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Northern Gateway: Where Joe Oliver’s letter comes from


 

Here’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper in November at the Grey Cup game in Vancouver, making the arguments Joe Oliver made a few days ago in his now-famous letter.

Harper: “I think we’ll see significant American interests trying to line up against the Northern Gateway project, precisely because its not in the interests of the United States. Its in the interests of Canada….they’ll funnel money through environmental groups and others in order to try to slow it down but, as I say, we’ll make sure that the best interests of Canada are protected.”

I’m eager to credit the link above: it comes from B.C. blogger Vivian Krause, whose Fair Questions blog has become one-stop shopping for arguments to the effect that U.S. money is funding environmental campaigns in Canada. Krause has been getting a lot of coverage for her work.


 

Northern Gateway: Where Joe Oliver’s letter comes from

  1. I have thought many different things about Harper at various times, but looney was never one of them.  
    There is no doubt that international (US) environmental groups are going to oppose the pipeline.  Almost by definition, any committed environmentalist considers themselves a “global citizen” with accompanying civic responsibilities.

    However, Harper is proposing that these groups want the oil-sands oil to flow south.  Either he is flat-out lying for strategic reasons or he is nuts.  I think I will go with the former… less stress on my preconceptions.

    • Do Canadians wish to have their job-producing projects rejected because of the influence of American environmental groups ? —-No
      Do the American-based oil companies who will benefit from Alberta oil flowing to Texas-based refineries and American-based environmental groups who oppose anything to do with the oil sands have something in common in their distaste for the Northern gateway ?—Yes.Is it possible that environmental groups would accept a contribution from the public relations branch of an oil company ? —- Sure.Are Canadians going to question whether their PM is crazy or lying when they perceive Harper as the one who is protecting the Canadian economy and jobs by insisting on Canadian sovereignty as far as Canadian projects are concerned ?—I don`t think so.

      • You do know that several Foreign oil companies have people appearing before the panel?  And you do know that foreign oil companies are big players in the oil sands?
        Nah.  All you see is what you want to see. 

        • Harper says American environmental groups are willing to take money from anyone to finance their goal of stopping the Northern Gateway on the road to their ultimate goal of shutting down the oil sands.

          SS says Harper is lying.

          I posed rhetorical questions to him to show that Harper is on the right track with Canadians in demonstrating that it is possible that environmental groups are willing to accept whatever financing they can get on their way to shutting down the oil sands. Environmental groups do not care about the Canadian economy and our ability to sustain our health care,social programs, etc.. Harper does care. Harper will win the confidence of Canadians on this issue.

          I`m not sure what your 2 questions have to do with my reply.

          • ” Environmental groups do not care about the Canadian economy and our ability to sustain our health care,social programs, etc.. Harper does care”

            Ah, so it’s the old you care about the economy or you care about the environment again is it? Some of us can walk and chew gum at the same time. 

          • The environmental groups Harper is speaking about want to stop the Northern Gateway Pipeline on there way to shutting down the oil sands.

            How will these actions improve the Canadian economy ?
            Be specific in your answer—double spaced please.

          • First off not everyone wants to shut down the oilsands.

            Even those who do can usually be made to see that’s it’s entirely impracticable.

            I have friends and family working in the oil patch myself.

            Short answer – it wont improve the economy in the way you probably feel it has to be improved. Long answer – read Dot’s posts – he says it better then i do.

            We can manage and regulate the oil sands and have a value added economy that greatly benefits all Canadians; and if the fringe enviros can’t deal with that either – tough!

    • “However, Harper is proposing that these groups want the oil-sands oil to flow south. ”

      No, Harper is proposing that these groups don’t want the oil sands oil to flow anywhere.  He is right. I’m sure that, being enlightened and progressive and just way smarter than the rest of us, they consider the fact their opposition to the pipeline may be further enabled by funds contributed by US oil interests to fit in the category of “useful idiots”.

