Crack in the Northern Gateway pipe dream

‘Foreigners’ are not the project’s only obstacle

Crack in the pipe dream

Darryl Dyck/CP

The business case for Enbridge’s $5.5-billion, twinned Northern Gateway pipeline, which would send Canadian crude bound for Asia to the B.C. coast, seems sound: the project could inject $270 billion into Canada’s GDP while fetching $10 more per barrel than the oil gets when transported south, to the country’s current, lone oil customer. But politics, it became clear as an environmental review launched last week in Kitimat, B.C., may yet derail the pipeline dream—its importance to the country’s financial future notwithstanding.

Ottawa’s smoke-and-mirrors strategy of bashing the project’s foreign critics, which was timed to the hearing’s launch on B.C.’s soggy, northwest coast, allows Canadian politicians to avoid pointing fingers at what really stands in their way: British Columbia First Nations, empowered by a decade and a half of legal victories that have granted them a significant say over land in their traditional territories. The powerful Wet’suwet’en, who vigorously fought a land claim over 13 years, culminating in 1997’s landmark Delgamuukw ruling establishing the existence of Aboriginal title in B.C., are among dozens of bands that oppose the project, and call its proposed, 1,176-km route home. “It’s going to get ugly,” says Terry Teegee, vice-tribal chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. “Battle lines have been drawn.”

Legally, experts say, B.C. bands have more clout than those outside the province, thanks partly to an accident of history. Few entered treaties with the Crown, unlike First Nations elsewhere in the country; and since they never signed away title, courts now require their input when resources are extracted from their traditional lands.

Look no further than 2007’s Tsilhqot’in ruling to understand what that means, even for projects the government considers fiscally necessary. The B.C. Supreme Court found the First Nation had proved title over 2,000 sq. km of valuable real estate northeast of Vancouver, stopping just short of granting it full ownership. That ruling put a stop, in the short term, to clear-cut logging plans, since they would interfere with the band’s trapping rights.

The decision’s longer-term impacts surfaced last year. Years ago, Taseko Mines Ltd., a mining firm based in Vancouver, applied to develop one of the country’s largest copper-gold deposits near Williams Lake, in B.C.’s struggling central interior. The proposed $3-billion mine, however, required the draining of Fish Lake, which the Tsilhqot’in consider sacred. Although B.C. approved the massive project, which received the backing of two premiers and promised tens of thousands of new jobs, Ottawa, in November 2010, rejected it because it would impact the Tsilhqot’in, and fish stocks. Legally, the government didn’t have much of a choice.

Contrast this with economic development in B.C.’s Treaty 8 area: one of the few corners of the province under treaty. The region, east of the Rockies, is crisscrossed with oil and natural gas pipelines, and has a 20-year history with the industry.

Given the pipeline’s entire proposed route is across untreatied land, and how disruptive and potentially harmful the Northern Gateway project portends to be, this battle, even if it receives the environmental okay, will inevitably be fought all the way to the Supreme Court, taking years to resolve, says Carleton University’s Rodney Nelson. Indeed, chiefs representing more than 20 First Nations contacted by Maclean’s acknowledge they’re planning to file suit if the project is allowed to proceed.

Litigating a multi-year court fight would be extraordinarily costly, but several front-line environmental opponents said their organizations and private donors are being lined up to help fund potential suits on behalf of First Nations. Direct action is also in the works. Supporters, along with “little, old grannies” from Aboriginal communities across the province have volunteered to be arrested, according to the Wilderness Committee’s Ben West; plans to erect traditional longhouses along the length of the proposed route are being readied. Clearly, B.C., which saw a grassroots uprising overturn the harmonized sales tax a year ago, is gearing up for its biggest environmental battle, an international cause célèbre that would make 1993’s epic fight for Clayoquot Sound look like child’s play.

This time, opponents say, the stakes are even higher. “One spill,” says Art Sterritt, executive director of the Coastal First Nations, “would spell the end of life as we know it in the Great Bear Rainforest,” a wild, misty stretch of jagged inlets and moss-cloaked trees, rich with whales and wolves, running 400 km along B.C.’s coast to the Alaska border.

But a larger stakeholder than even the several thousand natives living in its path has yet to weigh in: Victoria. Perhaps the only question more complex than the legality of the megaproject is the tangled domestic political equation facing B.C.’s pro-development, pro-business, Liberal government. What seems an uncontroversial decision to Alberta, which stands to gain almost all the pipeline’s rich rewards, is tricky for B.C., which is being asked to swallow most of the risk—a tanker spill or burst pipe.

Premier Christy Clark, who is legally bound to go to the polls by next year, has yet to take a public stance. “We have to get the facts out on the table,” she said last week, claiming not to want to “prejudge the outcome” of the ongoing review. With three-quarters of British Columbians opposing oil tankers on the coast, it would seem a pretty safe place to ride out what promises to be a bruising debate.

