No pipelines, no tankers, no problem 3

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More on Tom Sampson: longtime chairman of South Island Tribal Council,  founder of Salish Sea Council, longtime director of Georgia Strait Alliance, First Nations Summit: (page 9)

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Canada should rethink unproven, dangerous chemical ‘cleanup’ of marine oil spills

The Husky Energy oil spill in Newfoundland is a wake-up call for British Columbians as the National Energy Board conducts yet another review of the Trans Mountain expansion project.

The east coast spill brings into sharp focus significant questions regarding the limitations of oil spill cleanup and recovery. It’s also a reminder of the very real possibility that an oil spill in a marine environment off the coast would be treated with Corexit, a chemical dispersant that would make a real-time experiment of us all — humans and non-humans alike.

In June 2016 the federal government quietly approved the use of Corexit 9500, a substance which Trans Mountain indicated in their submission to the National Energy Board they would consider using in the event of a marine oil spill off the B.C. coast.

The intended purpose of dispersants like Corexit 9500 is to break up oil slicks on the water’s surface by increasing the rate at which oil droplets form and move into the water column.

Chemical dispersion does not reduce the amount of oil entering the marine environment; rather, it aims to change where the oil goes and how quickly it gets there.

The idea is to turn the oil into small droplets which are more easily degraded by naturally occurring microbes, but it turns out that this plan may backfire.

In research conducted following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Corexit was found not only to be toxic to naturally occurring microbes that can degrade oil, but to actually suppress their oil-degrading ability.

Efficacy of Corexit on diluted bitumen unproven

There are significant concerns about the use of Corexit on a spill of diluted bitumen (dilbit), a blend of bitumen and chemicals, which would be carried by the expanded Trans Mountain pipeline.

Corexit’s effectiveness in dispersing dilbit is unproven at best, and a growing body of research indicates that Corexit is toxic to fish, wildlife, and humans.

Past experience on the B.C. coast has taught us that the rough conditions commonly encountered can render traditional oil spill cleanup methods — booms and skimmers — not just ineffective, but unusable.

Further, in their application to the National Energy Board, Trans Mountain noted that diluted bitumen can submerge in the water column and sink, thereby “reducing the effectiveness of a conventional spill response.”.....


In the Blink of An Eye, a Hunt for Oil Threatens Pristeen Alaska

"Despite a domestic oil glut, the Trump Interior Dept is rushing through permits to allow destructive oil drilling in the Arctic refuge because the lobbyists and executives from the company that will most profit runs the Department. That's the Swamp."

Martin N.

Pondering wrote:

Martin N. wrote:
Well pondering, we shall let the future unfold. Woodfibre LNG just announced approval of its project by the Squamish nation, crude by rail is ramping up to considerably more volume, smaller producers are using truck/ rail combinations to access higher market prices in niche markets. Enbridge Line 3, KXL and Trans Mountain will all go ahead. You cant stop progress and you do not have the will of the majority to even try.

Even oil people know oil's future is limited which is why they are all trying to sell theirs as fast as possible. KXL may go through. As I have said before that is between Alberta and the US. So far, US courts are saying no. We can't win every battle so seems like the LNG thing is going forward. It is not as great a threat to the immediate environment so the opposition is not as strong.

The courts have stopped TM and cited the acknowledged risks to the ocean. Even if the courts eventually approve it there will still be a "how far will you go" showdown between the government and protesters.

As to the rail and trucks, you have a solution so use it and lay off with the histronics.  The log jam is neither new nor unpredictable. Does Alberta's oil industry not plan in advance?

The buying rail cars thing is just another bluff. Either that or it is sheer stupidity. If it were economically profitable the oil industry would have done it already.

Even oil companies want limits on production. In my opinion Alberta is mismanaging its oil industry due to free market ideology. A shame the free market ideology does not extend to pipelines. If you can't sell something it doesn't get built. Alberta has been unable to sell its pipelines.

In today's world progress is defined as moving away from fossil fuels. I am experiencing climate change. The predictions of more extreme weather are coming true. The economic costs are rising. Deaths from pollution as well as climate change are being registered. Concerns over plastic are ever rising.

