Read it, weep, then do something!

the regina mom thinks that Andrew Nikiforuk has summarized the Stephen Harper Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project bullshit quite beautifully, if anything about this shitstorm can be said to be beautiful, that is. Go. Read. Canadian Democracy: Death by Pipeline.

Have your emotional moment then message the PM, just a short message is fine, to let him know what you think.* the regina mom provides the PM’s contact info, for both his Ottawa and Calgary offices, below.

IN OTTAWA

Landmail:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Telephone:
613-992-4211

Fax:
613-941-6900

E-mail:
pm@pm.gc.ca

Twitter:
@pmharper

IN HIS CALGARY CONSTITUENCY OFFICE

Landmail:
1600 – 90th Avenue SW, Suite A-203
Calgary, Alberta
T2V 5A8

Telephone:
403-253-7990

Fax:
403-253-8203

*Note that trm does not believe that our messages will move Mr. Harper to stop the pipeline project. They will let him know that we’re still watching his every move.

Oh, Those ‘Radicals’!

Today the HarperCons stepped into the cesspool polluted waters tarsands issue to announce a water monitoring project which will take 3 years and $50 million to fully implement.  the regina mom agrees with Halifax NDP MP Megan Leslie; this is a PR stunt.  And, trm shares Edmonton MP Linda Duncan’s concerns that First Nations’ communities were not adequately consulted and that many more tarsands projects could be approved before this monitoring begins. trm considers this announcement to be a reflection of the great work the ecojustice community “radical groups” are doing to educate citizens on the issues.  Well done, radicals!

One radical, Andrew Nikiforuk, declared a political emergency regarding the tarsands years ago.  His latest piece at The Tyee cites a “detailed analysis” submitted to the National Energy Board by Robyn Allan who is the former president and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.  Ms Allan’s report “concludes that “Northern Gateway is neither needed nor is in the public interest.

“I assumed that it would be a wealth generating project,” the 56-year-old retired investment and financial affairs economist told the Tyee. “But when I started digging none of those assumptions held. The project is an inflationary price shock to the economy.”

Allan, once rated by the National Post as one of Canada’s top 200 CEOs, says she started to study the economic case for the project after a query by her son. That was when she discovered that Enbridge’s economic benefit models were based on “misleading information, faulty methodology, numerous errors and presentation bias.”

trm‘s readers can download Allan’s full report, “An Economic Assessment of Northern Gateway” at the Alberta Federation of Labour’s website. Note that, according to Nikiforuk, “Allan’s report supports the findings of Dave Hughes, a retired senior analyst with Natural Resources Canada. He described the pipeline as a risk to Canada’s economic and energy security” a report to which trm has previously linked.

Further commentary comes from the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada which also says that the Gateway pipeline is unsustainable, based on a report they commissioned from Informetrica Inc.

The brief points out that two major refinery closures in Ontario and Quebec have created even more of a dependency on foreign suppliers for refined petroleum products: gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil.

“Canadians should also be alarmed that, while Canada exports most of its bitumen to foreign sources, Atlantic Canada and Quebec import 90% of their oil, and Ontario imports 30%,” says Coles.

“Without access to the increased supply of Western Canadian crude, Eastern Canada has suffered a loss of refining capacity, a loss of jobs and gasoline supply problems. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers where thrown out of high-skill, well paying jobs and many additional direct and indirect jobs have been lost.

The primary CEP document is here.

Andrew Frank, the former ForestEthics employee fired for his whistleblowing and about whom trm has previously reported, now suggests a “middle way” to avoid the polarization the Gateway debate has created. Though his suggestions are valid, trm has concerns that they are premised on the continued operation of the tarsands.  trm does not necessarily agree that they must continue.  Still, she also wants to encourage dialogue among Canadians and so, presents his points in abbreviated form:

  1. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline should not be built.
  2. Regulation needs to catch up with production.
  3. Oil sands production should match a rate that climate change scientists say is safe.
  4. Slowdown production to extract the maximum value and develop a royalties system that will look after Canadians long after the oil sands are gone.

