Monday, July 8, 2019

Trans Mountain Pipeline Update - another lawsuit comes down the pipe[line]

New orca baby swimming with endangered J Pod

In todays news we see that yet another lawsuit has been filed in opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline project that's being foisted on British Columbia by Alberta and the Federal Government.  The same group of environmentalists that won the last time are suing again saying exactly the same thing--the pro-pipeline corporatists STILL have not answered the questions nagging BC:

1.  Why do we have to give up our environment...including our signature wild life, the West Coast Orcas, so that Oil Tanker gridlock can prevail in our narrow waterways in perpetuity?

2.  Who is going to clean up the inevitable catastrophic spill of "diluted bitumen"...say after one of those earthquakes we're so prone to....and HOW is that going to be accomplished, given that even the Federal Government doesn't yet have an answer how "diluted bitumen" can be cleaned up?

What follows are a few recent reports about the Trans Mountain Pipeline controversy and my comments after each link: 

"Canada’s Indigenous pipe dream might end Trudeau’s Trans Mountain nightmare"

Offering the First Nations a slice of the action makes me want to puke.  Trying to divide and conquer the First Nations hasn't really worked in the past and it's not likely to here.  First Nations know the rules...either stand together or fall together.  And of course greencrow has already explained the legal morass surrounding Indigenous title to their lands as reflected in The Indian Act and the Canadian constitution.  It amounts to a "Catch 22".  If they use their lands for non-traditional purposes...then they stand to forfeit them entirely.  The Main$tream media NEVER mentions this connundrum.

White Man Speaks With Forked Tongue

If you read the reports about indigenous ownership carefully, like this one from Global News, you will see that while the bait has been left out, the terms and conditions are very nebulous.  Sounds just like all the promises made to First Nations since First Contact five hundred years ago.

Treating Environmentalists like Terrorists/or Gangstas

The National Post reports that Alberta, continuing its bullying ways, announced that its going to conduct an investigation into the "shadowy" funding of environmental groups:

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has opened a new offensive in the fight against oilsands critics, announcing on Thursday a public inquiry into the finances of environmental organizations, specifically on funding from foreign donors, a bugbear of Jason Kenney’s government.

Such a move raises the stakes for environmental groups that could now be compelled to testify before the inquiry and face as yet unknown consequences — perhaps lawsuits, Kenney speculated — once the commissioner reports back to the legislature.

“For more than a decade, Alberta has been the target of a well-funded political propaganda campaign to defame our energy industry and to landlock our resources,” Kenney told reporters in Calgary in announcing the inquiry.

The United Conservatives have long promised a “fight back strategy” aimed at shellacking the critics of Alberta’s energy industry and supporting those who want to bolster it. So far, the plan has consisted of creating a war room to counter “misinformation” and using a litigation fund to support the legal battles of pro-energy industry Indigenous groups."

Greencrow:  "Defame our energy industry"?  The entire world knows that "fracking" is the most environmentally destructive energy industry in human history...just the waste of fresh water alone is unconscionable in modern times...never mind during a "climate emergency".  Landlock our resources?  Why doesn't Alberta pipe the diluted bitumen down to the American border and across to the Pacific from there?  Or, better yet, why doesn't Alberta invest in its own refineries and turn the bitumen into oil?  This offshoring is also an offshoring of potential Canadian jobs...or doesn't that matter?

After my last spate of writing on this topic, I found myself mentally and emotionally discouraged.  I felt that British Columbians were not up to the gargantuan task of defending our environmental and cultural legacy.  That was the way I felt until I went out to dinner last week with my thirty-something younger son.  He's always a good, if frustrating, bellwether of what the "average" Vancouverite is thinking.  He's a successful businessman working in a construction-related industry.  He usually calls my "conspiracy theories" nonsense [one of his kinder terms] .  So when I brought up the Trans Mountain pipeline controversy, I fully anticipated him being pro-pipeline like the rest of the "business community".  Well, to my surprise, he was adamantly opposed to it, as was his girlfriend.

They both saw it as a potential environmental disaster for the west coast.  One thing he said in particular that was Alberta had a terrible track record for cleaning up its oil messes.  He said that during the recent "slow down" in the oil patch, many oil companies had simply gone bankrupt and left horrific environmental messes...not shutting off the wells properly, etc., etc. The government [taxpayer] was left on the hook for the resulting expenses, as per usual. This is an argument I had not even heard.

My son said the only way he would even consider the project is if the Trans Mountain company and/or the Federal Government was willing to put billions of dollars into escrow, to be held by the BC government against a catastrophic [or any] spill.  But when I told him that even the Federal Government doesn't know how to clean up a "diluted bitumen" spill...he said well in that case, the project is a non-starter.  Luckily, BC has a very good Premier in John Horgan.  He's trusted by the majority of British Columbians and seen as just the man to lead us through this political and legal morass.

History [if there's a future on this planet] will record the Trans Mountain Pipeline purchase by the Justin Trudeau government as the worst decision in Canadian History.  We could have let an American company go broke.  But, Nooooooooo.  We had to enrich them and destroy our environment, our national unity and our economy.

What a friggin dumbass!


Penny said...

Hey GC;

local paper had an oped selling the trans pipeline as the pipeline of reconciliation

"But what if instead of driving Canadians apart, Trans Mountain could bring them together? What if it became the same kind of physical, unifying force in this country that the transcontinental railway proved to be more than 100 years ago?

Except this time, rather than being ignored, Canada's First Nations played a lead role in making it all happen — and were among the prime beneficiaries.

The $6.9-billion plan by an Indigenous-led group to buy a majority stake in Trans Mountain could mean this pipeline will do all these things. And so, even in this early stage, this bid should be welcomed."

The perception management push is on. Exactly as I had expected it would be- cause as soon as I saw the initial report the path this was going to take was pretty clear

greencrow said...

Hi Penny:

I did see that view expressed about the "Pipeline of Reconciliation". British Columbians responded "It's not who owns the's what's IN the pipeline". And I would add to that...It's all about the 7x huge oil tankers that will be gridlocked in English Bay and in a permanent single file line clogging up tiny Burrard Inlet.

Did you know that the "Second Narrows Bridge" which is a main artery crossing the Burrard Inlet has a "railway bridge" suspended beneath it for railway traffic? When we sail our boat out to Georgia Strait we have to phone the controllers of the railway bridge for them to mechanically "lift" the bridge so our mast can go underneath. Can you now see that oil tankers would force this railway bridge to be in a permanent state of being lifted? Therefore there would not be adequate railway service to the North Shore where terminals carry the railway cargo that has travelled all across Canada to get there.

It would be a real mess and it ain't gonna happen!

greencrow said...

My solution to the Trans Mountain Pipeline fiasco is to declare all of Burrard Inlet as a Marine reserve. No large industry and no fishing (not that there's much fishing there anymore...all the salmon being "gone")

My solution to the dozens of huge oil containers that are presently situated on Burnaby mountain is that they be emptied, cleaned, lined with vinyl and turned into land-based salmon fish farms.

The greencrow's a genius, dontchaknow!