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Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Kitimat Rebellion

When historians assess the legacy of Stephen Harper fifty years from now, the many scandals of his corrupt regime will probably merit only a few paragraphs.But what they will say of him without a doubt, is that at a critical point in human history he failed his country and his planet.For at a time when scientists were warning that time was running out for climate change action. The disconnect couldn't be greater. Read more »

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Kitimat Says No To Northern Gateway

Polls are for dogs, but an honest to gawd plebiscite, where Big Oil outspent the local opposition a gazillion to one and still lost badly…now that’s scientific.  I suspect support levels are the same province-wide (60/40 against).  And I suspect somewhere in Ottawa, Harper and Co. are wondering whether they want Northern Gateway to be the key  issue in B.C. come the 2015 federal election.  

the reeves report: Reports question NEB’s approval process for Northern Gateway and Line 9 pipelines

Enbridge under fire as opponents of controversial pipeline projects worry the Canadian energy giant will be ill-prepared to handle potential ruptures throughout Southern Ontario and on B.C.’s rugged coast.

Opponents of Enbridge’s Line 9B pipeline in Southern Ontario are scrambling in the wake of its tentative approval earlier this month by the National Energy Board to highlight just how dangerous overhauling the 38-year-old, 639-kilometre pipeline could be for flora and fauna alike.

Approximately 100 protesters, First Nations members, students and concerned citizens gathered on the front lawn of Queen’s Park in Toronto the day after the NEB’s ruling (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: First Nations Man the Front Trench in Our Fight For Canada

We should all be immensely proud and grateful for the intervention of Canada’s First Nations in the fight to defend our country from environmental degradation, even catastrophe.  They’re leading our fight, make no mistake about that.  The rest of us are the supporting actors in this one but that doesn’t diminish the role we still have to play.

Canada’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs seems to have been transformed into something of an intelligence agency supporting government efforts opposed by First Nations.  This sort of perversion of government agencies is Harper’s stock in trade.  From The Guardian (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Cognitive Dissonance is a Lousy Political Platform, Even for the Liberals.

Cognitive dissonance occurs when an entity embraces two or more contradictory beliefs or values at the same time.  As social psychologist Leon Festinger showed, cognitive dissonance in an individual leads to psychological distress.  To cope, that individual or entity may simply block out information that contributes to the stress of dissonance.

Case in point.  Justin Trudeau is an avowed supporter of bitumen trafficking.  It would seem he draws the line of environmental consciousness somewhere between bitumen and asbestos even though high-carbon fossil fuels, not asbestos, could well destroy our civilization and ruin Canada for future generations.

(Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Proselytizing on Pipeline Politics

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline has received a big bolster of support by a US State Department report finding that the pipeline won’t create a significant increase in greenhouse gases, effectively ensuring that Barack Obama will OK the proposal. A huge amount of momentum in the environmental movement was tied up in this project and it should rightly be thought of as a significant loss in the fight. However, for a variety of reasons, pipelines are simply not the best elements of our society for the environmental movement to target and it is a mistake, I think, to have (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian:             The unholy trinity of the Alberta tarsands industry,…

The unholy trinity of the Alberta tarsands industry, the Conservative Party and the right-wing media has gone all-out in its attacks on Neil Young for his stance against their destructive policies and actions. One thing that these corporate wolves and subservient sheep overlook is that, of course, Neil Young is right.

The main arguments by the Conservative tarsands mob are that:

1) Young hasn’t lived in Canada for a long time, so he has no right to talk about anything that happens in Canada.

2) He’s a rich rock star, so he has no right to talk (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Northern Gateway Pipeline: Something I Didn’t Know

There is also an interesting wrinkle in the JRP’s [Joint Review Panel's] decision, specifically its inclusion of a “sunset clause.”And that states “the certificate [to proceed] will expire on 31 December 2016, unless construction of the pipeline or the Kitimat Terminal has commenced by that date.” For reasons mentioned above, that is very unlikely.

So would this mean back to square one for Enbridge if shovels aren’t in the ground by 2017?  Another…two…three…five years?