Related to the Frank matter was the Notice of Motion filed by Ecojustice on behalf of four so-called radical groups. If you recall, dear Reader, it was the prelude to the HarperCons’ knickers-in-a-knot InfoAlert last Friday. Earlier this week, Ecojustice reported that their motion was denied, but welcomed the “declaration of independence” from the Joint Review Panel. They go on to say that,

Given the impact the proposed pipeline would have on our country, Ecojustice and our clients believe it’s absolutely critical that this review process remain objective, representative of all interests and conducted with integrity and fairness. This isn’t just an ethical issue — it’s about the legal principles of due process.

In its response, the Panel is making a promise to all Canadians to evaluate the Northern Gateway project based on evidence provided by all sides of the issue. This includes evidence that the pipeline and the risk of an oil spill it brings could irreversibly damage our forests and coasts — and all the species that depend on them.

An oil spill wouldn’t just devastate the environment. Our coastal economies like fishing and ecotourism are at risk, too. Is that a fair trade-off for short-term jobs?

Furthermore, the devastation of that environment would also devastate First Nations who have lived on the coast for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Still, Enbridge says it has agreements with 20 First Nations communities.  But Enbridge has not produced names or evidence to that effect.  First Nations spokespeople suggest Enbridge is stretching the truth, or worse, lying.  They accuse Enbridge of a lack of due diligence.

The theme of lack of due diligence and/or misrepresentation by Enbridge recurs among members of northern First Nations when speaking about Enbridge. Members the Haisla, the Gitxsan, the Wet’suwet’en and the Haida gave no credence to Stanway’s claim that “more than 20 groups who in recent weeks have fully executed and endorsed equity participation agreements deals with Enbridge.”

As trm suggested earlier this week, Enbridge doesn’t necessarily tell the truth, but she’ll let you, dear Reader, be the judge.

Finally, an item for which trm is sure to be lambasted by a certain regular reader.  Amnesty International has released an Open Letter to the Prime Minister, calling on him “to take a strong stand for human rights in China” during his visit there.  As trm has stated numerous times over the years, Canada should not be trading with any nation whose human rights record is so very sketchy.  And, Canada should also be cleaning up in her own back yard!

PMO Hates Gays & Greens, Judges & Nurses, AKA “Foreign Radicals” (UPDATED)

(Scroll to bottom for UPDATE)

Wow! This media AlerteInfoAlert from the Prime Minister’s Office is a sight to behold, dear Reader.  Do take a moment to thank Kady O’Malley for postponing her book-reading and sleep in order to share it with us.  the regina mom is also foregoing some book-reading and sleep to write this.  As with her poetry, she’s going to take it line-by-line or at least stanza-by-stanza so it may take awhile to find appropriate links and all.  She hopes you’ll follow along, that you’re a brave enough soul to make it to the computer-eye-glazed end.

From: Alerte-Info-Alert
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 08:45 PM

At 8:45 PM on a Friday night, this goes out to the media.  That, in and of itself, is hilarious, is it not?  Can you spell, “desperate”?

To: Alerte-Info-Alert
Subject: Foreign radicals threaten further delays / Des groupes radicaux étrangers brandissent la menace de retards additionnels

Foreign radicals threaten further delays

“Foreign radicals”?  Hmm, those foreigners, maybe they have.  trm has threatened to delay the northern pipeline project.  She has publicly stated that the Northern Gateway Pipeline project will go ahead over her dead body.  And if the HarperCons want her dead body that badly, so be it.  But trm is filled with gratitude for these “foreign radicals” who are threatening to delay her death.  Not yet 50, trm is far too young to die.

So, what else does the PMO have to say about these foreign radicals?

Today, Ecojustice attacked the independence of the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel.  ForestEthics, Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation joined them in their attack on the Joint Review Panel.