Except Clark’s Liberals rely on a fractious alliance of federal Liberals and Tories. The coalition faces a surging Conservative party on the right, its greatest threat since the ’90s, when the so-called free enterprise alliance collapsed, paving the way for an NDP rout.

Happily benefiting from Clark’s absence, for now, is Conservative party leader John Cummins. The former Tory MP is heading up the pipeline’s local support squad, helping him pick off Liberal votes in hard-fought rural ridings where even a few hundred Tory ballots could tip the balance in favour of the Opposition NDP.

Liberals are “frankly terrified of Cummins,” says Simon Fraser University’s Royce Koop; the Conservative party has been polling at 20 per cent since he took over six months ago, up from single digits, where it languished throughout the past decade.

The right-wing bickering plays nicely into the hands of the NDP and its popular new leader, Adrian Dix, says University of British Columbia political scientist Michael Byers. The party, which opposes the pipeline, sits at 40 per cent in the polls, ahead of the Liberals at 31 per cent.

The Liberals took the last election by neutralizing the NDP; in implementing a carbon tax, they earned the support even of Greens like David Suzuki. This time around, the NDP, which is already putting out slick, direct mailers pairing images of rusty, hulking tankers with pristine coastline, is making sure the Green vote remains with New Democrats.

For now, Clark, seeking a rare, fourth term for the Liberals, is working on strengthening her position, without coming off the Gateway fence. In the last week, she named long-time Alberta Tory strategist Ken Boessenkool her new chief of staff, and announced a social conservative with deep Reform-Tory roots will contest a Fraser Valley by-election. She punctuated that right shift by bringing Stephen Harper to her son Hamish’s atom hockey game, highlighting their growing comfort.

Two days later, on CBC’s The House, Clark deviated from her carefully neutral Northern Gateway path, attacking the project’s critics as “foreign groups, coming in and meddling in our politics.”

The reality is that even as Harper suggests Canada is on the cusp of a boom, regional politics and Aboriginal opposition could mean he will be an old man before the pipeline proceeds. Consider the endless debates over the Mackenzie Valley pipeline through the Northwest Territories. There, too, the federal government was pushing hard for development, notes Byers, promising vast riches, if only Canada could get its gas to the international market. There, too, the greatest impediment was Aboriginal rights. Laws governing those rights have grown more, not less, complex since the ’70s. That pipeline never got built. It’s far from certain the Northern Gateway pipeline ever will, either.


Crack in the Northern Gateway pipe dream

  1. Christy sure does have her hands full, lol.  I’ve been hearing quite a few people calling the talk shows when this vote-splitting is the topic, who say they will watch the polls in their riding at election time, and  they will vote liberal or conservative just to stop the NDP.

    Maybe it is time to have a transparent look at B.C. First Nations.  All the protests to save Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, yet Iisaak, a logging company owned by FN can log all they want. 

    Viviane Krause’s latest “follow the money” includes FN:

    “First Nations groups on the north coast of B.C. have been granted at least US$50-million by U.S. foundations, $27-million from Moore, US$19-million from Hewlett and Packard, and several million from other U.S. foundations.

    Pew alone put US$57-million into the Boreal Forest Initiative which aims to put half of Canada’s boreal forest (which covers two-thirds of Canada) into protected areas and parks. “New protected areas should exclude industrial development such as logging, mining, hydro, new roads, and oil and gas while accommodating activities such as traditional hunting, fishing and gathering,” says the BFI agreement signed by forestry companies, environmental groups and Suncor Energy Inc. in 2010.”


    • That’s abit of a cheap shot Leo. Apparently there are negotiation going on between the envros and the FNs over Clayoquot. It’s not like natives are runniing out and chopping down every tree on the island. Fact is there are disagreements over Aboriginal needs and the agenda of enviros who don’t have to worry about looking after their own people in a remote location.


      I have a good rebuttal link for Krause’s Krap…i’ll post it later. Meanwhile choke this one down. :)


      • Not a cheap shot at all.  I simply do not buy the “politically correct” meme that some how, if you are FN, you are a tree hugger and the greatest stewards of the environment. 

        It is a good example of, as you point out “looking after their own people in a remote location” – that means cutting down old growth trees to put food on the table – using their “resources”.  Guess what?  Canada is chock-full of resources but we are not suppose to extract them because some non-Canadian NGO’s say so???


