Joe Oliver vs. the radicals, or among them -

Joe Oliver vs. the radicals, or among them

Paul Wells on how this battle has been brewing for a while


The Natural Resources Department was always where you worked if you thought environmentalists were a bunch of kooks. In the late 1990s, when the world was young and Kyoto was fresh and new, Natural Resources used to leak like a firehose right into the notebook of a colleague of mine at the National Post. Herb Dhaliwal, then the minister in charge, made a great show of driving an SUV the size of a hockey rink.

But the leaks were always anonymous and Herb’s SUV was a bit of an inside joke. Times change, and now we have Joe Oliver, who’s written (well, whose signature appears under) an open letter as significant in the annals of Conservative government as the ones Stéphane Dion used to write for Jean Chrétien.

There’s nothing subtle about it.

There are two main points to Oliver’s letter. First, the diversifying-energy-export notion the Prime Minister was so big on in his year-end interviews.

Canada is on the edge of an historic choice: to diversify our energy markets away from our traditional trading partner in the United States or to continue with the status quo.

Virtually all our energy exports go to the US. As a country, we must seek new markets for our products and services and the booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals and minerals. For our government, the choice is clear: we need to diversify our markets in order to create jobs and economic growth for Canadians across this country. We must expand our trade with the fast growing Asian economies.

Remember that battle in the early years of this government over whether China should be embraced or shunned? Roughly, the fight between David Emerson and Jason Kenney? Over. Done. Kenney, who is not used to losing in today’s Ottawa, lost big.

But there’s more. I’ll highlight the most striking passages of what follows:

Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade. Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydro-electric dams.

These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. They use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest. They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources.

Finally, if all other avenues have failed, they will take a quintessential American approach: sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further. They do this because they know it can work. It works because it helps them to achieve their ultimate objective: delay a project to the point it becomes economically unviable.

This is just a hunch, but I suspect the next massive round of Conservative Party advertising won’t be aimed against an opposition party. This is the sound the Harper machine makes when it’s gearing up for a big fight.

This has been coming for a while. The 2010 Throne Speech promised to “untangle the daunting maze of regulations that needlessly complicates project approvals.” That year’s budget said: “Responsibility for conducting environmental assessments for energy projects will be delegated from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to the National Energy Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for projects falling under their respective areas of expertise.” The oil industry couldn’t have been happier. But until now there’s been no follow-up.

Note the change in tone employed, one measure of the distance between a minority and a majority government. In 2010, the Harper government was laying down markers deliberately, but not rushing, not kicking up a fuss. That’s changed.

Elizabeth May, the Green Party leader, really didn’t like Oliver’s letter. Oliver almost immediately moderated his tone in spoken remarks. No matter. This letter, certainly vetted by the PMO if it didn’t originate there, is the script for what comes next. It ends: “It is an urgent matter of Canada’s national interest.”


Joe Oliver vs. the radicals, or among them

  1. Oliver did say some environmental groups had legitimate positions to express but said repeating the same position over and over with form letters was not useful!   Having hundreds appear with the same message is deliberate interference, not legitimate input. Two years is long enough!!. 

    • Petitions have always been used – that’s what these are essentially.  Nobody expects everyone who wrote a letter to show up. Groups have to get standing. This is nonsense from Oliver.  When they want to shut down the the gun registry or the wheat board they love those letters.

    • Going by that logic, one vote is enough.

      Unfortunately, you can probably bet that the one they count will be Mr. Harper’s not yours.

  2. Maybe Canadians differ when it comes to what we think is in our interest.

    • Protecting the environment is a Canadian value. Destroying it is a Harper Conservative goal.

      • Protecting the economy is a Conservative value. Destroying it is a Liberal/Dipper goal.

        • Who blew the surplus and landed us in deficit again?

          • Chretien and Martin when they raided the EI fund of $54 Billion from 2001-2005, so as to fake surplus’

          • LOL in a world of accountants watching, there were ‘fake’ surpluses?