*GASP* — a foreign attack on a Canadian Panel!  By four tree-hugging groups!  Call in the military!  Those plant-loving, ocean living, ethical conservationists, how dare they challenge our panel, eh?  Let’s have a look-see who they are, those radicals!

Ecojustice is a registered charitable organization in Canada.  And all such organizations are subject to laws which regulate all charitiestrm is certain we can trust that with the HarperCon law and order government, any organization undertaking illegal activity would meet the swift hand of justice.  One would expect Ecojustice to know that.  After all, they’ are  “lawyers and scientists.” Just because they “believe in leading the way to a sustainable future” by taking the “lead in four key areas:  clean water, natural spaces, healthy communities and climate protection” shouldn’t mean they don’t know how to follow the laws of the land.

OMG!  An American serves on the Board of Directors:  Judge William Alfred Newsom is a retired state appeals court judge, living in San Francisco, a city also on the western coast of the continent.  And, oh my, he administrates the Gordon P. Getty Family Trust.  But oh-oh!  His son, Gavin, is the former Mayor of San Francisco who granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples!  And now he’s the Lieutenant Governor of California, on record for his support of universal healthcare.  A radical almost as bad as Tommy Douglas!  No wonder the HarperCons a red alert about the organization his father is involved in!

Well, there.  One radical down.  Now to ForestEthics who just fired a whistleblower.  trm discussed that here, but oh dear, lookie here!  They have offices in San Francisco, CA, Vancouver, BC and Bellingham, WA, another Pacific Coast town.  These “foreign radicals” include Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner, Stuart Sender, as well as Kevin Johnson, the author of the successful book, The Power of Legacy and Planned Gifts: How Nonprofits and Donors Work Together to Change the World which sounds like it could be radical.  And there are a couple of entrepreneurs (one with an MBA from the Harvard School of Business), a nurse-entrepreneur and a Spiritual Director for a Buddhist meditation centre. Aha! trm has attended Buddhist meditations.  It is pretty radical to sit still for 45 minutes, that’s for sure! Two down.

Onward, then, to the Living Oceans Society, which claims it is “a leader in the effort to protect Canada’s Pacific coast” and focuses “exclusively on marine conservation.”  Sure enough, there are a couple of Americans on the Board and they employ a bunch of educated people.  A sure sign of trouble, isn’t it?  And OMFG, they have proposed an oil tanker prohibition area that extends from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert because “[h]istory has shown that oil spills come with oil tankers. It’s not a question of if a spill will happen, but when.”  [emphasis mine]  They also provide a detailed oil spill model (map) of what’s at stake in the area.  What a radical concept!  Radical, I tell you! Three radical groups down.

All right then, on to the last one, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, “a team of conservationists and scientists” who use “rigorous, peer-reviewed science and grassroots activism to further [their] conservation objectives.”  Oh, well, then we can be assured these folks are radicals!  Peer-reviewed science?  Real science?  And it’s mixed with activism?  Oy!  How radical can you get?!?  Four radical groups.  Wow!  It’s almost like they’re colluding or something.  All that science and smarts and creativity.  And a bunch of foreigners, to boot!  Oh, the PMO had to take action!

Let’s see what else is in this red alert.

Here are the facts:

The Northern Gateway is currently going through a careful and comprehensive review process to ensure the proposal is safe and environmentally sound.

A lot of people hope so, anyway.

Radical groups are trying to clog and hijack the process, rather than letting the panel do its job independently, expeditiously, and efficiently.

Hijacking?  Yup, that word again.  And, apparently, this hijacking is a fact.  A fact, unsubstantiated at present, but that doesn’t matter in the HarperCon world, so let’s just carry on.  The PMO has more to say, after all.  And I know you want to know, dear Reader.

Our government has asked that the review process be conducted efficiently and without excessive delays.  We believe reviews for major projects can be accomplished in a quicker and more streamlined fashion.

Yes, the HarperCon government has asked for efficiency and speed in the environmental review process, that’s a fact.  And it’s quite likely that they do believe the process could be streamlined, so that is also quite possibly a fact.  Again, unsubstantiated, but let’s give the poor PMO peeps a break and go forward.