The truth is green technologies from geo-thermal to solar to wind and even hydro are more than cost effective if you take into account the economic cost of the damage to human and planetary health.

I'm sure it was cheaper to toss garbage out the window than to collect it yet still we started collecting it because the cost to human health and the discomfort of living in it was greater.

People are placing a high value on protecting themselves and their children from pollutants. Sustainable living isn't a fad. It is the wave of the present as well as the future and you can't stop progress. 

Alberta is embarassing itself with the victim posturing. If Alberta does poorly enough it can become a have-not province and recieve funds from the federal government. That should alliviate some of the bitterness from the suffering Alberta is experiencing.

Oh my, the arrogance in your post is exceeded only by your ignorance of the oil economy and its importance to Canada as a whole.

One has to wonder about the good nature of Albertans when in the face of this second attempt to transfer western wealth to the east, Albertans are still not considering their options about leaving Canada. So far.


Martin N. wrote:
Oh my, the arrogance in your post is exceeded only by your ignorance of the oil economy and its importance to Canada as a whole. One has to wonder about the good nature of Albertans when in the face of this second attempt to transfer western wealth to the east, Albertans are still not considering their options about leaving Canada. So far.

If anyone here is arrogant it is you. Rejecting a pipeline is not a transfer of wealth. I absolutely respect the right of Alberta to separate if it so chooses. I would regret it but I won't sacrifice my own province. If Alberta gets XL you won't find many Canadians opposing it. We are not trying to hurt Alberta we are trying to protect ourselves.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Trudeau government's Trans Mountain purchase has triggered staggering interest expenses

The Trans Mountain oil pipeline is costing a Canadian Crown corporation some staggering interest expenses that cast doubt on strong revenues from the infrastructure touted in the federal government's recent economic update.

The interest expenses were $20 million over a single month in September, right after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government purchased the pipeline and related assets from Texas energy company Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.

As part of the purchase, the government also had to set aside an additional $500 million as a security deposit in case of environmental damage, and this appears to be part of the interest expenses.

If the interest expenses continue to pile up at that rate over the year, they will come to represent a larger sum than the amount of money that the government has said the pipeline is on track to raise this year primarily from toll charges.


Morneau economic update questioned

In light of the new figures from CDEV, Morneau’s fiscal update is misleading, argued economist Robyn Allan, a former chief executive officer of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

“This is designed to not address the issue, and suggests that there is no expectation that the interest charges in full or the principal repayment will be made,” said Allan. “Given what Canadians were told, anything short of full recovery on a commercial basis is a subsidy.”

Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, co-authored a report in June with Kathy Hipple, a financial analyst at the institute and corporate finance lecturer at Bard College, stating that the Canadian government was facing at least $11.6 billion in costs to complete the pipeline.

“This transaction and the cost of further planning and construction could add a $6.5 billion unplanned expenditure to Canada’s budget during FY 2019,” the report states, boosting Canada’s projected deficit by 36 per cent.

Sanzillo told National Observer that while it is not uncommon for a government economic development transaction to keep revenues, capital costs and operational expenses separate, the interest expenses and fiscal update numbers represent an incomplete picture.

“For a project of this size and importance,” said Sanzillo, “the executive has a responsibility to also produce an all-in-one, true and accurate inclusive project accounting that answers the question: 'How much is this costing the Canadian taxpayer?' These financial disclosures are partial, and absent a full accounting, are irrelevant. Because it is only a partial explanation, it says nothing about the financial viability of the project."

National Observer asked Morneau’s office why Trans Mountain appeared to be on track to incur more interest expenses than earnings, whether the minister knew about the interest expenses reported by CDEV at the time the fall fiscal update was presented, and if so, whether he deliberately withheld that information from the public.

“The interest payments are not considered as a loss to the government as they represent money flowing between Crown corporations,” said Jack Aubry, director of media relations and consultations for Finance Canada, who responded to the questions. The EBITDA figure cited in the fiscal update, he said, “is a better indicator of performance.”

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..trudeau doesn't answer the question.

Trudeau urges First Nation chief to respect Trans Mountain supporters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly warned a First Nations leader against disparaging communities that have agreed to allow the Trans Mountain pipeline across their land in exchange for economic benefits.