            Is there any fantasy you WON’T believe?

          • Yes, Liberal renewal

          • @7ce5c5acfbe2fe517a81117688c26659:disqus 

            The 21st century will be hard on you

          • The opposition parties if you will recall.

          • No dear…amazing you didn’t recognize your own Dear Leader signing all those giveaway celebrity cheques and boutique tax credits….and agreeing with Bush on a stimulus.

            For shame trying to blame that on others.

        • When you destroy the environment, you destroy the economy. Anti-science, anti-intelligence rightwingers haven’t figured that out yet. They are too busy stealing taxpayers’ money to buy attack ads and gazebos with. This is a fight the fools will lose.

          • Gosh, I feel so anti-intelligent.  Also anti-science.
            But I do write on behalf of the fool, so I guess I’d better gear up for this fight we’re apparently about to lose.

          • You might find this post in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy interesting. Prof. Williams mounts a defense of the argumentum ad Anslem against Gaunilo’s attempted refutation using the Lost Island. 


          • Thanks CS.  I’m pretty sure Anselm’s argument is wrong; Aquinas has a pretty conclusive rebuttal.  However I will look through the post you mention.

          • Well that is rather the point of my posting this link to you.  Most people (of the so very few that bother) hear, ontological argument?  (Head scratching) Didn’t Kant say something about that being wrong? (Thomist being rare these days).  But here is Prof. Williams providing a fresh take and possibly rescuing Anselm’s argument from centuries of neglect.  (Only to be promptly neglected again, alas).   It may fail for other reasons, but not upon Gaunilo’s. 

          • You got that all backwards. You will not have a pristine environment when the people are starving.  We have had enough of the idle rich and the lazy telling us we can not have good paying jobs because it may impact on their idleness. And the leftards are already loosing this fight.

          • Ahh so it’s either Alberta tar sands oil or starvation eh?

            Are you sure you’re on the right planet?

          • Who in their right mind would spend thousands for a few days of wild salmon fishing on the west coast?  I guess somebody would,  because the tax code allows for corps to right it off as an  expense.  Gotta watch those slick rich guys, they can be full of doo doo.

          • JanBC:

            “Who in their right mind would spend thousands for a few days of wild salmon fishing on the west coast?  I guess somebody would,  because the tax code allows for corps to right it off as an  expense.”

            Perhaps you’re one of the high priced foreign interlopers Oliver is warning against, given you are rather misinformed about the Canadian tax system, i.e.  unlike the US, we do not have a tax “code” in Canada and you can’t write off going to a fishing lodge as a business expense:


            BTW, having been wild salmon fishing on the west coast, I can say with confidence my ” carbon footprint” in flying out to BC and up to the lodge, in enjoying the wonderful amenities flown/barged in to said lodge and in put-putting around the ocean in a boat for a week was just a tad higher than it normally is.

        • Remember that while 80% of Canadians share a justified chuckle at this fellow’s expense, the other two/ten cut fearful cheques to Mr. Kenney and Mr. Harper, and 75 cents of every dollar of those cheques is paid for by you and me.

          • Cheque is in the mail, thanks G

          • Party above country forever and always, CPC supporters!

          • They do say   a sucker is born every minute. I just object to subsiding you.

        • That it’s a battle between the economy and the environment is definitely a Harper value.  He’s really got some sort of blind spot when he can’t see how the two go together.  Maybe he should stop hanging out witht the oil crowd.

      • Pathetic rubbish from you. 

        • You build gazebos, I take it?

          • Actually, I was commenting in response to Holly Shtick’s earlier post.

      • Since when is it a Canadian value? Oh maybe say in the last six years since the Conservatives were elected. When the Libs had three back to back majorities we hardly heard a peep about the environment. Year after year GHG’s increased but hardly a word for those that care about a “Canadian value”.

        • You’d have had to be both deaf and blind not to hear and see it all these years.