        David Hughes is a Fellow of the U.S. based Post Carbon Institute.  A big peak oil promoter who wants extraction all energy to be slowed down until alternative can be found.  You can have him speak at your event for $5,000 + expenses, or donate direct to PCI for a tax deduction  :-)

        • Sorry, but it is a cheap shot in this particular case friends of Clayoquot sound have long been working with the local band to preserve Clyoquot – let’s keep in mind without them Clayoquot would just be a field of stumps today…it’s just that there’s a disconnect between the aspirations of envros and FNs who need jobs. They’re attempting to find a compromise because Clayoquot is not just a place with some big trees lying around – it’s a fast fading window into what used to common on the the Island before we let our greed overrule our commonsense.
          It’s true that lots of lefties have a ridiclously one dimensional view of natives[ as do righties] who are not so different from us in that within their communities there are strong enviromentalists and those who put jobs first. Nevertheless it’s been my experience that the FN’s connection to the land still runs like a strong bright thread throughout their cultures and remains strong and intact.
          As for Hughes, he’s just another guy who thinks something may be true – it has to still be tested for in the real world we inhabit like everything else.

    • considering its rightfully their land they should be able to do as they please. And white man should be restricted by certain regulations regarding resources that were only obtained by slaughtering an entire nation, leo, your an idiot.

      • Hmmm….seems to me small pox, measles and typhoid caused the majority of deaths.  If you speak to a Coast Salish elder they can tell you stories of the Haida attacking their villages along the east coast.  Those they did not take for slaves were certainly slaughtered. 

  2. The point is, all benefits are going to Alberta and foreign oil companies, 99 % of the risk will be born by BC. Once construction, most likely by out of province contractors with out of province workers, is completed, jobs created in BC are laughable. All the huge environmental risk will be faced by BC. In case of a spill, equipment would have to be flown in by helicopter. A good analogy would be to try to empty a flooded basement with a teaspoon. And then of course you would have the grave risk of tanker traffic in the coastal waters

    • There will be all kinds of fees and royalties – recurring income paid to B.C. and FN’s, plus guarantees backed by insurance, bonds, etc.
      As yourself this – why are there not huge protests happening on the east coast?  At least three oil and gas rigs are operating off the coast of Newfoundland (Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose), as well as one in Nova Scotia (Sable), with another lease being granted today to Shell for off-shore N.S. 
      In 2006, more than 1,000 vessels moved about 50 billion litres of crude oil and/or refined gas in and out of Placentia Bay, Newfoundland (that’s over 322 million barrels).
      Another 12- to 14-billion litres (80 million barrels) were carried in ships that travelled through our eastern waters to other ports and destinations on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

      • Silly comparisan Leo – apples and oranges. Get a map out and look at the area covered by the GB Rainforest – you’ll see. Same reason drilling off the BC coast is so contentious. The riskof an oil spill coming shore is much higher and you have to factor in vulnerability to earthquakes. The east coast rigs are in some cases hundreds of kms off shore and there is no area comparable to the GBR in value in terms of biodiversity[ not to say east coast is less worthy of protection than  BC, it’s just different].


        • Not silly at all, just another example of the hypocrisy of enviro’s protecting BC as North America’s park. At BC’s expense of course. Bears with white fur and owls that burrow. Anything to create a poster. I have to hand to them though, it works. East coast isn’t as gullible!

          • This is not about a poster Jon. And I live in the east coast, so speak for yourself. You are not the mouthpiece for all Canadians living on the east coast. Do you remember the devastating disaster in the gulf last year due to an oil explosion in an oil rig that spilled millions of oil into the gulf of Mexico and destroyed beaches and jobs related to fishing and tourism in the U.S. and destroyed underwater ecosystems? Oil spills are very serious matters no matter where they happen, the east, north south of west anywher on this planet! Think a little deeper Jon. You are trivializing an important issue.

          • Which NGO do you work for???

          • East coast is an environmental nightmare.Imagine having an industry tar pond in your city like Sidney N.S.People who live or have lived near it say its bad.
             In New Brunswick many,many many people I have talked to say they,their children or their animals were directly sprayed from the airforce of 200 planes that sprayed NB’s forests for 35 years with DDT etc.Then there was agent orange sprayed at Gagetown.
            Check out this link to an airport that was called Budworm City and see the picture of dozens of 45 gallon drums of DDT.Did I mention NB’s leaky nuclear power plant? Oh, and now our government here in NB is dismantling our clean water legislation to allow fracking companies to add milllions of gallons of toxins to water and pump it underground to blow up shale for gas.Never mind that 66% of our drinking water comes from aquifers.
            Exactly what is your definition of gullible?

          • Maybe the east coast is just more greedy?

  3. The Northern Gateway will not be built. Sensitive investigation at the outset of this project would have foreseen this. Alberta’s oil producers would be prudent to consider alternatives to the Northern Gateway for getting their oil to market.  Greater capacity to the East would open new domestic markets and relieve Canada’s reliance on “conflict oil” from the Middle East and other “unethical” suppliers.  Greater capacity to Vancouver, Seattle, Portland or other established West Coast ports would serve the same markets planned for the Northern Gateway.