      • No. the real import of this if you read between the lines is that the US enviro orgs are the dupes of shadowy all powerful US business interests who want to block off access to the sea so they can suck up all that cheap oil outa our ground before them chinks do.
        The laughable irony of this chest”nut”is that it has been at various times the very same argument used by Canadian nationalist and fringe envros – but at least they had a sincere desire to save Canada for Canadians.
        One wonders just how US oil finds the time to manage this conspiracy what with them funding the GW deniers crusade and all?
        The flaw in your argument is that the investors in Fort Mac are as multicultral as our country these days – haven’t you heard, pax Americana is dead and we aint no banana republic.

        You guys are basically positing its a great big game – yankie gold diggers trying to queer the pitch of honest to goodness Alberta folk in close alliance with commie trading partners. I believe i can hear the tele printers in the US consulate [ e mail didn’t fit the narrative] from up here :

         ” Mr Prez we got us a full blown crisis. Harper’s gone native – i knew we shoulda backed that Iggy feller – he was one of  we[sic].

        • Please repost this when you’re off the meds.

          • Well i have had too little coffee today. You don’t like the folksy narrative style, or you can’t follow the bouncing ball. I’ll try and keep it simple for you – but you aint no fun.
            Don’t you find this whole debate asinine? It is Harper so we should remember, with him it’s all politics all the time.

    • Stewart, I think you are maybe reading too much into “its not in the interests of the United States”.

      GWoF is right. Environmentalists will oppose it because their interest (and they will rationalize their interest into a “national” interest because they are zealots who truly believe they are “saving the planet”) is in the Alberta oil sands being shut down because they are perceived to be dirty. No other reason.

      • In the blog, Krause explicitly draws upon the argument used in the US about the security of their oil supplies being a matter of national interest to suggest that the “foreign” funds are flowing from US to Canada are not motivated by environmental concerns.  I think it is clear that Harper is parroting that line of argument.  As proof, I would point out that Maclean’s own direct link to PMO talking points above is making the same case above.

        • It is basic ‘supply and demand’.  As Harper pointed out several times, having only one market holds you hostage to what they are willing to pay.  Oil sands products were getting over $15 per barrel less than world prices in December because there was an over supply, meanwhile Asia is willing to pay more if we can get it to them.  Just good business sense.

          • The over supply problem is likey due to the recession, no? What it has to do with a continentalist enviro/oil plot is beyond bizarre. Might make a good Bond movie though.
            I think Harper has panicked over the keystone set back and gone to war on the enviros – it’s a big mistake. Now he’s got the BC FN’s mad. I’m sure you know that’s a very bad idea. 

          • They are having a major oil shale boom in N. Dakota right now.  More pipelines are needed.

            Keystone was a ‘wake up call’ as even a year ago they never expected it to become political with the eviro radicals hijacking the issue.  Did you watch the couple of promos Robert Redford did?  Alberta oil sands will one day be the poster child for how to do it right.

            We now have Patrick Moore, one of the original Greenpeace founder on board with CAPP.

            “Moore said he’s visited the oil sands and toured the facilities, witnessing the process from the beginning to reclamation.

            Greenpeace, on the other hand, likes to show photos of the natural boreal forest and how it looks after construction of a facility begins.

            “But that is a temporary situation,” he said. “They put the sand back with almost all the oil removed, then re-contour the land with machines, with some companies working with Ducks Unlimited to re-vegetate it. It’s world-class reclamation work and it’s effective. Maybe we’ll even get timber off it one day.”

            http://www.northernsentinel.com/news/133829768.html

            It will be interesting how this goes with the FN – hope they learn from the Mackenzie Pipeline study.  The Dene FN chief who opposed it so much is now the most vocal supporter. 

          • Oh i’m afraid we are going to difffer on that one. Moore is almost universally despised among the envro movement as a sellout. He fought tooth and nail to undermine efforts to save old growth timber in BC.
             I’m not in any way an expert on the reclamation process but i’ve heard the figure is much closer to 1% reclaimed; and hoping to get timber off it one day hardly sounds like something to brag about to me.

            As for the MPL study, it’s simply the next generation saying a cautious yes after the previous generation said a loud no! There is no regret on the part of the Dene elders that i’m aware of. In fact the Berger inquiry is still revered up here[ i live in Dene country right now] as a model of just how to conduct a real JRP. 

