Pressure mounts in the Media, as Canadian Petroleum Producers bombard us with propaganda to forcefeed the Northern Gateway Pipeline and it’s associated Tanker traffic in the most dangerous and pristine water ways in the world. Across Canada, you are being told by the Press that the majority of British Columbians support a pipeline, that millions of dollars are at stake and thousands of jobs, and that it must be done immediately.
I am here to tell you that the majority of BC residents are against the pipeline and against tankers in the Hecate Straight. The spin has become relentless since Keystone became questionable. One article I read yesterday accused US interests of funding the growing movement against the project. They never fail to say that opposition is comprised of First Nations and environmentalists, as though it were limited to a few small splinter groups
terrorists. For the edification of the rest of Canada, this is not the case. People who oppose the pipeline include residents from all walks of life and across most of the province. You see, we don’t stand to benefit from the wealth and yet we take all the risk.
BC has been hard hit by the Pine Beetle infestation that became epidemic as global warming stopped the prolonged periods of arctic cold in northern BC that used to keep them in check. As a result most of BCs Taiga (northern, high elevation) forests are a tinderbox of standing dead Lodgepole Pine. Pine sap is highly flammable. Cutbacks in BCs Forestry Service have not allowed for controlled burning to take place in winter months to control the level of flash fuel, detrious on the forest floor and standing dead pine beetle kill. This has resulted in a potentially dangerous situation, not just locally, but continent and possibly globally if the whole thing goes up in a drought. Still think its a good idea to add a pipeline?
Then there’s the San Andreas faultline that runs up the west coast. We are told regularly to prepare for the big one, the major earthquake that lurks in our near future. Nobody talks about that either, with regards to how that may impact a pipeline. Add in the record number of fracking for gas operations going on up there, blowing tonnes of water laced with nobody knows what kilometres below the surface and the odds of that earthquake rise exponentially. Plus, northern neighbours get the added bonus of lighting their tapwater on fire as a parlour trick! But wait, that’s not all! For the same price, we are obliged to allow coal to be extracted from the same Sacred Headwaters. Now, everyone knows that charcoal is the most effective water filtration device. What perfect design to have a coal seam under the headwaters in the northwest. A prudent scientific course of action would be to preserve that delicate balance for the interest of every living thing downstream, in this case, all of British Columbia. One would think.
Many people are asking the questions, “Why are you in such a hurry to take such huge risks with the most pristine and globally important environments we have, to ship raw materials out of our economy?” I really wish one of those Ethical Oil cheerleaders would answer this simple question. “Why can’t you build a refinery in Fort Mac and keep the jobs and keep the energy to fuel our own economy?” Those are high quality jobs, middle class jobs that pay taxes and put kids through school. What’s the rush to ship this gunk through BCs Sacred Headwaters that feed most of our major rivers, feeding millions of people with clean water, fish, tourism opportunities, wildlife. indeed, one of the greatest carbon sinks and oxygen producing habitats in the world?
You will be inundated with polls and right wing thinktank reports and threats from CAPP and the Harper Government to pressure BC that this is a Canadian Decision. Well it’s not. This a is a stakeholder decision and make no mistake, the stakeholders here are the citizens of BC, including the unceded territories of the many First Nations.
Remember the HST? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet…