on matters related to protected areas, cooperation on climate change and many on “environmental cooperation”, which included the “building of partnerships and facilitation of dialogue among environmental protection agencies, organizations and enterprises in both countries.”

While the EA framework for FIPA was established in 2001, the international environmental undertakings began in 1998, however these Bilateral Trade Agreements (FIPAs) were largely left dormant as relics of the past when Canada had struck deals in the 80s and 90 with mostly underdeveloped countries.

However, after globetrotting international financiers who stick-handle trade agreements suffered the very public death of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), a renewed strategic focus was born on bilateral agreements done in a stealth-like, one-off fashion.

This was apparently appealing to David Emerson, who entered the fray after crossing the floor to be Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway (before returning to the private sector to work for the China Investment Corporation.) In 2004 he eagerly went to work slam dunking FIPAs, and attempted to complete 4 during his time in office, ranging from little one-offs with minor countries like Peru to larger emerging economies like India.

However, his crowning achievement was the Chinese FIPA, which he kicked into high gear claiming it to be his “Ultimate Goal”, as published in the Chinese in Vancouver blog at the time. Once again these deals were left largely unreported in the mainstream media, and even the Chinese in Vancouver blog stated that Emerson’s “in camera” meetings had the opposition NDP complaining how hard it was to get “details”.

However, the blog did publish all the details of an exhaustive FIPA-related agenda dictated by the Chamber of Commerce, who were among NGOs and governments solicited by the FIPA process, all of which of course has been accomplished and will be complete if FIPA is indeed ratified.

Emerson, who wrote the forward to a Fraser Institute study on FIPA, used his history of “public service” as a catalyst to establish EPIC, which has been busy rewriting the entire legislative framework for oil and gas development ever since. Everything EPIC published was subsequently contained in Harper’s Omnibus bills while he positioned his huge corporate coalition as the chief architects of Canada’s new “National Energy Strategy.”

More recently a key British Columbia-based organization from Emerson’s hometown was invited into his EPIC National Energy Strategy at a kick-off meeting in Alberta. Tides Canada, who also established a loose coalition of over 150 endorsers for their strategic tome entitled, “A New Energy Vision for Canada”, laid out their vision within the EPIC strategic framework with the backdrop of the scenic Kanaskis mountain range, away from peering eyes and protests – and among governments and oil and gas industrialists, while along side Emerson and his EPIC directors.

Tides is headed up by Joel Solomon, infamously depicted as the “Greenfather” and a shrewd “business first socialist”, who is the funding engine behind most all of British Columbian Environmental Organizations (ENGOs), and of course two-term Mayor of the world’s “Greenest City”, Gregor Robertson.

Solomon’s labyrinth of foundations, investment companies and network of “social entrepreneurs” and activists spawned the internationally renowned “Green Think Tank” known as Hollyhock, which led to the development of Hollyhock Leadership Institute among myriad other well-resourced and connected organizations which have become the commanding heights of green, socially responsible development as well as the strategic headquarters for the “Greening the Oil Sands” initiative being communicated through the well-known internet E-zine The Tyee and supported by the online publication more intimately connected to Solomon, the Vancouver Observer.

All of these developments occurred during the course of the exhaustive and far-reaching FIPA Environmental Assessment process and much, much more. During this time we also saw other major achievements in the oil and gas legal and administrative agenda. TILMA (the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement) was negotiated and then established in 2006, with barely a whimper from the environmental community, when the BC Liberals invoked closure to ram it through – despite the vast implications for oil and gas developments and the provincial sovereignty that agreement left in an abandon pile on the negotiating room floor.

Then there was the incredible, inconceivable BC Liberal move that spawned the Equivalency Agreement in June of 2010, which iced the cake for the oil and gas lobby. This agreement, done away from the limelight and while the government responsible was being celebrated for a Clean Energy Climate Change Strategy – and lauded by the environmental community – saw BC forfeit its last vestige of sovereignty and jurisdictional control by giving up any and all decision-making capacity on four major oil and gas projects in BC’s north, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Amazingly, this agreement was implemented by senior staff and not the minister responsible, as the law dictates.