We do not want projects that are safe, generate thousands of new jobs and open up new export markets to die in the approval phase due to unnecessary delays.

Our Government’s top priority remains the economy and creating jobs.

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

It may well again be a fact that the PMO wants that.  And who really cares about human rights in China when there’s money to be had a new market waiting.  We need dirty jobs just as much as the next guy.  Our oil’s ethical and clean, right?  And it’s safe, too.  That Obama down south there in the USA is just another eco-radical, anyway.  Didn’t you hear him bragging about his billions of dollars for green initiatives during his State of the Union address the other night?  So we’d best cut and run from that sure market, eh? And get back to red alertville.

We know that increasing trade will help ensure the financial security of Canadians and their families.

We want to take advantage of the booming Asia-Pacific economies that have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals and minerals.

Well, sure they are.  We’re resource-rich.  For now.  And the folks in the PMO probably think that their buddies we had better get as much profit as possible out of Canada’s resources before we have to change things. But never fear, our HarperCon government is already looking at ways to do stop the changes they don’t want.  Some are even talking out loud about it.

All this talk about a little pipeline project has really tuckered out trm.  It’s possible that some dear Readers have also tuckered out and drifted off trying to plough through all this boring material.  That’s sure to make the PMO people happy.

————

UPDATE:  Those four foreign radical organizations have issued a legal notice of motion calling on the Joint Review Panel to “affirm its impartiality in the face of government interference.” Go read.  Now!  With gratitude to Kady @ Inside Politics for keeping us informed.

UPDATE2:  Should have also included a link to the cover letter and and supporting documents these foreign radical groups based in Canada included with their Notice of Motion.

The SPP lacks democratic approval

Last summer, Linda McQuaig (Part I and Part II) spoke of the “sophistication” of the business elite in their soft-peddling of continental integration through the Security and Prosperity Agreement (SPP).  The deal has been kept quite quiet and the work of moving it forward is ongoing via various business leaders, politicians and bureaucrats.

McQuaig’s focus is North American Energy Security which, in essence, is an agreement that Canada guarantee an energy supply to the USA.  The catch is that we must do that before we take what we need!  Why would Canada agree to ensuring the US supply before ensuring our own?  As McQuaig says, there are about 10 years of regular oil supplies left in Canada.  Are we too nice, offering it to the US first?  Or, too stupid?  Yes, there’s the Alberta tar sands, but that über project has garnered a huge outcry from ecological organizations, northern peoples, environmentalists, and even a few politicians, such as former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed and the Mayor of the Alberta boomtown, Fort McMurray.

Are we, as Canadians, really prepared to give over our own energy security, the ecological integrity of our beautiful north and the well-being of our northern and First Peoples so that the business elite can continue to line their own pockets?  Do we really want to continue fueling the USA’s wars?  Furthermore, are we willing to let this carry on without the due process of our democratic institutions?

In August 2007, Prime Minister Harper refused to accept letters on this matter from 10,000 concerned Canadians.  In the April 2006 Throne Speech, Mr. Harper promised to present “significant international treaties” to a vote in Parliament.  In the last session, he did not do so.  Did he lie to Canadians?  And why, as we learned from US President Bush’s State of the Union Address earlier this week, is our Prime Minister is continuing to forge ahead with the SPP?  He has plans to meet with Presidents Bush and Calderon this April in New Orleans.  But he will do so without the consent of the Canadian people, despite promises — not to mention the obligation — to do so!

Should you so wish, you can tell the Prime Minister how you feel about this lack of democratic process.  The Council of Canadians have been following the developments on the SPP very closely.  It was the organization that forced some media attention onto the issue last summer.

If we truly treasure democracy then we are obliged, as responsible citizens, to speak out when it is being circumvented or abused.  This, I think, is one of those times.  If you do nothing else, at least inform yourself on this important issue.  It will change your life, one way or the other.

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