          Oh wait…..

        • Hardly a peep?  Where were you for the last 30 years?  As I recall, the Liberals signed Kyoto, put adds out with Rick Mercer telling everyone to conserve, and people voted David Suzuki as one of the greatest Canadians.  In truth, the Liberals did very little real action to address climate change, but they certainly paid lip service to the notion of being environmental.  And environmental activists castigated them for it – rightly so.  How is this hardly a peep?  The peeps just got louder once there was a government in that was actually outright hostile to environmental concerns.  When I was growing up in the 80s, everywhere one turned one of the big symbols of Canada was the notion of unspoiled wilderness – of a land less polluted and more environmentally conscious than the United States.  This image was, of course, in large part a myth, but the notion that Canadians value the environment has been around for quite a while.

          • Recycling alone is a testament to much Canadians care about the environment.

          • The rightwingers were too busy then wishing they were American Republicans. Bunch of losers now trying to pretend to be loyal Canadians.

          • Yes, when Holly and her Fellow Travellers take over the country, all conservatives will either be forcibly exiled to the United States, or sent to re-education gulags — albeit progressive ones.

        • Isn’t there a stat somewhere that says most Canadians don’t belong to a political party? 

          • Yes, and reading comment threads like this would explain why.

          • We can’t all be as high minded as you, Bean.

          • Best comment on this thread, hands down.

      • Pretty  hard to make the case for Harper at this point.

  3. It’s a fight Oliver doesn’t understand, and has already lost.

  4. Unlike Oliver’s letter, May’s letter was written by a grownup. 

    • May had somebody write her letter for her?

      • Harpo has over 1000 peeps in the PMO writing propaganda. You happy with that?

        • More taxpayers’ money wasted on partisan Conservative BS. 

  5. What I find most irritating about this conversation is that our ‘historic choice’ might already be made for us. By the time this freakin’ pipeline gains regulatory approval, and is then built, the world might have moved on to other sources of energy and we have pipeline to nowhere. 

    Bloomberg ~ Jan 9 2012: 

    New drilling techniques developed in the Barnett shale of north Texas have enabled companies to crack previously-impervious formations.Overseas explorers such as China Petrochemical Corp. and Total SA (FP) want to learn from U.S. partners so they can exploit vast shale resources in Europe and Asia, said Mark Hanson, an analyst at Morningstar LLC in Chicago.

    The U.S. holds an estimated 2,543 trillion cubic feet of gas, enough to meet domestic demand for more than a century at current rates of consumption, according to the Energy Department in Washington. Shale accounts for 862 trillion of that total, or 34 percent. In China, shale formations hold an estimated 1,275 trillion cubic feet of gas, 12 times as much as the nation’s so- called conventional fields.

    • In any scenario where shale oil is sold at a profit, tar sands oil is sold at a bigger profit.  Shale CAN’T replace tar sand if we export it, it can only be what people pay even more for as we use up the last bits.

      Now if it gets replaced by some currently unforeseeable new fuel with as much or less environmental impact as current oil, and can be harnessed for less $, then, well, hooray!

      • I don’t understand your point. What happens when America and China can produce their own gas cheaper than we can produce it for? And OPEC also has abundant oil easy to get out of ground – Canada might get squeezed out of markets for all we know. Other countries don’t have to buy just because we produce it. 

        TorStar ~ Alberta Firm Eyes Ont Shale Gas:

        “Tony Hayward, chief executive of British petroleum giant BP, recently called new techniques for shale-gas drilling a “complete game changer” that will likely transform North America’s energy outlook for the next 100 years. In an era of carbon pricing, shale gas will also be in hot demand – it emits half the greenhouse-gas emissions of coal when burned.”