Each one of these far reaching and legally binding agreements would have involved BC stakeholders at all levels, but ENGOS in particular would have been solicited for serious roles as precisely outlined in the FIPA EA framework linked to above. Both the FIPA EA and June 2010 Equivalency Agreement involved a 30-day time period for broad stakeholder commentary, advertized in the Canadian Gazette – a process intimately familiar to British Columbian ENGOs.

When one considers each one of these separately, they appear relatively reasonable and were communicated as if they had little if anything to do with the oil and gas agenda and ultimately were pitched as integral to ensuring an investment climate that would grow our economy. However, after a closer look we learn that the exact opposite is the case. Indeed, these three agreements completely wrap up most every aspect of oil and gas development related to our jurisdiction and leave British Columbians in the cold as virtual bystanders, literally legally stranded as voiceless squatters on their own land.


  • Works from “the bottom up” versus “the top down” approach the FIPA trade agreement employs – dovetailing nicely
  • Ensures no level of government can create trade obstacles on or “through” their jurisdictions – doing so results in penalties up to 5 million per infraction
  • Ensures free flow of “investment” throughout the jurisdictions of all levels of government
  • Ensures the free flow of labour for all oil and gas projects
  • Involves a myriad of other details related to labour mobility, Trade and Investments
  • Was ushered in to law by BC liberals, who invoked closure
  • Recently updated and renewed as NWPA


  • Locks in complete legal framework ushered in by Harper for a generation
  • Negates any future changes to environmental protection or processes
  • Locks in Royalty Regimes for a generation
  • Negates future governments from making any changes

Equivalency Agreement

  • Forfeits BC’s sovereignty and decision-making capacity
  • Involves four major oil and gas projects including Enbridge NGP
  • Negates jurisdiction over land and water

Indeed it would seem that Minister Oliver was exactly right and boldly honest as all Clark and Redford are fighting over is the colour of the bow on the now longstanding strategy for massive escalation in the exploitation and liquidation of Canada’s oil and gas resources. The detailed terms in these three agreements leave British Columbians with little if anything else to decide. This is especially true when you consider reams of other supporting agreements like temporary foreign worker legislation and myriad other streamlining legislation which works to sideline all levels of government in deciding the fate and from of major developments slated to occur in British Columbia.

Further to this mind-blowing array of far-reaching, long-lasting, legally-binding policies riddled with serious implications for British Columbia, the Canada-Chinese FIPA also involved a detailed outreach effort to international investment and environmental organizations, resulting in The Canada-China Climate Change Working Group which was formed in March 2004, as a follow up to the Canada-China Joint Statement on Climate Change Cooperation. The Working Group co-ordinates and advances the bilateral effort to respond to climate change.

Other joint efforts include The Framework Statement which created the Canada-China Joint Committee on Environment Cooperation (JCEC) with Environment Canada and the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) as the lead agencies. All of which started when Canada and China signed the “Canada-China Framework Statement for Cooperation on Environment into the 21st Century” during Premier Zhu Rongji’s visit to Canada in November 1998.

All of this, while substantial, is not the entirety of the FIPA Environmental Assessment component which was supposed to be released when the FIPA agreement was complete, however Stephen Harper signed the agreement almost six weeks ago and the final Environmental Assessment reporting which enabled FIPA seems absent.

Its absence may be a result of this bombshell directly from the Government’s FIPA EA report:

6. Stakeholder Feedback

The notice of intent to conduct an EA of the Canada-China FIPA was in the Canada Gazette on November 5, 2005. The notice included an invitation to interested parties to submit their views on the likely environmental impacts of the Canada-China FIPA on Canada. There were no comments received on the Notice of Intent. (emphasis added)

8. Conclusion and Next Steps

Canada’s Framework for Conducting EAs of Trade Negotiations calls for national assessments and allows for consideration of transboundary, regional, and global environmental impacts if they have a direct impact on the Canadian environment. However, it is outside of the scope of this study to assess the potential for positive or negative environmental impacts that could occur in China because of these negotiations, or to judge the measures in place within China to enhance or mitigate such impacts.