        • Your Harper hatred is blinding you to the obvious and making you look foolish.  Big US Oil oppose the pipeline for certain reasons, enviro groups oppose the pipeline for completely different reasons.  The fact Big US Oil doesn’t have that great a public profile makes it highly likely they’ll be loathe to directly oppose it.  Being big and nasty and demonic and all that, it is therefore highly likely Big US Oil will figure out another way to oppose the pipeline like, for e.g. slipping a few bucks to groups also opposed to it.  Harper pointing this out does not mean he thinks these groups somehow transform upon getting the funds into shills for Big US Oil.

          • I don’t think my Harper hatred is particularly blinding.  (I have a lot of respect for his talents.)  That said, the man certainly can be an enigma.  

            I do think that Vivian Krause has worked very hard to find a direct link between Big US Oil and those donations and has not found one.  (Someone can correct me if I am wrong)

            So my suspicion is that many Americans feel the natural wonders of BC are worth their investment to preserve them.  I welcome that investment, just as I welcome their investment in Canadian companies and their investment in Canadian securities.

    • Canada has been providing the United States a $10 per barrel oil subsidy for most of this year, because of lack of pipeline capacity, because the realized price has been $5-20 per barrel less than the world price.  1.5 million barrels per day, this is $15 million dollars per day, or over a $5 billion dollar per year subsidy.

      The average royalty is roughly 20%.  So this represents a lost in revenue to the provinces of $1 billion dollars per year.  The remaining 80% would represent pure lost profits, taxed at 25%, which represent a further lost of $2 billion dollars per year in corporate taxes, approximately 1/3rd provincial, 2/3rds federal.

      That $1.5 billion dollars would mean the federal government would be able to cut only 2/3rds as much as it is planning to cut in federal spending.

    • Additionally, you don’t see these US environmental groups lying down on train tracks blocking the ever increasing amounts of US thermal coal being shipped to China and India, whose carbon emissions vastly exceed the projected worst case emissions of the oil sands industry.

  2. Harper’s attack was not accidental, nor was Joe Oliver’s letter.  There is, in fact, a good reason why our energy policy, our foreign policy, our environmental policies, our industrial policies, our tax policies etc. all now reflect the policies that Big Oil would demand of any government they owned.

    In fact, Liz May’s letter yesterday in response to the government’s attack on environmentalists is brilliant, and may be the first time any major political person in Canada has correctly noted that: “PMO is, in turn, hijacked
    by the foreign oil lobby. ”

    http://greenparty.ca/blogs/7/2012-01-09/open-letter-joe-oliver

    I believe that is absolutely true. Canadian politics makes sense now only if you start from the premise that the government of Canada has been seized by extreme right-wing U.S (mostly Texas-based) oil interests, who now run the federal government via their surrogates from Alberta.

    • Why would the American-based Big Oil companies encourage Canada to build a pipeline that would ship Alberta oil to the Far East instead of sending it to their Texas-based refineries ?

      I would say you became an Unenlightened Observer when you used the name Liz May and the word ” brilliant ”  in the same sentence.

      • Because those self-same American Big Oil firms own the rights to extract a great deal of the resource in question.  They make money whether it’s bought in US Dollars, Yuan, Euros, Yen, or any other currency.  Any pipeline that increases the rate of extraction (and sale) of bitumen is good for their bottom lines.

    • What leverage would US oil interests have on the government of Canada? In order to seize control it is necessary to have some form of leverage – usually in the form of lawyers, guns, or money.

      • I believe that they took over via the back door — Alberta — where they already owned most of what’s worth owning. One of the things they bought up early was the University of Calgary, which gave them not only the ideologues that invented Reform, the Alliance, and Western alienation, but it also gave them a young Stephen Harper.

        A bit of good luck in the form of Adscam then allowed them to start to take over the federal government by encouraging (justifiable) rage against the Liberals.  They then built on their Alberta base and moved their numbers to a mere 25 per cent of eligible voters, which given the laziness of Canadians elsewhere, and our FPTP electoral system, was all they needed.

        Now they run the country via Alberta and via what turned to be their greatest asset, Stephen Harper.