        Financial Times Dec 2011

        The recent revelation that PetroChina successfully extracted natural gas from shale formations in China’s Sichuan Basin has confirmed the commercial viability of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, in the country. The news also confirmed the major export opportunity that has emerged for the growing number of American companies that produce the array of equipment, chemicals and technologies that will be needed to exploit China’s vast shale gas reserves. At an estimated 1,275 trillion cubic feet, these reserves comprise the world’s largest source.

        • The key point there “In an era of carbon pricing”.  If I thought they were paying attention, this would actually go some distance to explaining the CPC stance. They want to get as much of that oil out of there and gone before other countries start putting in meaningful carbon pricing.

          This makes it a lot harder for me, because the idea of the resource not losing value while it’s in the ground might quickly turn around.  At the same time, is gaining that profit (which, in a carbon restricted world we might not be able to gain at all with ready competitors such as shale gas available) worth the damage done over the long term?

          If I thought we would use the profit wisely — bolster our education system and public infrastructure, then perhaps.

          But as it is.. man..  I just don’t know.

    • The enviro radicals are already protesting the exploitaion of shale gas.

      Quebec and Ontario sit on vast amounts of shale gas.  But instead of exploiting it, they just cash that equalization cheque the West sends them from Oilsands revenue.

      • LOL  Ontario contributes 40% of this country’s GDP

        Alberta contributes 16%.

        • Yah, and the resource provinces still have to cut have-not Ontario a cheque

          • Not even you believe that nonsense. LOL

            Ontario kicks in over $20B.

            We give ourselves a rebate…you don’t come into it at all.

          • Ontario takes the handouts now. Started in 2009.

          • Ontario kicks in over $20B a year. We get a rebate, and are paying ourselves.

          • This is Emily doing her “obtuse” thing.

          • Or Orson Bean doing his Alberta fantasy thing.

        • Inane comment, OE1, given the population diff. Think before you post. 

          • The population difference is large… is the GDP contribution difference, and the oil doesn’t make up for it. Alberta itself has a deficit.

            So let’s have no more fantasies about how Alberta is single-handedly supporting the country.

      • Talking points received and now being distributed.  Gotta say they have a very efficient delivery system. Prepare to be bored to death.

      • I live in Ontario and we have middle class culture where we apparently don’t have to produce anything, money will just magically appear, and the plan is that we rely on useless windmills and solar panels for energy. Alberta firms are at least aware that technology is changing and plentiful gas might be available. 

        TorStar ~ Alberta Firm Eyes Ont Shale Gas:

        A junior oil and gas company from Alberta has been quietly scooping up land rights in southwestern Ontario, part of an audacious plan to bring Alberta-style exploration to the birthplace of Canada’s petroleum industry.Consider it a rebirth. Calgary-based Mooncor Oil & Gas Corp. wants to develop a resource in Ontario that has been largely overlooked by its rivals: shale gas.

        As the rest of the industry rushes to develop shale-gas projects in the prolific Marcellus shale deposits of the U.S. northeast and the Utica shales of Quebec, Mooncor is gaining a solid foothold in Ontario.

      • I hate to say it but Emily is actually right on this one. ON pays itself equalization. It contributes massively, the difference is now it gets some back – rather than all of it going to PQ, and the East, and formerly Man/Sask, now just Man.

        Alberta is not cutting a cheque to Ontario. If you think that, you don’t know how the equalization system works.

    • Uhm, you need to research the Rossi E-Cat.

  6. It was interesting listening to Oliver being interviewed by Carol Off this evening. He’s not really very good at thinking on his feet and he seemed uncomfortable when he wasn’t able to give his speech. 

    • ..and weren.t you just delighted.

      • I’d be happy if Harpo if we weren’t fed propaganda 24/7 from the PMO. Harpo is noy a leader. A leader knows how to delegate. I guess you don’t have any expectations from his team since the bar is set so low.

  7. Kind of reminds you of the good old days when if you “questioned” government policy in Afghanistan you obviously supported the Taliban.