    The Northern Gateway will not be built. Whether the Joint Review Panel rejects the proposal as not being in the “National Interest”; whether it is denied by the Supreme Court (the last vestige of justice in our country); or whether it is blocked on the ground by every First Nation village and fly-fisherman between Alberta and the coast, the Northern Gateway will not be built.

    There is too much at stake here in BC.  The sooner people can understand and accept this the sooner they can move on.

    • Hear hear! Good point about established ports, although i don’t see why the economic benefit should go to US ports.

    • It will take quite a while for the National Energy Board to hear all the presentations about the proposed Enbridge Alberta-Kitimat pipeline, and their is a great chance that this could go to the Supreme Court of Canada if legally challenged by the native Indians in B.C. whose land this proposed pipeline would run through. Either way for alll the money this oil generates for many shareholders, and Canadian and Foreign companies and Alberta and for all the employees of this industry and its secondary industries, it sure does cost a lot to extract and it wreaks havoc with the eco system and destroys huge swaths of land, pollutes waterways, and oil well it pollutes. That is a fact. So where are the discussions about alternate energies, and while we are at it, how much of the oil from Alberta is being sold to Canadians. Or is Mr. Stephen Harper mostly concerned about selling our energy to the U.S. and now China. How does this tie in with his blathering about our “National Interests”. Really curious to know who he would answer a question like that. But Peter Mansbridge of the CBC forgot to ask him that in a recent interview that was televised. Ooops………

      • Starting to think that this pipeline may be a Straw Man designed to be defeated. I was such a bad idea from the first. Could the real purpose be to get the sheeple to be ok with a safer route, and to then allow increased expansion of the tar sands? Any monies wasted on this issue, will be more then recouped by not having to fight on another issue. The art of negotiation is to force a confrontation, with an all group compromise that gives you everything you wanted in the first place. Demand the sun and the stars and accept what you actually wanted. The big question is, are these guys smart enough to be doing this?

    •  For every First Nations person willing to stand against the pipeline and tanker traffic there will be many BC non natives alongside..

  4. As a political confrontation between mammoth, well-funded interest groups, this one promises to be a barn-burner for years to come.

  5. I am not convinced about a pipeline of oil running through BC. Risky. One thing though,  BC has is a strict set of environment restrictions to prevent certain disasters from taking place. We should be able to rely on those rules and guidelines should the project move forward. BC has a right to an economy just like any other province. We are not North America’s park like some environmentalists living in tree huts and caves would have us believe. What is certainly annoying is having to deal with first nations. Now if first nation communities were economically independent from the FED then we would have to respect their decisions as its there land (or could be). But they are not. These nations rely on our tax dollars to survive! In the real world (our world) we need industrial and commercial business to survive. Thats why BC communities make the tough choices when it comes to our environment. The balance between clean and jobs! For a group of people to stand against something that brings jobs to communities who need it while sucking the milk jug of the FED seems a bit unfair. Cut of the money supply and these first nations would be backing the pipeline in a heartbeat. Or the mine, or the logging roads, well you get the picture. Its like giving the right to vote to someone who doesn’t pay taxes! They don’t need to vote for what’s best, they can vote for whoever is handing out the most candy.

    • Yessiree, if only them pesky Injuns weren’t there then dabnabbit, we’d all have jobs and the streets would be paved with gold. Yeehaw!

      • no you would still be unemployed I am sure.

    • What a miserably narrow and inaccurate pov. Try reading the whole article.

      • I did. I read your take too. Its hard to believe socialists like yourself still find a leg to stand on. 

        • Actually i have no difficulty believing you might think that. But you’d still be wrong.

          • Yes kcm , no point debating lefty’s they are always right. A common trait among most socialists.

          • In order to debate one needs things like facts and logically constructed arguments to engage another debater, not the gut instinct and ignorant bigoted bunkers you seem to prefer operating out of.

    • The first nation that is protesting the oil pipeline is quite financially independent of federal aide. They are a savvy group, and rent out land and collect taxes from natural gas companies. They object to an oil pipeline as they are concerned about the far greater devastation to the port and waters off of Kitimat and underground pollution is there were to be an oil spill. They have a right to voice such concerns and fight the proposed oil pipeline for it is THEIR LAND and not Canadas land. They did not cede this land to Canada and if they want to go to the Supreme Court of Canada the choice is theirs. The consitution of Canada seems to lean in their direction.  And this is the real world. The native Indians in B.C. live in the real world as much as you and I do. There are many prespectives and conflicts of interest in the recent controversies over the Keystone pipeline and the Enbridge pipeline.In any case oil production and consumption the world over is here until the world’;s oil reserves run out. And this will not happen in your life time or mine.

    • That’s your opinion. I say let the aboriginals be the stewards of the land.