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Rude Welcome to British Columbia

Well after two weeks in virtual seclusion plotting his comeback, and hiding from the media, Stephen Harper finally stumbled out of his crypt. Jetted off to British Columbia.And got a warm B.C. welcome. Two climate change activists managed to sneak up behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday just as he was getting ready to start a question and answer session at the Vancouver Board of Trade.One of the activists, a male, stood behind Harper holding a sign that read "Climate justice now." The second activist, a female, held up a sign saying "The Conservatives (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Spy Watchdog and the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Well it seems that Stephen Harper is pulling out all the stops to try to crush all opposition to his Northern Gateway pipeline.By not only getting the National Energy Board to rubber-stamp his insane project.But also by getting Canada's top spy watchdog to lobby for the pipeline maniacs from Enbridge. Read more »

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Northern Gateway Scam

Well I see Stephen Harper got an early Christmas present, courtesy of the Big Oil gang at the National Energy Board. A polarizing debate over the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline heated up Thursday after an independent panel from the National Energy Board recommended the federal government approve the pipeline with conditions.Because he needed something to cheer him up eh? And now the scam is on, and the fix is in.Read more »

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Northern Gateway Set To Heat Up

The National Energy Board (NEB) report on the project is set to be released by month’s end.  All the media hoopla around the release will occur…wait for it…in Alberta, with B.C., the province through which most of the pipe-line will run, made a mere spectator.  Assuming the NEB gives its approval, and Harper’s cabinet signs off on the project, this issue will dominate B.C. politics up until the next federal election.  Former government chief of staff Norman Spector gives a hint of the gathering mood:

“There are a lot of people in Alberta who (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: Referendums on Pipelines?

The longstanding “will they or won’t they” dynamic existing between BC premier Christy Clark and Alberta premier Alison Redford took a turn for the depressing recently when they announced they had come to a framework agreement on pipelines. While short on specifics and not making any firm pledges, the deal appears intended to bring Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway project, which seeks to transport diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to BC’s North Coast for export, one step closer to fruition.

With Enbridge and its prospective pipeline gaining momentum, opposition to the plan is not far behind, and proposals abound (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Andrew Leach Lays Out The Odds

“We see Northern Gateway as the most vulnerable,” Samir Kayande, vice-president at ITG Investments, said during a panel discussion on the Financial Post website this week. “[TransCanada's Corp.'s] Energy East and TMX [Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Trans Mountain] are most likely [with TMX benefiting from having built the loop through Jasper before the opposition to pipelines really built],” said Andrew Leach, associate professor at the University of Alberta, who participated in the discussion.

“Both have [at least partial] existing rights-of-way and so are starting from a better place….

This sounds about right to me.  Note the modifier “at least (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: British Columbia’s Position – Enbridge Cannot Be Trusted, No to Northern Gateway

The British Columbia government, it seems, has spoken out loud and clear in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline.   Even Christy Clark would be in peril if she tried to step down from this stand.  Here are excerpts from the government’s brief.

“Many parts of the pipeline will be located in remote areas, some distance from road networks and population centres, “ said the government in a lengthy brief submitted to the National Energy Board appointed review panel earlier this year. “Many of the rivers (along the route) are identified as remote or having no access.” Then, too, (Read more…) . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: British Columbia’s Position – Enbridge Cannot Be Trusted, No to Northern Gateway

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Great Pipeline Crusade

Well he may be losing his battle to convince Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, but I see nothing will stop Stephen Harper from launching yet another oily crusade. First he will conquer or bribe British Columbia.A parade of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats will head to British Columbia starting next week as part of a major push to mollify opponents of building oil pipelines to the West Coast, CBC News has learned. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is signalling he intends to make progress on proposals to connect Alberta's oilsands with ports in British Columbia and the lucrative (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Does It Come With A Free Bowl Of Soup?

TERRACE, B.C. – The equity offer from Northern Gateway to aboriginal groups along the route of a controversial oil pipeline would amount to as little as $70,000 a year for some bands, according to one base offer obtained by The Canadian Press.