  8. The bottom line here is: the Harper gov tries to ram this pipeline down the throats of BCers, if you try and figure out the likely calender, during the 2015 election year.  It will be an exciting year.

    In BC municipal politicians have already lost their jobs for not rejecting the pipeline.  The province will go APESHIT if this is approved. Expect blockades.  The CPoC has tried to portray the opposition as Indians and Hippies, but this is hardly the case.  Remember the HST; heed the words of Rafe Mair.

     And more generally, the more Harper pushes the more Calgary becomes the new Toronto, Alberta becomes Mordor, and the Blue Eyed Shieks ride again in their gold plated cowboy hats. 

    I welcome the reappearance of the CPoC PR thug machine now disguised as Ethical Oil.  You’re not dealing with wimps like the federal Liberal Party now.  You’re dealing with BCers and Greenpeace.  Come get some, girls.

    • The bottom line here is: the Harper gov tries to ram this pipeline down the throats of BCers”

      My province, BC, has the highest child poverty rate in Canada, a very right wing provincial government, is a Conservative stronghold electorally (and Reform stronghold before that), and has a fairly lousy economy.

      “Expect blockades.”

      Expect the Royal Canadian Army.

      ” Alberta becomes Mordor, and the Blue Eyed Shieks ride again in their gold plated cowboy hats. ”

      Can someone translate the above from Dungeons and Dragons to English so that I might offer a witty riposte?

      “You’re dealing with BCers”

      Who are generally right wing

      “and Greenpeace.”

      Ooh, scary.  I saw their thpokethman on TV yethterday, he talkth funny.

      I invite your to read the UN definition and CCoC definition of terrorism.  A blockade would certainly meet that definition – even the threat of violence to achieve political goals is considered terrorism – and the Royal Canadian Army will firmly assert Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada’s sovereignty over all of BC, with the vigorous backing the vast majority of BCers.

      • Oh goodneth, you dweams in technicolour!

      • There is no such thing as the ‘Royal Canadian’ Army, never was. RCAF, RCN, yes, but not the army. Certain regiments carry the Royal designation, but that’s it.

        • LOL and the Queen is also a greenie.

          Banacek is fantasizing. Harper isn’t about to send the Canadian Army into BC to force an oil pipeline.

      • Oh, wow, Banacek. I shiver in my boots. Not^

        • I’m getting my 1812

      •  Over 50% of a province voting NDP, Liberal or Green(all of whom have opposed lifting the tanker moratorium) somehow makes the province “generally right wing” and supportive of the pipeline.  Fascinating.

        But no argument the years of right-wing government have given us an embarrassing child poverty rate and a crap economy. 

        • There is no legitimate tanker traffic moritorium.

      • Ha – you might want to look up some legendary B.C. protests.

    • And Christy Clark has been so far relying on ‘the process’.  Gwyn Morgan helped her get to be leader so she’s in no position to be neutral at this point.  This is not going to be dull.

    • No sign of any fightback yet. What the Libs never learned is that you have to come back fast( within 12 hours) and hard or the attacks stick. 
      I’m not so sure the fragmented environmentalists are ready for an attack like this. They are used to offence not defence, and are usually portrayed as the good guys.
      Wait till the ads start! Are they ready with a counter campaign?  

  9. Why does it seem odd to the PMO that environmental organizations have so much money…could it be that people actually care about our environment and are not interested in profit at any cost? 

    • I think the point is that a lot of Americans seem to care about our environment.

  10. And I believe your hunch is correct, lot of buzz around here!

    • Buzz. Like in buzz saws?
      I’ve heard a rumour. There is a proposed contest this fall between Harper and Elizabeth May. Harper will be armed with a chain saw – May with a backpack full of seedlings, and a shovel. Harper gets a one day head start. Then May comes behind and reforests. If she catches up to Harper, she wins.

      An modern day industrial/environmental Tortoise and Hair (sic) fable.