The remarkable exchange took place when Judy Wilson, who is chief of the Neskonlith Band and secretary treasurer of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, confronted Trudeau at a gathering of First Nations leaders in Ottawa.

Wilson has been outspoken in her opposition to the proposed Alberta-B.C. pipeline. She was the first to question Trudeau after he finished a speech in a packed room at the Westin hotel, where the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) was holding its 2018 special chiefs assembly.

During his remarks, Trudeau had stated his government’s commitment to introducing two pieces of federal legislation, on child welfare and on Indigenous languages, when Parliament returns from winter break. He also spoke about his vision of a “new relationship” with Indigenous peoples “guided by recognition of rights” and decolonization of laws.

Wilson praised that work, but then raised the issue of Trudeau’s 2017 speech to the United Nations — which AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde mentioned positively when he introduced Trudeau. Wilson contrasted the speech to his government’s actions on Trans Mountain.

“I applaud the work we’re doing on children and families, and languages,” Wilson said, “but, Prime Minister, when you’re talking about the United Nations, and you’re going to go along with self-determination and consent, why wasn’t that applied with the Trans Mountain pipeline that’s going through 413 kilometres of our territory?”

The crowd broke into applause as Wilson continued, appearing to question the signing of some impact benefit agreements (IBAs) in some communities along the pipeline route.

“There was no consent on that, and you can’t count a few IBAs that you’ve done with some of the communities as consent, because it’s the proper title-holders of those nations that hold the title, and it’s the bands that might have been under duress — or whatever reasons they did that — but it’s not a proper process at all.”

'We should respect people's choices': Trudeau

Standing on stage, Trudeau replied, “I appreciate those words very much, Judy, thank you.” Then he did something unusual: he questioned the questioner.

“I would be careful about minimizing or ascribing reasons for people who take positions that disagree with you,” he said to Wilson.

“I think there are lots of reasons, and I think we should respect people’s choices to support or not support different projects, and I don’t think we should be criticizing them, just because they disagree with you, Judy.”

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Pacific Northwest tribe enlists unusual allies in fight to save the Salish Sea from fossil fuel threats: museums

The fight to save the critically endangered orcas of the Salish Sea is the latest in a sequence of campaigns led by Northwest Tribes to protect natural and cultural heritage from fossil fuel and industrial threats, with great benefits resonating far beyond Native communities. These struggles have brought tribes together with unusual allies, including fishers, farmers, ranchers, faith-based communities, and most recently, natural history museums.

The Salish Sea–one of the world’s largest and biologically rich seas spanning the waters of northwest Washington and southwest British Columbia–is in the crosshairs of the fossil fuel industry, which wants to get coal, oil and gas from the interior of North America to markets in Asia as cheaply as possible. At least 20 proposed fossil fuel infrastructure projects have been soundly defeated by coalitions led by the region’s Native Nations in recent years.

Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights have played a central role in these victories, as have traditional art and storytelling. Since 2002, the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation in northwest Washington has transported hand-carved totem poles thousands of miles across North America to raise awareness, build alliances, and unite communities around issues of concern. For the last 6 years the annual “totem pole journeys” have dealt with the threats posed to water and wildlife from fossil fuels.

The latest totem, carved into the shape of a killer whale (or orca), will enter a museum for the first time this December when a new touring exhibition and corresponding multi-channel film debuts at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Created by Lummi Nation and The Natural History Museum (a pop-up museum that highlights the “socio-political forces that shape nature”), Whale People: Protectors of the Sea narrates the plight of the orcas from an Indigenous perspective.

For the Lummi, orcas are kin. Qw’e lh’ol mechen, the Lummi word for killer whale, translates to “our people that live under the sea.” The Salish Sea orcas are a sort of “miner’s canary” for the health of the sea and the wider ecosystem. Critically endangered, the threats they face range from climate change, starvation, toxic and sound pollution, oil pipelines and tanker traffic. The proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline, which would bring 800 new oil tankers annually to the Salish Sea, would mean game-over for the 74 remaining resident orcas.....

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Trudeau Called ‘Sexist’ by Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:

We are writing to convey our absolute condemnation of your condescending and sexist response to UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer Kukpi7 Judy Wilson yesterday afternoon during the Assembly of First Nations meeting in Ottawa, Ontario.