        If you doubt it, then cite  two or three actual FACTS that are inconsistent with the above explanation of what has happened to Canada in the last 10 years.

        • How does Trudeau and the role he played in “Western alienation” fit into your utterly fascinating narrative?

          • It was 15-20 years after the nightmare of Sharing Oil Revenues With Other Canadians passed that the oil industry began to take practical steps that lead to their eventual takeover the federal government.

            Old tyme Western right-wingers and separatists, of course, kept the flames burning over the horrors of possible revenue sharing with other Canadians for a long time. This was fine with the right-wing Texas oil magnates, who don’t much like sharing anything with anyone, but it just made the takeover easier. The NEP wasn’t itself the reason for the takeover.

          • I think you’re downplaying the role of the Illuminati and Free Masons.

          • One more thing—there has been no record of Harper liking cats before his brain was taken over by Big Oil, right.
            So now he likes cats and we all know cats make little kittens…… and you know the rest.I don`t think we`re being paranoid here at all.

    • I have an excellent hat to sell you.  110% pure tinfoil.

  3. Eric Reguly of the G&M has been writing for years (at least going back to 2006) that US interests consider the oil sands as their resource and would be opposed to shipping it elsewhere, so this is not new.

    Nor is it new that US and Canadian environmental groups combine resources and co-ordinate activities across North America, and internationally. The effort to save old growth forests in BC was based upon US and European campaigns.

    What is new is that Harper claims both are uniting forces, which is kooky.

    • A superpower? Try gas jockey

      ERIC REGULY
      Tuesday, November 14, 2006

      “…The Gateway pipeline is not to be condemned. It’s in Canada ‘s best interests to diversify its oil markets. Having a big foreign buyer besides the United States makes sense, even if the prospect of Canadian oil flowing offshore must make the Americans nervous; they don’t consider Alberta a “foreign” supplier. The problem is the endless promotion of the pump-and-dump culture.
       
      Canada could instead move up the value chain, and become a world-class upgrading and refining centre. It could create an entire industrial economy around the oil sands. Yet all the big recent business decisions are pushing the country in the opposite direction.”

      • “Canada could instead move up the value chain, and become a world-class upgrading and refining centre. It could create an entire industrial economy around the oil sands. Yet all the big recent business decisions are pushing the country in the opposite direction.”

        Where exactly would we put this “world-class upgrading and refining centre”?  And assuming it would need to be located in a “have not” region of the country to have a hope of garnering sufficient national political support to proceed, how would you get the bitumen to it?  And where are the assurances of the enviros and first nations and general NIMBY crackpots they’d stand down the opposition they’re mounting to Gateway if the pipeline went east or north instead of west and if the tankers navigated the northwest passage or north Atlantic, rather than the west coast?  And how much of a government subsidy will be acceptable when the international price of oil drops below the cost of producing a barrel of it at this “world class upgrading and refining centre”?

        • Read the economic studies prepared on behalf of the Northern Gateway Project (Volume 2); the economic analysis preapred on behalf of the AB gov’t and submitted to the NEB recently: and a study prepared out of Jack Mintz’s group at U of C as I have.

          Once you have an understanding of the fallacy of the business case for shipping bitumen out of Alberta (I think the economists refer to it as “a priori”) come back and we’ll chat.

          Oh yeah, also have a look at NWU Inc who are in the process of building an upgrader/refinery near Redwater to treat AB royalty bitumen. You see, the AB gov’t doesn’t own a Gulf Coast Refinery, so it can’t claim false economics. The last time I was to Redwater, it was still in AB.

          • Instead of trumpeting your vast knowledge derived from reading studies, why don’t you answer the questions – they were not intended to be rhetorical.

            And while you’re at it, please elaborate on the “fallacy” of the business case for selling a commodity for the highest profit margin the current market will provide.

            As for the RedWater upgrader, it represents the sort of radical government intervention into the free market that may well finally end the Tory dynasty out here.

          • The NEB hearings will eventually make it to wherever you are located. Attend them. Maybe you’ll learn something there on this topic.

          • Still don’t wanna answer, eh?