  11. It used to be that the CPC were the party of little noise and incremental action (as in, over the last 5-8 years).  They certainly seem to be getting noisier, but I think I’ll await developments before deciding whether they’ve grown more active.

  12. Harper is living in a world that will soon come to an end. Read the comments below this story. You can read the story, too. Available this fall, if all goes as planned, at your local Home Depot and probably elsewhere and online, too. It’s time to believe in the Rossi E-Cat. And, No, it’s not a ‘scam,’ although I’ve no doubt Harper and Oliver would love you to think it is. We have a choice: clean, cheap, LENR or dirty oil and the tarsands. To quote Dear Leader in a related pipeline debate, “It’s a no-brainer.”

    • Okay. My first response to this was “Are you on drugs?”

      Then I started reading in a little deeper to the endorsements the thing is getting, etc. And now my response is, “Oh shit..”

      If this is true, life is about to become a whole lot worse for a whole bunch of people. We have absolutely *no* preparation for the type of change this thing could bring about.  If folks thought Alberta was bad during the NEP.. this’ll make that seem like ice cream and roses. And given that our export industry continues to drive the bulk of Canada’s current economic success…

      I’ve always been worried that Canada, and Alberta in particular has been way too lax on getting ourselves ready for after oil, but I took comfort in the fact that I didn’t see it actually happening within my life-time.  Ugh.

    • If you’re waiting for the E-Cat to change your world, you’re probably going to be waiting for a very long time.  

  13. Harper and the regressive Conservatives have gotten where they are by disenfranchising voters, turning people off of our system and alienating Canadian values. This makes people that hold such feel unpatriotic unless those values relate to our military, Tim Hortons or hockey. Those topics are the guise the party uses to not look like a puppet of big business. 

    Point: by radicalizing environmentalists and making at a “Canada VS Evil Foreign Environmentalist Billionaire Socialists” thing, the moderate environmentalists (read ‘average Canadian’) will side with Canada over the “sovereignty threatening foreign actors”. The manipulation is so obvious and yet it somehow goes nearly unnoticed and it works. 

    They’re all a bunch of Peter Kents! Steaming piles of Peter Kent!  

  14. If the Northern Gateway Pipeline transported, oh say water, were we be having this discussion?

    These enviro groups, Dippers and Liberals want to shut down the Oilsands,
    either by federal envrio policy or by ensuring there’s no buyers.

    If the industry can answer ALL of the enviro concerns of Canadians (not American jetsetting movie stars and envrio activist US billionaires),
    and can prove preparedness for ANY enviro issue that could come up,
    then the industry must be allowed to peacefully pursue the project.

    • Yes….we won’t be shipping water to China either.

      The US turned Alberta down….not the ‘Dippers and Libs’….and Alberta is landlocked.

      Your problem.

    • To answer your question: considering the number of projects to divert water southbound that have been proposed and received similar responses, yes.

    • If the Northern Gateway Pipeline transported water, a leak would do significantly less damage to the environment than oil would.  In terms of preparedness for enviro issues – does the industry have a crystal ball?  If not, then there is no way they can prepare for ANY enviro issue that could come up.

  15. FInally someone in government that tells it like it is. More  effort needs to be directed towards helping to create high paying resource industry jobs and less wasted on sucking up to the NIMBYs, NOPEs and BANANAs that are infesting B.C.

  16. Let’s get it on!

  17. Harper and co. seem concerned that the new enemies, the environmental groups, are funded from the U.S. and perhaps by corporate entities. I wonder how much the Conservatives get from “foreign sources whether private or corporate especially as most of the oil industry is foreign owned.

  18. Can anyone explain why Harper is tossing the ball to his Ministers with game-changing policies like this and the official government response to the Attawapiskat crisis?  Why wouldn’t he want to take credit for what everyone knows are his policies?