    • “What is certainly annoying is having to deal with first nations”-AWKWARD-
      “Cut of the money supply and these first nations would be backing the pipeline in a heartbeat.”
      “In the real world (our world) ” -LMFAO-

    • Enbridge only offered the Aboriginals 7 million in compensation, the billionaire U.S./U.K. foundations/eco groups allegedly paid them 26 million.  I think this is the heart of the problem.  Ultimately it seems the American influence will decide what B.C.’s energy policies are–let’s not kid ourselves….this is not about the environment.

    • Actually these First Nations take care of themselves and are some of the richest in Canada! Honestly the argument of jobs is becoming so tiring! The amount of employment this project would generate is a drop in the bucket compared to the damage. People are so ready to give up their children’s and grandchildren’s future so they can drive a monster truck today! Grow up, smarten up and try to be a little more responsible so that many generations can enjoy and live in this province without an environmental disaster to live with! They’ve already completely and irreparably destroyed Alberta and if you think we are going to let any of that BS happen here in BC, well you’ve got another thing coming!

    • i and my husband do still pay taxies we are very much first nations and always gona be that and the voting is this countries laws of the canadian s here the true canadians who was the first nations of this land and yes as the true candians duties are to protect the land and waters for today through to the future key is healthy land healthy waters healthy futures will not and will stand for the richies of what is here now and for many many years to come,

  6. Could some please explain why we are not building a refining plant in Alberta instead of shipping our natural resources out of the country to be refined in another country? 

    • Low-hanging fruit theory. It’s less expensive for the oil companies to do it this way.

      • And they don’t care about Albertans, just about their own greed.

        • Well yes, I agree Holly Stick, this is about the profits of oil companies and the shareholders. And Mr. Stephen Harper and his government spokespeople are trying to convince Canadians that it is in the “National Interest” to expand pipelines to ship more oil to China and the U.S. What is most certainly a bias on his part and a double standard is that he claims foreign interests and environmental radicals are against the pipeline expansion. Yet foreign countries own some of the oil companies in Alberta. What a hypocrite our Prime Minister is. Yes we all know that Canada has huge oil reserves, enough by some estimates to last 170 years at current consumption, and we supply the U.S. with more oil than any other nation. While all this is a billion dollar industry and does create jobs, and generate revenues for the Alberta Government in the form of taxes, we are forgetting the environmental costs. The tar sand oil contributes to 3% of our green house gas emissions and destroys large land masses and pollutes underground aquifers. I guess we just don’t want to head the scientists who have been warning us short-sighted humans about the devastation that global warming has already begun to do (Polar Bear extinction, the necessity to grow crops further north in our agricultural belt due to climate change, etc. etc.) but what the heck aye, us dumb Canadians can sling mud at each other and squak right and left politics and insult native Indians trying to protect their land against the potential of continued environmental degradation and we just bicker . If we collectively continue to not develop alternate greener energies then we deserve to  move to extinction and sooner than later will face severe problems that our population and future generations will have to face by our collective stupidiity and concentration on simply arguing about money and jobs.

    • Because no one including the Alberta government wants to take the initiative nor the expense to build manufacturing facilities to turn crude oil into refined oil, and so far most of the crude oil is being shipped to the U.S. where they have the oil refineries. Let them pollute the air with refineries, we have enough pollution and land devastation as it is with the mucky mucky tar sands.

    • We could build several for the cost of the F- 35 fighter jets!

  7. http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/pdf/t9p01p1.pdf 

    US steam coal exports to Asia increased 77% last year.  Perhaps the opponents of Gateway will even get funding from the US coal industry.

    Don’t see any so-called rich American environmentalists blocking US train tracks or ports blocking steam coal exports.

    • I’m sure that a few pieces of coal falling off a train has significantly less impact than an oil spill.

      • Coal is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. He is trying to point out the hypocrisy of the global warming enviro nuts. They won’t suffer the US for shipping endless coal to China but they have no problem dumping millions to stop an oil pipeline from Canada. Why? Because we are gullible! 

          • You just linked two sites telling us about the hazards of coal. My statement clearly outlines the same issue. 
            Yet coal is shipped on a regular basis to the orient to be burned for electricity, no protests. Try and build a pipeline and the whole Continent goes bananas. Thats hypocrisy. Not ignorance thanks

          • Coal pollutes, oil pollutes and solar power does not. Electric and hybrid cars are feasible, and while you are at it Jon try looking at the web site of an innovative company from Canada named Enerkem. They create green bio fuel from landmass refuse that replaces oil. About time we started to develop less harmful energy, and IT CAN BE DONE.  The scientists know what they are talking about when they warned us 50 years ago about global warming. The environental impact is ALREADY affecting Africa, and North America or have you had you head buried in the (tar) sand? This is a larger issue than just a pipeline. But that takes a person who recognizes the complexity of the issue and it is global and not just national. It has to do with more than jobs or territorial claims and left and right political squabbles. This has to do with the fragility of our eco system globally and right here in Canada we have a right to discuss this for it is a serious issue. So we are not going bannanas but using our rational thought to discuss this (for some it is irrational thought and semi-literate missives in the comment section of this site).