          • OK. I’ll use language that you would understand.

            Suppose I’m a turnip farmer located in SW Ontario. And I sell my produce locally, and ship to markets in Toronto . I get $1 /lb of turnips.

            Now, I hear of the proposal for fast tracking a new bridge to the US that will allow my turnips to reach Chicago, and I will get $1.10 per pound. So, it’s definitely economically in my favour to have the bridge built. I get $0.10 per pound times the number of pounds produced per yr. A windfall. Everyone around me jumps on board. We all want to be turnip farmers.

            But, what about the other options? What if instead a V8 factory opens and I can convert my turnips into juice that sells for $5/lb. Or instead plant corn?

            That’s the problem. The other options aren’t considered in the economics for NGP. They accept as a given that almost all growth in production will be bitumen, and do not investigate the economics of other options (which includes upgrading bitumen in Canada – the costs/benefits – which I would describe as a base case).

            Economists call this a priori. Hence the fallacy.

          • “But, what about the other options? What if instead a V8 factory opens and I can convert my turnips into juice that sells for $5/lb.”

            Will this V8 factory open like magic?  Or do you see it as something the government should build instead of the bridge.  If so, pardon me if I view the raging economic success that was the USSR as a sufficiently cautionary tale.

             “Or instead plant corn?”

            Surely whether you plant corn depends on whether it’s going for more than a $1.10/lbs across the river. 

            “The other options aren’t considered in the economics for NGP. They accept as a given that almost all growth in production will be bitumen, and do not investigate the economics of other options (which includes upgrading bitumen in Canada – the costs/benefits – which I would describe as a base case). 

            Economists call this a priori. Hence the fallacy.”

            You appear to have a problem with the “market” being the thing to “…investigate the economics of other options”.  If a better return on investment would occur by building upgrading infrastructure, rather than simply selling the raw commodity, you wouldn’t be able to walk around the block without seeing a bitumen upgrader.  Instead, the AB govt. has to virtually extort companies into building even modest ones.

          • Dot, you do realize that before that V8 factory was built there would have to many years of feasibility studies, not to mention the required environmental hearings in one of the strictest environmental countries in the world.  The V8 folks may just think it makes more economic sense to truck those turnips down to Guatemala to their existing turnip factory.

            Besides, who are you gonna get to drink this turnip juice.

          • Any issues that either of you raise would come out in a proper economic analysis of the basecase- which includes time/markets/costs etc. You are assuming they are not an option – which is what the studies I noted above did.

            Then the economic benefits of a proposed pipeline and shipping diluted bitumen to China and importing condensate can be properly evaluated RELATIVELY as either a positive or negative, notwithstanding other issues (environment, security of supply, etc.)

          • The simple fact is that oil refineries  are not being built in Canada because of our stringent environmental laws, it is just not cost-effective for the large oil companies to even try .

            The only way the oil sands can be turned into dollars is to ship the raw product to existing refineries in Texas or to send it to China where there is no Ministry of the Environment.

            If Liz May has proposed that Alberta oil be shipped to eastern Canada then I will need to see her complete cost and environmental analysis.

          • Don’t confuse refineries with upgraders. The former is magnitudes more expensive and complex than the latter.

          •  Calvin,
            I would encourage you to submit your assertion that the  pipeline is being built to ship bitumen offshore for processing to avoid environment protection regulation.
            Make your voice heard.

          • Well Lenny, since you are a self-professed NIMBY, you should know that there has not been an oil refinery built in the U.S. in the last 29 years and it is expected China will build 30 in the next 10 years.

            Now, you can hide yourself in the pristine environment of Canada`s west coast, and think that trying to stop a pipeline will somehow save your little world or you can face reality that China will do as it pleases in China, with little or no care for anyone`s environment. 

            By the way how would Lenny feel about placing one of those new refineries in Kitimat–you know after it went through the envir. asses. etc. It would provide high paying jobs there, processing our natural resources here, Liz may would like that—-oh crap—I forgot the nimby thingy.