HOW MUCH?  That’s less than I make in a year.  Oh yeah, and if you thought Enbridge was lying about the level of support their pipeline has among the first nations along the B.C. leg of its route…

Northern Gateway has said 60 per cent of aboriginal groups along the pipeline route have signed on….In (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: We’re #1 (In Oil Spills((Especially Alberta)))

A toxic waste spill in northern Alberta has killed off roughly 42 hectares of boreal forest, in what could be the biggest environmental disaster in North America in recent history.

The Tar sands…salting everything they touch.

The Disaffected Lib: They Have Re-Elected Their "Liberal" Lapdog – Now They’re Coming For Our Coast

It will probably be sooner rather than later before we find out whether Christy Clark will become British Columbia’s Judas Goat to the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipeline/supertanker fiascos.

Steve Harper, Alison Redford and Enbridge just need to buy or coerce Clark’s capitulation, make her sell-out  the province and people of British Columbia, and then ram those goddamned pipelines down our throats.   They’ve got plenty of markers to call in after her Hail Mary election win.

Clark will have to be ready to deal with unrest of a wide range from First Nations and other groups and individuals (Read more…)

350 or bust: Betting The Farm On Hazardous Pipelines With Poor Track Records

* Ready or not, painful or not, we are in the middle of a huge shift from an oil dependent economy to one that is run on renewables, the Great Transition. Our governments and the corporations that control them – the people and structures that have become out-of-this-world wealthy from the way we do things […]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Adrian Dix On Trans Mountain (Kinder Morgan) Pipeline

Announcing his environmental platform, Dix said he does “not expect Vancouver to become a major export oil port” as he said appears to be contemplated in the Kinder Morgan proposal.Dix would not definitively rule out the project, saying the company has yet to submit a formal proposal.But he said he it appears the company is looking to increase by “five or six fold” the amount of oil going through Vancouver, which he said an NDP government would not support.

Assuming Dix wins in B.C.–a pretty safe wager at this point–no pipeline to the West (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Did Joe Oliver Just Declare War on British Columbia?

A solid and steadily growing majority of British Columbians want nothing to do with Alberta’s bitumen pipelines crossing our province to our coast.  Fewer of us still want bitumen-laden supertankers plying our pristine northern coastal waters or Vancouver’s inner harbour.

According to our federal government’s reptilian industry minister, Joe Oliver, our firmly held opposition to this bitumen trafficking makes us, the great majority of British Columbians, “inimical to Canadian national interests.” 

Now “inimical” is a loaded word.  It connotes hostility, and a willingness to harm, malevolence and, according to, “having the disposition of (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Dear Americans: Don’t Approve Keystone XL Because Of US

Because, try as they might, our government has failed to convince the majority of Canadians outside Alberta that we need a pipeline to the Gulf (or to the West Coast, for that matter):

Astounding, really, most polls of Americans show a mirror image of this result.  Mind you, their pipeline boosters are probably a little more talented than ours.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: CIBC: Keystone XL Not Enough

“…it’s increasingly important that Canada move on one or more of the alternative pipelines to get our product headed Asia’s way. Canada’s own central and eastern oil markets are another option, but longer term demand growth there is also likely to be lackluster.”Its worth noting TransCanada Corps. stock price after yesterday’s announcement that they would push forward with an West-East line.

A few twitches.  So the market is unimpressed. That leaves The Harper Gov. trying to ram Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain down B.C.s throat.  Still.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Enbridge Springs Another Leak

I mentioned this a week or so ago; it was the fourth leak since February, and it looks like there will finally be some consequences:

The National Energy Board has ordered Enbridge Pipeline Inc. to perform an engineering assessment on the Wrigley to Mackenzie section of the Norman Wells pipeline.


NEB spokesperson Rebecca Taylor said the assessment is part of a special order issued by the board.

“The board remains concerned about the recent discoveries of small leak sites on Line 21,” she said. “That’s why the board has issued the amending order to Enbridge and required

. . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Enbridge Springs Another Leak