Investments in sectors of interest to China may have an impact on the environment. However, the impact would be the same whether the investment is made by a Chinese investors or a domestic investor. In addition, investors, whether they are Canadian or foreign, are bound by environmental protection regulations and projects resulting from these investments are subject to applicable environmental assessment legislation. (that is the same legislation Harper just gutted and rewrote)

The Initial EA of the Canada-China FIPA concludes that significant changes to investment in Canada are not expected as a result of the Canada-China FIPA negotiations as there are no specific investments known to be dependent on the FIPA’s conclusion or no direct known causal links between FIPAs and expansion of investment. As such, the environmental impacts on Canada are expected to be minimal.

The Initial EA will be circulated to decision makers to inform the conclusion of the Canada-China FIPA negotiations as well as other policy development activities.

Following the receipt of public comments on the Initial EA, the Final EA will be completed taking into account the consultative findings. In the light of the Initial EA’s conclusions regarding the unlikelihood of significant economic activity and environmental impacts in Canada, preparation of a Draft EA is deemed to be unnecessary. The Final EA will coincide with the conclusion of the Canada-China FIPA negotiations. (emphasis added)

Did you catch that? That underlined bit.

No specific investments known to be dependent on FIPA’s conclusion? Nor do they believe there are any links between FIPA and the expansion of investment!

Then what did we do it for and why was it Emerson’s “Ultimate Goal?”

And then the kicker: “In the light of the Initial EA’s conclusions regarding the unlikelihood of significant economic activity and environmental impacts in Canada, preparation of a Draft EA is deemed to be unnecessary.”

This stuff is incomprehensible! Due to a complete lack of input from the environmental side of the equation or any submission of appropriate analysis, the Federal Government has concluded that there will be no significant impacts on our environment as a result of hundreds of billions of dollars invested in Canada’s oil and gas industry.

And how does it all square with Harper’s election campaign platform? Here is a snippet from his Energy Platform:

Prohibiting the Export of Raw Bitumen to Higher Polluting Jurisdictions

A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will prevent any company from exporting raw bitumen (unprocessed oil from the oil sands) outside of Canada for upgrading in order to take advantage of lower pollution or greenhouse gas emissions standards elsewhere.

In conclusion, we have to consider very important impacts that are solidified as a result of the overlapping trade agreements coupled with the forfeiting of British Columbia’s sovereignty which demonstrate the green failing on FIPA is less about the environment and more about the cash. This is true as a result of two easy-to-comprehend concepts which are definitive. You cannot change the rules of the game after the investment has occurred and doing so will result in being sued. These notions run through all trade agreements and are at the very heart of the purpose of the FIPA.

  • Less about the Environment: The wholesale environmental and legislative changes authored by EPIC and ushered in by the Harper Government rewrite the entire legal framework for oil and gas development. As a result of ratifying FIPA on the heels of these changes, each and every future investment in the industry in Canada is therefore guaranteed under these terms for thirty years and many subsequent governments. If however, a subsequent government decides to restore any one of the rollbacks of the Harper government they will be sued under these agreements. If they decide to scrap the FIPA altogether they must give at least one year notice, and each and every investment that occurred during the time FIPA was ratified, will be protected automatically for an additional 15 years upon the revoking of FIPA and all of the existing legislative framework will apply for that time. And, once again, if subsequent changes are made, lawsuits will result reaching into the millions, if not billions. All of which locks in the gutting of environmental legislation and processes that have occurred thus far for a generation as making any changes is too punitive.
  • More about the Cash: The very same dynamics described in detail above apply to royalty regimes at all levels of government. Currently, oil and gas royalty regimes in Canada are some of the lowest in the world. FIPA locks in those rates for a generation or more and, once again, if any subsequent government wishes to adjust the rates to harmonize them with other jurisdictions – say, like those of oil producing countries in Africa who have recently struck deals with the same major oil companies operating in Canada – that involve Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) which reach as high as 75% of total production being steered to public coffers, we will be sued for doing so and it will involve “forecasts of lost profits” which could range into the hundreds of billions, effectively destroying any potential whatsoever of altering royalty regimes away from being the lowest anywhere in the world. Moreover, Chinese companies are not just investing in production and market potential but rather are purchasing companies outright making our exposure to being sued for profit potential enormous. In the final analysis, this agreement is all about the cold, hard cash because even if we never are sued, FIPA ensures profiteering for anyone investing under the terms it dictates, the likes of which is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. It is important to remember that at current royalty rates, both BC and Alberta are filing huge deficits. And Canada itself has filed over 125 billion dollars in deficits just since 2008, meanwhile the Tar Sands peaked to its highest production rates in 2010 the same year Harper filed the country’s largest deficit in history. Clearly, adjusting some of the lowest royalty rates in the world is required to pull Canada out of the fiscal fire and attempt to return to balanced budgets.