          •  Like I said, don’t be shy, share you thoughts with the panel.
            Are you one of those fellows that insists your neighbours cuts down trees so that you can have a view, and calls the authorities if they don’t cut their lawn short enough?
            As far as building a refinery in Kitimat, I don’t know why it  wouldn’t be built at the source.   And they  love that kind of thing in Alturda.  Thankfully prevailing winds blow from the West so we never get those smells from the East.

          • Hey Lenny, next time you`re over in Alberta try out that Alturda crack on some of the locals.

          • What’s the difference to the enviro radicals ,
            ‘tarsands bitumen vs refined tarsands bitument?
            Nothing.

            The ‘tarsands’ is the cash cow for enviro groups,
            and the Oppositions enviro platform.

          • ‘tarsands bitumen vs refined tarsands bitument?

            The latter is referred to as synthetic crude oil (SCO). The difference? About $30/barrel, forecast.

            Also, if you don’t ship “thinned” bitumen, you don’t need to import huge volumes of condensate from the Pacific Rim that is used to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen. Thereby making Canada MORE reliant on foreign countries.

            Also, meaning as much as 50% less tranker traffic (higher volume going out, condensate coming in), elimination of a condensate pipeline and a whole sh*tload of storage tanks. Yeah, these are environmental issues, for sure.

          • Dot, what is the difference to the enviro radicals?
            they will protest ANY pipeline carrying ‘tarsands bitument’ in any form.

            Let’s not pretend otherwise.

          • Well, I don’t think the pejorative “radical” need apply. Sure, there are some. Wiebo Ludwig who likes to terrorize would be one example. But, that’s not who we’re talking about concerning these hearings.

            Yes, tarsands/oilsands expansion will draw opposition – but I think if you look closer, they realize it can’t be shut down. So, developing it more responsibly instead of full out (that this proposal exemplifies) would be the preferred approach by many, not just these groups.

            Elizabeth May supports Canada’s energy independence, which would indeed include shipping oilsands production east instead of south or west.

        • Nice straw man but I would really like to see you make the case for the pipeline and the tanker traffic to support it.  You know, with facts and figures rather than childish taunts.

          • It it’s a straw man, it’s Dot’s not mine.  The case for the pipeline is there is a big enough market for bitumen, which we have an abundance of, to warrant spending 4.5 billion dollars building it to get the bitumen there.  Anything else?

    • I would normally agree with this post.  Krause’s data supports the fact there are multi-million dollar foundations involved, however (even if folks quibble over whether they are involved a little or a lot).  Makes me willing to give Harper the benefit of the doubt, if only a little.

      • The issue is whether US based environmental groups get money to oppose Northern Gateway because Gulf Coast Refineries want the bitumen to go to them, rather than China.

        Not plausible. The environmental NGOs would never accept those funds. And some O&G heavyweights are registered as intervenors already. They can make their own case more effectively.

        • “The environmental NGOs would never accept those funds.”

          I thought I just saw a turnip truck!

          • I hope it didn’t run you over after you fell off. Still, don’t wash off the tire marks across your forehead. Could be valuable as evidence.

          • “Yes, tarsands/oilsands expansion will draw opposition – but I think if you look closer, they realize it can’t be shut down. So, developing it more responsibly instead of full out (that this proposal exemplifies) would be the preferred approach by many, not just these groups.”

            Keep at it Dot. Eventually they’ll get it.

  4. From the excerpt above and from the complete exchange in the link, it sure seems that Harper was commenting on American national interests rather than just environmental groups. It’s difficult to interpret “interests of the United States” to mean interests of U.S. based environmental groups.

    It strikes me that Harper was suggesting he expects U.S. government interests to attempt to stop Gateway.

    While it’s perfectly believable that the U.S. government may not like us facilitating China’s oil supply, that is a far different and much more alarming assertion than was made in Oliver’s letter.

  5. The big money in the past year has come from big oil with the near saturation pro tar sands feel good TV ad campaign with the happy natives, excited bird and squirrel watcher, and the “game 
    changer” female scientist out in some clay wasteland.  They were laughable and pathetic but I’m sure they were successful, with no response at all from environmentalists. 