Following your speech to the Assembly, Kukpi7 Wilson questioned you on Canada’s decision to proceed with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) despite a lack of consent from all impacted communities. Her question was clear, simple and entirely respectful.

In stark contrast, your comments were patronizing and offensive, as well as threatening. You responded by using her first name, which was completely disrespectful and ignored protocol. You stated, “I would be careful about minimizing or ascribing reasons for people who take positions that disagree with you… I don’t think we should be criticizing them, just because they disagree with you, Judy.” You completely minimized the legitimate concerns that she was addressing around the lack of Indigenous consent and instead indicated that her concerns were personal in nature, an overtly sexist approach that attempted to normalize your dismissiveness.

In contrast, when you responded to Chief Lee Spahan’s comments on the flawed Trans Mountain consultation process, you apologized and said, “We didn’t do a good enough job.” You also chose to follow protocol with him, and concluded your response with “Thank you, Chief,” a title, you refused to recognize in your response to Kukpi7 Wilson.

Before colonization, Indigenous women in Canada were not thought of or treated as worth less than men. Sexual violence and harassment of Indigenous women was addressed through traditional laws and systems, and not accepted or expected at a societal level. Indigenous nations were forced to go through a cultural and family breakdown as a result of colonization, including a brutally repressive and genocidal system which created historical and ongoing trauma, with direct impacts to Indigenous women’s safety and value in society as communities struggled to survive. Today, Indigenous women still face barriers to having their voices heard, still must ask to be included in political discussions that they should be part of, and still must ask for apologies.

Prime Minister Trudeau, we understand you call yourself a feminist and that you claim to be committed to reconciliation, and we question how you could treat Kukpi7 Wilson in such a dismissive, disdainful and arrogant manner. Your response to her yesterday, from the highest elected office in the country, runs the risk of sending a message to Canadians that it’s OK to belittle, berate and lecture female Indigenous leaders. It sends a message that it’s OK to continue these attacks towards our Indigenous women whether it is in the boardroom, meetings or dealing with issues on the land, and it runs the grave risk of discouraging Indigenous women to stand up to defend themselves.

In the wake of your comments, many people have contacted Kukpi7 Wilson to offer their support including Senators, Chiefs, Advisors and Policy Staff, who witnessed in person or on-line, and who took offence to her treatment. We are grateful and inspired by this support.

If your standard for moving forward is the “least, worst way” as you stated yesterday, then we do not think that you have achieved even that in your treatment of Kukpi7 Wilson.

We demand a full and immediate apology.


kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

EDMONTON – In response to an industry-wide glut caused by an inability to get its oil to Pacific tankers, the Notley government has decreed that every Albertan travelling to the West Coast will be required to take at least one barrel of Western Canadian Select with them.

“Our current shipping capacity falls short by over a hundred thousand barrels a day,” Notley said in a press conference announcing the new legislation. “We’ve set the minimum at one but we know true Albertans will show their loyalty to the province and to the industry by taking five or hopefully ten barrels with them on their trip to visit Grandma in .”

Airports and airlines have stated that Albertans will be allowed to carry the required 158 litres of oil with them when they fly, but checked oil barrels will be subject to the standard luggage fees and for safety purposes carry-on must be portioned out into individual 100ml bottles.

“The industry asks so little of Albertans,” Notley says. “Having to lug around hundreds of pounds of toxic sludge is the least we as individuals can do for an industry that has given us so much.”

“Given us so much metaphorically speaking. Our royalty rate will remain competitively, or as some call it, criminally, low,” she added.

Other provinces have been inspired by Alberta’s new law, with turning its vacationers into international smugglers and Newfoundland requiring all citizens returning from trips to Europe to bring back one live .

See More: bitumen, Cod, fossil fuel, Maple Syrup, Quebec, Rachel Notley, Vancouver

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Press Conference: Trans Mountain NEB Flawed Process

LIVE from the Press Conference of the failures of the National Energy Board to assess Trans Mountain, featuring
Khelsilem, co-speaker of the Squamish Nation, Kukpi7 Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith, Grand Chief Serge "Otsi" Simon, Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, Chief Lee Spahan, Coldwater, Denise Cole, Labrador Land Protectors, and Andrea Batien, Indigenous Climate Action.