          • Holly, cheers to you. Jon is not the swiftest when it comes to economics nor the environment. His contributions to this commentary site are ample evidence of that. Over and out from goldencoasts, a person who worked for a well respected international environmental group and with multi-national firms involved in international business development.

          • Alternative energy pollutes.   Solar and wind energy use copious amounts of rare earth metals.  Google rare earth mining and environmental damage.

            The radioactive lakes that are being created in China because of rare earth mining make oilsands tailing ponds look small.

            Sort of a bummer than rare earth minerals tend to be collocated in the earth with low-level radioactive rocks and minerals.

        • The global warming theory is not theory Jon and the scientists are not enviro nuts. Might I suggest you start looking at other sites, and do some research, for all you mostly do is make silly statments and rant and rave and accuse people of being socialists, when you show very little in the way of actual knowledge about the situation. You do make for interesting reading, for most of your comments show what a low level of intelligence you have.

          • Really! you just wasted a whole paragraph suggesting I do more research on something you haven’t offered any information about other than your assurance. Which is to say what most ‘enviro nuts’ have been doing. Oh and yes that is socialist. Taking grand ideals and shoving them down the throats of citizens without any realistic thought of how it can be done without sending us into bankruptcy.
            Chretien / Kyoto
            Mcguinty / have not province
            Obama / bankrupt solar factory
            The list is bigger but your not worth the effort

  8. Best article on gateway and the inersect between BC and federal poitics i’ve seen so far.

    Here’s another:http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/martin-lukacs/keystone-pipeline_b_1215693.html

    I’ve been thinking along some of these lines for some time…i demand credit for thinking some of this too Mr fancy pants newbie political editor! :)

    So Clark is attempting to head off a split on the right with Harpers aid – Where  are the federal libs in all this? Isn’t Clark’s hubby a big time liberal bigwig?
    Go NDP go! Even though i’m a lib i think it’s time for this tired and sleazy bunch of libs to go if all they can come up with is tack right. Besides imho Clark’s a clown.

    “There, too, the greatest impediment was Aboriginal rights.”

    Not quite. There modern Aboriginal rights and landclaims were born thanks largely to Mr justice Berger; whose enquiry played midwife to them. Yet another bone of contention for Trudeau haters to grind their teeth over perhaps.

    • I’m a liberal too and can’t swallow Clark’s love affair with harper’s castoff spin doctors, so will be supporting the ndp, provincially, first time ever.

    • ow I felt like I was Rick-rolled just then.

  9. If the First Nations being affected don’t want this  but the Chinese who have invested billions do who’s human rights is our prime minister supposed to protect?

    • Mr. Harper wants to continue to develop and foster greater trade relations with the world’s fastest growing economic power, China. He does not want Canada to put its eggs into one basket, that of the U.S., a country who receives 70% of all of our goods and services. Mr. Harper is an economist and from Alberta. He is not one of the Albertan’s who is overly concerned about enviromental issues, though the Govt. of Alberta does require the oil industry company’s to refurbish the oil sand land somewhat – it will never regain its original purity after oil extraction. The point is, why are nations (the U.S., China , Canada etc.) not changing its priorities and perspectives and purusue better transportation that is less polluting (mass transit, high speed trains rather than automobiles and airplanes) and continue to develop greener energy (solar, wind power, bio mass fuels) that would substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions that is VITAL to lower the rising gloal temperatures? Why , because it is simple, humans do not plan for long range changes, and are short sighted. And we do not individually want to make changes that might be uncomfortable and we do not have many political leaders who want to change the status quo. So, shrug, we continue along and  will let the children and grandchildren deal with the further devastions that global warming will continue to bring to us in Canada and around the world
      This is not myth, but reality, and the scientists and environmenatlists have been telling us so for the past 50 years.  At least the native Indians in B.C. who come from a heritage of living with the land, are the ones fighting the proposed pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat. And they are insulted by people who do not understand nor give a damn about the global and national implications of the oil industry, be it in the east or the west coast. Oh well, a lot of animals and birds over the centuries have died out and become extinct. So too will humans, and we are doing this to ourselves in the name of jobs, money and oil to run our motors, and engines and shrug…………………………………we all know that this is reality.