  6. Hey look:  Even the US based World Wrestling Federation is getting involved!!!

    Upcoming discussion on G&M online:

    Radicals, Foreign Money, and Northen Gateway

    The WWF’s Gerald Butts and former TransCanada CEO Hal Kvisle take reader questions and discuss the pipeline battle Wednesday at noon

    • So I take it you favour selling it to someone other than those cursed Americans, who don’t even view Canadian oil as being a “foreign source”

      • Americans have coveted Canada since the beginning….they are the only country that’s ever invaded us….5X in all.

        However there are two ways to conquer a country….militarily….and economically..

        They’ve been trying to do the second one, ever since they gave up on the first one.

        I’ve always said we should trade with every other country possible, because it’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket.

        So I think we should trade everything….including oil….with everyone. 

        Safer for Canada that way.

  7. “From time to time the Sierra Club takes money from U.S. foundations; the critical issue is do these guys come knocking on the door and telling us what to say?” No, he said. “We make up our minds and we go looking for money. It’s not the other way around.”
     
    What a crappy bit of yellow journalism by FP – they don’t write that Krause’s claims are alleged, unproven research on her part but imply they are factual.
     
    I think the quote says it all. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that “facts” are being stretched on all sides, the emotional stakes are high, as are the real ones.
    Krause for instance has no background in marine science yet apparently one side implicitly believes her while rejecting the work of Alex Morton [ re, sea lice artlcle] who lives in the Broughtons [ my habitual summer sailing hangout] and while an amateur of sorts herself is immeasurably more qualified to hold partisan opnions on sea lice – yet her work is dismissed out of hand by no nothings like Krause; who is essentially that most dangerous of modern day phenomena, a commited amateur with an agenda. Really, why would responsible govt officials take her conspiracy theories at face value, leave alone a PM – are they checking her facts and methods? We’ve all seen this crap before over the CC wars – half informed opinion fighting with one hand on the bible and the other on amouse with imperfect empirical science. A generation ago people like Krause would have been ignored as bizarre cranks – not now – apparently our PM is a fan.
    Not to say there aren’t powerful interests in the US who would love to have things go all their way – sorta like the oil industry there and here.
    On apersonal note i know one or two pretty prominent environmentalists who were instrumental in drawing attention to the Great Bear rainforest and in working with FNs and govt to bring about its current semi protected status. As Bennet says it is routine to apply all over the shop for funding, even to the Federal govt who came in with the province and these evil foreign socialists in establishing the final agreement.
    I never thought i’d live to see the day when a majority Canadian govt descended to taking the word of a rank amateur in formulating policy toward our relations toward the US. If these foundations should ever seriously push back we’d look like a bunch of amateur wankers.
     
    If you should be following the Krause side of the story and the fish farm angle comes up i would recommend you give Alexandria Morton a buzz Paul, although you’ll have far more fun talikng to an old tyme logger/fisherman turned enviro activist/fish farm hater who lives nearby ; he’s one of her mentors, a local patriarch and a wonderful source of dirt on the fish farming business and their buds in the provincial govt – i can get you his name and contact info if you should need it.
     
    Follow the Krause lead PW, unless you happen to find out she’s right – better get witness protection in that event.

    • JMHO but from reading Krause’s website yesterday she is more about identifying where the money is originating from.  She does not say she is pro-fish farm.  I support Morton and have spoken to her several times and I don’t support fish farming as is because the same companies are operating here in B.C. that destroyed the Norway and Chile fishing grounds.

      • I don’t know if Krause is pro fish farm or not but she sure tries hard to push their agenda. Lots of people question her numbers also.
        She doesn’t mention in her article that there is an official body – the pacific salmon something or other, i’ll try to look it up when i have the time – that has independently come down on the sea lice is linked to fish farming debate. So i’m with you there.
        You met Morton. Did you meet Billy Proctor – you’d never forget him if you did. He’s wriiten a couple of great books on the coast too.
        Ignoring the Norway precedent when fish farms in BC are pretty well locked up by Norwegian companies is borderline criminal.

        • Krause was employed by the fish farming industry in the past; she says so on her blog. 