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Thousands take part in Montreal climate march opposing Trans Mountain pipeline

Thousands gathered at Place du Canada in downtown Montreal on Saturday to sound the alarm on climate change.

The event was scheduled to take place during COP24, the United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in Poland from Dec. 2 to Dec. 14, with similar marches being held around the world.

In Montreal, the rally attracted concerned citizens and Indigenous leaders from British Columbia and Quebec who are opposed to the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline.

“We are fighting for our lives against an oil pipeline project that would expand and go into our territory and be shipped off overseas,” said Khelsilem, a Squamish Nation councillor and spokesperson.


For Khelsilem, Saturday’s march was about building bridges and a better future.

“Participating today is really about building those linkages in our country with all the people, all Canadians, all people of the world who care about the future of our climate and standing together to make sure that we fight for the future that we want,” the councillor said.

Pointing to similar goals, Nathalie Roy, spokesperson for The Planet Goes to Parliament, said the citizen-led group was marching in solidarity with Indigenous leaders.

“One of our fundamental demands is that any new oil and gas plans be halted, that fossil fuels be left in the ground,” she said.


'I Am Not Mischief. I Am Secwepemc!' (and vid)

"Three Indigenous Land Defenders with the Tiny House Warriors were arrested today during a highly controversial meeting called by federally-appointed official Frank Iacobucci...The Land Defenders arrested were Mayuk Manuel, Snutetkwe Manuel and Isha Jules. Mayuk Manuel and Snutetkwe Manuel are daughters of the late Arthur Manuel, a renowned Secwepemc Indigenous leader on the world stage and a strong advocate for self determination.

The Tiny House Warriors are opposed to closed-door meetings by federal bands that turn away proper and rightful title holders. In the Secwepemc Nation, consent is exercised collectively. Federally recognized bands are part of the system enforced by the ongoing colonial administration and they do not hold title over the majority of our lands, which are unceded and not governed by treaties. We oppose the use of private security firms and the RCMP along with aggressive techniques such as those used during the arrest..."


No Secwepemc Consent (and vid)

"Words from my twin sister speaking on the #TMX pipeline and their fed appointed retired SCC justice [Iacobucci] hired to push through a fraudulent 'Phase III consultation' for TMX Pipeline. The feds also gave these same so-called 'Indigenous groups' $65 million as bribe money to sign deals with the pipeline company which is their own self - dirty government of Canada.

We don't give our consent."


More on Canada's go-to broker of sellouts:

"...The lead federal negotiator of the [T&R] settlement contract was Frank Iacobucci of the Torys Law Firm that specializes in serving blue chip corporate clients whose business interest is  diametrically opposed to the truth concerning the genocidally unconstitutional invasion of the Indian territories for commercial purposes.

Iacobucci was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy AG of Canada. In September 1988 he was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada on January 7, 1991. He joined the Torys Firm in 2004 after he had retired from the Supreme Court. In all those capacities he committed and is committing genocide willfully by blindsiding and suppressing constitutional and international law..."


Justin Trudeau's 'Meaningful Consultation with First Nations' via Frank Iacobucci. Who better?

Torys LLP

'The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, CC, QC, LLD'

Torys LLP Representative Work

"Royal Bank, as administrative agent and a 24-bank lending syndicate in the C $5.5 billion in senior secured credit facilities provided to Kinder Morgan Ltd in connection with the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system."

Conflict of Interest? There's no conflict. That IS the interest...

Start @ #114


Conflict Mars First Day of Trudeau Govt Consultation on Trans Mountain Pipeline (and vid)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new round of consultations with First Nation communities over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project got off to a rocky start Monday. Outside the hearing in Kamloops organized by Natural Resources Canada (NRC), three members of Tiny House Warriors - an Indigneous anti-pipeline group - were arrested after a noisy demonstration.

APTN News has confirmed Justice Frank Iacobucci chaired the meeting at Thompson Rivers University..."

For more on Iacobucci see upthread from #114 down.


Pipelines Will Not Solve the Big Problems With Alberta Oil

"Overlooked are the problems with bitumen itself..."