  19. Dear the Honourable Joe Oliver,
    Re: An open letter from the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources , on Canada’s commitment to diversify our energy markets and the need to further streamline the regulatory process in order to advance Canada’s national economic interest
    The major accomplishment of your letter is to draw us closer to a deeply divided and cynical Canada.  It is highly un-statesmanlike and innapropriate for a Minister to pre-determine the outcome of a public process. It is even more innapropriate to accomplish this task with unfounded statements that undermine the legitimate concerns of Canadians.
    I believe Canadians should be more (not less) involved in complex decisions that involve compromise in values between (short and long term) economic, social and environmental benefits. I believe that Canadians have a right to disagree with their government and each other. Canadians have a right to their opinions and a right to be heard.
    You are seriously at risk of “hijack (ing) our regulatory system to acheive (your) radical ideological agenda.”
    I sincerely urge you to resign.

  20. Good luck Hollywood socialists. Redford and Hannah won’t be able to pull off their stunts in Canada. Oliver is letting you know in advance. 

    Go home Yankee socialists.

  21. Dear Environmental Radicals,

    Alberta oil has been flowing from Edmonton to the BC Westcoast since 1966.  It’s called the Transmountain Pipeline.
    The owners, Kinder Morgan, are very soon going to expand their pipeline, using existing land they hold, to accommodate the transportation of 400,000bpd of Oilsands black gold for shipment to Asian markets.  
    Along the same route they now ship 4 tankers per month of Alberta oil, up the BC coastline, from Burnaby.

    Oh, and that tanker traffic moritorium thingy, there isn’t one. 
     Unless you call a BC Provincial ‘resolution to oppose’ a moritorium. 
    The only moritorium is a Federal moritorium on offshore drilling, with the Feds saying they have no plans to lift it.
     With the exception of the Straits of Georgia (well south of Kitimat) all of Canada (Federal jurisdication) owns the  Territorial Sea off British Columbia coastline.The Supreme Court of Canada said so, 1967.

    And don’t let those silly Opposition MPs fool yah, the NDP tried to get a PMB through Parliament prohibiting tanker traffic up the BC coast, confirming right in the bill (C502) these waters are federal jurisdiction. the bill only got as far as 1st reading.

    oil pipeline through beautiful BC. check
    oil tankers up the BC coastline. check
    So why the fuss?


    • Good job wilson, this is just the thing to win over B.C. support. 

      • BCers including Native groups, didn’t oppose the Liquified Natural Gas plant in Kitimat construction start up cleared for go in 2012,
         with nearly 470 klm of pipeline winding thru beautiful BC, transporting ‘shale gas’ from N BC and Alberta, for tanker shipment to Asia.

        Kinder Morgan fills oil tankers 4 X per month and ships Alberta crude up the beautiful BC coast, oil tankers have taken that route since 1966.

        So these professional enviro protestors are targeting their ‘cash cow’,
         the Alberta Oilsands.

        • “Kinder Morgan fills oil tankers 4 X per month and ships Alberta crude up the beautiful BC coast, oil tankers have taken that route since 1966”

          .As far as i’m aware the KM tankers do not go “up” the coast or through the inside passage [ wow Wilson’s facts are not quite on – Quelle surprise!] The most logical route would be straight out to sea through the strait of Juan de Fuca.
          There has been a federal/provincial ban on international tanker traffic since Trudeau introduced it – unfortunately it is not law, yet it is still observed.
          KM’s terminal in Howe sound has been the site of a t least one and may be more serious accidents and spills that polluted the immediate area.

          Your nuts. There are no plans to drill in the strait of Georgia, which is by the way not offshore, its adjacent to VI, which would have a collective bird if such a proposal was put forward

  22. I’d like to know who funded Harper in his bid to become head of the CPC? Steve has been mum on this. What’s he hiding?

    • I’m sure it was some combination of the Freemasons, the Bilderberg Group, and the alien lizard people who inhabit the bodies of our ruling class.  Be very afraid.  Stop Harper!

      • The rumours are true, then, you are an insider.