    • The Herald article is interesting.  I haven’t heard a convincing refutation of what the Herald dug up.  It does make those enviro organizations look slimy.

      • The only thing that looks slimy to me is the Calgary Herald. Let me summarize:

        “Gudic’s daughter, Flavia, also has never heard of the pipeline, that,
        if approved, would ship raw Alberta bitumen to Kitimat, B.C., to be
        sent to Asia via supertankers.

        “Maybe the environmental organizations we donate to signed us up,” offered Flavia, a 19-year-old art student.

        “We donate to Greenpeace and PETA,” she said. “We care about the environment and animals, so that’s what I think happened.””

        …followed by denials by the environmental organizations that they would ever put donors’ names on the list.


        “In his letter, Oliver charged that environmentalists “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.”

        It appears, that as intemperate as his prose may be, Oliver is bang on.”

        (Seems a bit of leap, considering there’s no evidence whatsoever, and the key parties issues flat denials)

        “Unfortunately, after just one day of searching, finding two people who
        were signed up against their knowledge indicates that at least some
        people are not interested in acting ethically or hearing the science and
        the facts. They simply want to mess with the process and throw a wrench
        into the gears.”

        That’s one heck of a conclusion based on nothing but speculation. I suppose “at least some people” could include Conservatives who are transparently trying to undermine these proceedings before they even begin.

        • I wonder how Corbella found those individuals in the first place. It sounds so much like something the lying cheating Conservatives would do. 

          Remember Kory Teneycke, who showed his knowledge too soon of those fake signatures on the Avaaz petition against special treatment for Sun TV? The only possibilities then appeared to be either that he knew who faked them, or that he faked them himself.

  8. Here is what the Brits are saying – read the comments – I’m lovin it!!!

           “O Canada our only hope”

    And the truth is that right now, of all the great Western nations Canada is probably the only one left still standing up for the values that made the West great. What better evidence of this could there be than the glorious news that Stephen Harper’s Conservative administration has declared war on the anti-growth, anti-energy, hair-shirt eco-loons who are trying to destroy the Canadian economy?

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100128854/o-canada-our-only-hope/

    • Ah, no, that’s what one Brit columnist from the loony Telegraph is saying.  Your comment fails.

    • You have to humour the Torygraph; it never quite got over Queen Victoria’s demise. :)

  9. I don’t know if Krause is pro fish farm or not but she sure tries hard to push their agenda. Lots of people question her numbers also.
    She doesn’t mention in her article that there is an official body – the pacific salmon something or other, i’ll try to look it up when i have the time – that has independently come down on the sea lice is linked to fish farming debate. So i’m with you there.
    You met Morton. Did you meet Billy Proctor – you’d never forget him if you did. He’s wriiten a couple of great books on the coast too.
    Ignoring the Norway precedent when fish farms in BC are pretty well locked up by Norwegian companies is borderline criminal.   
      

  10. I don’t know if Krause is pro fish farm or not but she sure tries hard to push their agenda. Lots of people question her numbers also.She doesn’t mention in her article that there is an official body – the pacific salmon something or other, i’ll try to look it up when i have the time – that has independently come down on the sea lice is linked to fish farming debate. So i’m with you there.You met Morton. Did you meet Billy Proctor – you’d never forget him if you did. He’s wriiten a couple of great books on the coast too.Ignoring the Norway precedent when fish farms in BC are pretty well locked up by Norwegian companies is borderline criminal.

  11. You have to humour the Torygraph; it never quite got over Queen Victoria’s demise. :)

  12. Crap. It looks like disqus is on the blink. Sorry bout the guest double er triple postings macleans.

  13. Of course their is huge foreign money & interest  on both sides. I doubt that there are to many oil companies donating money to stop a pipeline through a very environmentally sensitive area though. If successful that would set way too much of a precedent when it came to their own companies. As Canadians we should maybe be a little more concerned about how $130 million from our Green Infrastructure Fund is going to subsidizing power to the Red Chris Mine in Northern BC which will be destroying a mountain that has the highest density of stone sheep in the world, and turning valleys & lakes in the Sacred Headwaters of BC into toxic tailings ponds……..All this against the wishes of the residents.

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