Regardless of what seems to be total insanity as we explore the details of FIPA and supporting agreements. It is important to go through such great lengths and review all of these painstaking details in order to understand how and why it is most Canadians, and British Columbians in particular, where not aware of this agreement.

There was very little mainstream coverage and negotiations seemingly took place out of the public eye and away from the scrutiny of the media. Intentional or otherwise, it has left Canadians very vulnerable. Maybe they believe this agreement means nothing and has no impacts, as this report says, but as is clearly outlined here that is definitely not the case. And it clearly was the National Energy Strategy’s chief architect David Emerson’s “ultimate goal” for a reason.

Fortunately, some civil society organizations and (NGOs) made the effort to warn Canadians early on, despite not being engaged in the process in any way, or solicited directly for their input. That list includes groups like Canada’s Coalition to End Global Poverty, who produced this handy must read handbook entitled, Bilateral Investment Treaties: A Canadian Primer that works to hit the high points of these agreements and their immense implications, including the impacts on sovereignty, the environment and the economy. There were also independent, uninvolved, unsolicited lawyers who have drawn up abstracts which really work to inform Canadians. And the Council of Canadians jumped on FIPA as soon as it came to their attention in September.

In the end, it is difficult if not impossible to conceive how the FIPA’s pivotal and enabling environmental assessment process, spanning 15 years, received little if any attention. And it is impossible to understand how an Environmental Assessment involving legislated outreach to stakeholders as an important and pivotal aspect to the success of the agreement garnered “no comments” over a month-long input period at the end of a multi-year process – resulting in conclusions that there was little if any environmental impact, despite the obvious, far -eaching impacts explained here and elsewhere.

The FIPA EA resulted in multiple memorandums of understanding, the establishment of multiple joint international committees, in addition to policy certainty and harmonization. Cooperation on Climate Change initiatives and the list goes on and on, yet somehow all this escaped the lead environmental organizations in British Columbia who are mandated to represent our interests while protecting and furthering our jurisdictional and legal rights.

The lawyers who lead the ENGOS on the forefront of tankers and pipeline issues who signed up thousands for the Enbridge Environmental Assessment alone while undertaking a media campaign spanning years, were somehow unable to comment on, involve themselves in, or write as much as one press release in regard to the FIPA EA since its inception 15 years ago which, when in effect, locks in Harper’s gutting of environmental standards for any all Chinese investments now and for thirty years into the future.

To top it all off we learn of all this AFTER the agreement is signed by the Prime Minister and mere months after we first heard that as far back as June 2010, BC gave up its right to its own Environmental Assessment to decide on four major oil and gas development projects, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project. Which was accomplished through the establishment of a “secret” equivalency agreement that saw us abandon our sovereign rights and legal jurisdiction in a process that also had been advertised in the Canadian Gazette and involved a month-long period for input from stakeholders. But, once again, the ENGO community who is mandated and remunerated to be involved in these processes said and did nothing.

Adrian Dix stood up for BC and made the move to restore our sovereignty by pledging to revoke the Equivalency Agreement within one week upon being elected.

It is time for all Canadian citizens to stand up and pledge to do whatever it takes to prevent FIPA from being ratified tomorrow or ever.

Its time to stand on guard for Canada!