      • Well golden you have had your fun. Take the time to read some of your replies and you will start to see why the resistance to the religion of environmentalists is becoming quite persistent. When theory becomes fact without the science to back it up people start to question. Also the ‘your write and everyone else is an idiot’ material doesn’t help.  This idea that pro-oilers hate the environment is a bit much. No one is really pro oil, they are just realists. This idea that the world is being controlled by a bunch of old rich men sitting around thinking of ways to stop competing energies is getting a little tired. If there were sources of energy that could be created using cleaner methods it would be done. (most other countries have figured out that nuclear is the answer but unfortunately fear and human stupidity ie Japan has delayed that inevitability). Unfortunately most people like yourself still hold on to dreams of grandeur when it comes to alternate sources like windmills, solar, and bio mass fuels. Not to say this technology one day might work. Unfortunately in its current infancy the tech is too expensive and doesn’t produce enough power to compete with the old polluting methods. Not to mention the other environment problems associated with them like mining rare earths, and coal power electricity to charge those batteries. Just ask Ontario how their government sponsored green energy program is going. Or the Obama administration. Not so good. Why? If a real alternate source was discovered then free enterprise through private business would be all over bringing the product to market so they can replace the oil big wigs. Hasn’t happened yet and the idea that government can some how magically speed up that process is a pipe dream:) Just like the idea that governments can create jobs out of thin air. Canada is not even close to being a major contributor of greenhouse gases or pollution when comparing us on a world stage. Canadians are growing tired of being accused otherwise. If we don’t produce the oil someone else will. The idea of shipping our jobs, money and our ability to compete in the name of lord Suzuki doesn’t solve any issues. It just puts it in a different backyard and since we live on the same planet nothing changes. The oil in Alberta will be moved and it will be sold. I have stated before that I have my doubts about a pipeline through BC below. The debate should focus on the pipeline and if not through BC then where and how. Once again a realist point of view. Rather than promoting your fantasy of no oil and cave dwelling offer some real alternatives.

  10. Sorry, getting a little tired of financing the first nations and their lawyers only to have them block economic development – biting the hand that feeds them. Don’t give me this guff about years gone by, I’m a new Canadian and the reality is what happening today and they are free to live their lives, but I don’t have any past guilt to play on – so I’m tired of these subsidies, so time to join the 21st century and our multi-cultured society and stop making life difficult for everyone.

    • The First Nations are what the name says. New Canadians maybe don’t have the guilt but the Canadian government has commitments going back 300 years. These do not change with every new wave of ungrateful immigrates likes or not. It’s a Canadian fact . Don’t like it? Leave. 

      • I’m not new and I don’t feel guilty. No one should. Tribal hunters would have had to deal with someone. Germans, Russians, Chinese it doesn’t matter. A technologically superior nation would have landed in what is now Canada and wiped them out.  At least the British and French were somewhat civilized (barely). It could have just easily been the Spanish and just look at the native populations of South America. Unless they are isolated in the jungle or lucky to live in Bolivia they don’t exist. (a bit of a stereotype but makes the point). The point is its time to move forward. The world has changed and First Nations are not going to survive as a people living like tribal hunters in the 21st century. We are all Canadians and should be treated as such. Ironic that the First nation communities that embrace Canada and the free enterprise model are the most successful and wealthiest communities in the country. The ones that use guilt to preserve a dead way of life are still the poorest. 

  11. as we type now a days there is an oil PROBLEM somewhere.
    my wish is to find an oil slicked animal(which would be dead of suffocations from crude) and take it to stupid harper and ask him if it is REAL ENOUGH!!!!
    of course the animal i am hoping for is a dead bird or fish.
    of which first nations DO EAT and ask him how NORMAL that is……..and then go cook it up for HIM to eat!!!

  12. i AM a HAISLA and AM in the frontline if that crude oil is TOO wash up on MY BEACHES, how many of you WOULD stop youR life to clean up an oilspill IN OUR WATER’S???
    yes we ALL NEED A JOB- but at what COST?
    and WHEN it does wash up on OUR beaches not only will the first nations be the first to start getting sickLY but only then will MORE complaints come along on how much more of YOUR tax dollars are going onto OUR health………..!!!!!!!!
    NO THERE IS NO EASY WAY, EXCEPT to change GOVERNMENTS rules on TRADE AND WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OIL CLEAN UPS………..which by the way……….whenever the ships go over……… are IMMIGRANT RUN!!!
    so another one for HARPER to kiss ass too JUST SO WE CAN HAVE CHEAP ASS toys, cheap spices, CHEAP everything!!!
    which are NOT good or even great Products……… we ARE actually helping the chinese government MISTREAT their own KIND…….. and if they PAY their own kind poor then what makes us think they’ll treat us better?!?!?!?

  13. If British Columbians don’t feel good about Canadian petroleum products from sources outside British Columbia being transported across their province then let them get their petroleum products from offshore.  Then they will have to allow tankers into their ports.