  23. In an ideal world, the role of the government would be that as a mediator between the various interest groups affected by a decision like this (corporations, residents living along the route, workers (in all of the pipeline, shipping, fisheries, and forest sectors), environmentalists, first nations groups and other landowners, etc).  The government should work to bring these groups together to discuss and manage the risks, to ensure that the pipeline company follows the least risky route and follows all best practices with regard to leak prevention and spill management.  They also should be leading the charge in ensuring that Douglas Channel is safely navigable and can hadle the large volume of tanker traffic that this pipeline will create. Of course, if the project can’t be done in a safe manner because the risks are just too high, it is the government’s role to recognize that limitation and kibosh the application (I’m not saying it is, but the government has to have the wherewithall to recognize the possibility).
    By siding with the pipeline company alone, this Conservative government sets itself (and Enbridge) on a very dangerous path.  Sending a signal that the government will only consider one side of a project (the corporate side) creates an environment where corporations planning projects could cut corners on environmental safety and worker safety, knowing that the government won’t listen to concerns from people representing those sectors.  It’s a very dangerous precedent.

    • Yes, it should be about the pipeline and shipping route, period.

      Government enviro assessments, with the full support of Kitimat residents and Native bands, have recently approved a pipeline and  the Liquified Natural Gas Plant at Kitimat, and tanker shipments to Asia.

      Those assessments would have included enviro impact on the land/rivers and assessing a shipping accident, with liquid NG flowing into the ocean.

      • Gas not heavy oil and toxic condensates. The Haisla already said they went for the cleaner option. Try to pay attention.

      • You obviously don’t understand the difference between LNG and heavy bitumen.  These are vastly different substances that produce vastly different effects if accidents occur.

  24. IN other news, Assad says Syria is being undermined by foreign plotters.  Hmmmm…

  25. ” undermine Canada’s national economic interest.”

    If Canada’s national economic interest is really what Oliver’s concerned about, why doesn’t he nationalize our oil industry (like filthy rich, non-crazy Norway, and 90% of the rest of countries with oil).  That single action would likely make us the wealthiest nation in the world within 20 years, if not fewer.  But no, we must protect the corporate profits. 

    And before people start calling me a Libtard, I’m apolitical – they are all the same.

    • Yeah, after all, that National Energy Program was a roaring success.

      And Chavez’s Venezuela is a rich, uber-democratice paradise!

      • Surely even you’re bright enough to recognize that the NEP didn’t actually nationalize anything.

        • Petro-Canada was made responsible for implementing much of the NEP.  Petro-Canada was largely created by the Trudeau government nationalizing, i.e., taking over, two prominent Canadian arms of two multinational oil companies:  Petrofina and Phillips Petroleum.  By most normal people’s definition, that was nationalization.  Thwim, that’s pretty weak on your part.

    • If the Supremes won’t let them create a national securities regulator, do you really think they would let them nationalize ANY natural resource?

      • The Supreme Court didn’t get in the way when the Trudeau government took over the Canadian arms of Petrofina and Phillips.

  26. Mulroney said it best — Steve just acts it out — (“dance with the one that brung ya”).  Reform was born partly on the outrage of the oil industry at interference from those Eastern environmentalists — now that they’re at the controls of the Con government it’s damn the environment — drill, baby drill!

  27. “This is just a hunch, but I suspect the next massive round of Conservative Party advertising won’t be aimed against an opposition party. This is the sound the Harper machine makes when it’s gearing up for a big fight.”
    Don’t you mean the next round of Harper Govt advertising?
    “Responsibility for conducting environmental assessments for energy projects will be delegated from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to the National Energy Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for projects falling under their respective areas of expertise.”
    Hmmmm, i wonder if the process will be qualitatively different under the NEB; or is that a silly question?

  28.  Maybe Canadians differ when it comes to what we think is in our interest. 

    •  Maybe Canadians differ when it comes to what we think is in our interest. 

      • I don’t get this – please explain…