  14.  What doesn’t Canada get ????
     It’s over now.
    America, had conquered the 2nd largest Oil Reserve’s in the world (called Iraq) -the 51st State, for only one reason.   -> O-I-L <-
     Even if we build that pipe to BC west coast. Now what ?, I mean who do we sell it too.?
    The Americans have already started building a much bigger Pipeline from Iraq, and soon will be able to sell it "cheaper" to China, India,… than we ever could !
     Within 10 years, that will put America right back on top of the Universe-economically, leaving Canada as nothing but yet another broken-down 3rd world country, with nuthin' to offer the World, except our own crippling debt, and yes, ALL of that, will be because of the Mulrooney's, Harper's that finally destroyed Canada.
     American Foreign Policy has only one objective, and that is as Trudeau once tried to "explain" to us dumb-assed Canadians'.
     "…dealing with the Americans', is like a minnow, trying to make a deal with a Shark"
     Get it ?!
     nope, obviously, we are gonna learn that lesson in the most self-destructive way, starting now.

    • Not even close. America imports its oil from the following in order:
      Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuala, Nigeria, Colombia, Algeria then Irag at 340 thousand barrels per year compared with 1,975,000 from Canada.
      In fact most of the oil contracts that were issued after the Iraq invasion went to China. If anything the US should be pissed that they invaded a country on China’s behalf. Oil is commodity that trades on a supply vs demand basis. We sell oil for the same price as everyone else. There will always be buyers until private industry finds a way to bring a new energy product to market that will be profitable. I will say your statement about Canada being a 3rd world country with nothing to offer and how we are ‘dumb $%#’ doesn’t surprise me. Debating left leaning idealists really brings out the best in human ignorance. Always feeling so ashamed and personal guilt for all the wrongs in the world.  How things could and should be better if ‘I’ was the ruler. 

      • Update your stats. The US is currently a net exporter of oil. The ultimate destination of Alberta bitumen if Keystone goes through is China.

        We are dupes of big oil and they will leave the cost of cleaning up their mess as a reminder.

  15. Speaking of foreign meddlers, who north of the border minded TransCanada jamming 1500 miles of Keystone XL across the United States?

    • Umm the United States. Simple economics. Buy oil from friendly neighbor. Pipe it down with  a fraction of the carbon footprint. Or continue the status quo of freighting oil across the ocean. No one protests ports with oil coming in everyday but announce an evil pipeline and the whole continent goes bananas. Its hypocrisy and it makes enviro movement look silly. 
      Just like promoting clean energy on the one hand and denouncing nuclear energy on the other. Wind, solar, or whatever dream/fantasy energy that is currently fashionable is just that.. for now.

  16. Someone should remind Super Mario there that probably everything he has on including the ink on his sign was all made in one way or another using petroleum products. 

  17. among all you learned people that find the statistics please tell me how many jobs would be lost if an oil tanker spilled it’s load on the coast..  (the supertankers will be carrying 6-7 times more crud then the exxon valdez.. the exxon valdez spill would have covered the BC coast from US border to US border including Haida Gwaii )
    how many businesses would have to close their doors? resorts, sports fishers, fish processing plants, tour guides
    commercial fisheries would close..  along with shell fish and all the other forms of sea life that are harvested annually, mainly for export.. the only upside would be the death of the farm fish industry..
    how many tourists travel to the coast annually? hiking, kayaking, fishing, boating
    how many cruise ships traverse the passages every summer?
    the pathetic few jobs the pipeline means for BC is a tiny drop compared to how many people make their living here.. the natural and pristine environment is what allows these jobs to exist..
    tourist bring dollars.. they mean income for restaurants, hotels, airlines…. it seems to be to be pretty near incalculable the losses that will occur..
    the big oil companies are not very good at cleaning up their messes either.. Prince William Sound is a disaster more then 20 yrs later.. the people that lost their livelihoods are still fighting for some justice..
    courts ruled that BP was off the hook for any damages incurred after the leak was plugged.. those damages will reach far into the future and the taxpayers will be stuck with the bills for a dying Gulf..
    Enbridge is a nightmare waiting to happen. they have a horrid record for leaks and an even worse one for trying to cover up their damages.

  18. A lot of talk about First Nations this First Nations that. Let’s not forget that roughly 80% of British Columbians oppose this project! The vast majority of the province INCLUDING the First Nations oppose this project. It won’t happen. Christie Clark is so transparent. She needs to grow a pair. Not holding an ‘opinion’ on the pipeline is convenient until after the next election. (seems like a familiar tactic south of the border) If she’s reelected she’ll support that project 100%. It’ll be political suicide. Canada’s ‘democracy’ is a joke. We elect leaders who do whatever they want with little to no accountability. I’m scared the Provincial NDP will ruin the province’s economy like they did decades ago…but they’re the only political group that will stand their ground against this project…

    • I completely agree with you Andrew…although the comment Clark made about foreign groups meddling in our politics kind of says it all..

  19. Central Canadian left wing environmentalist garbage head. Jump in the dumpster with Tom and Bob. Be gone boogers.

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