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Enbridge oil pipeline project an affront to Canadians

Protesters in Kitimat, B.C.

Many British Columbians are appalled at the insulting tactics and language being used by our Prime Minister and the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, in their frenzied bid to get support for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project. Their degrading rhetoric is an affront to thinking Canadians.

Those of us opposed to Enbridge’s pipeline, do so as the project is so full of holes that it’s amazing that it has even been proposed at all. On every level it makes no sense, and when we’re told by PM Stephen Harper and his sidekick Joe Oliver that the opposition is all about foreign radical environmentalists and their money, it demonstrates to us how far out of touch with Canadians they are and how shaky this proposal really is.

I don’t know any ‘radical environmentalists’ and don’t know anyone who is being bankrolled by ‘foreign money’. I don’t see any foreign anything ‘overloading the process’. From my research, the foreign participation in the review process totals less than 3 per cent -- hardly overloading it. With the potential to influence the environment of Alaska with this project, this small fraction seems reasonable. There are record numbers of participants in the Joint Review Panel (JRP) process because much of Canada is appalled at the proposal.

Two upsetting and significant events have underlined the weakness of this project. Firstly, Enbridge’s attempt to bribe the Gitxsan people and make it look like they supported the pipeline should have been a huge red flag to Canadians.

If one has to stoop that low to try and show that you have First Nations’ support, then there’s something seriously wrong with the project.

Then Stephen Harper hiring Alykhan Velshi, from Canada’s most ridiculous organization ‘Ethical Oil’, as his Director of Planning is laughable. If Mr. Velshi really believed what came out of his own mouth, wouldn’t he be against the Enbridge project and suggest that the bitumen be refined and shipped East not West to replace the 55 per cent of ‘unethical oil’ flowing into to Eastern Canada every day? And our PM hired this character?

It is not in Canada’s best interest to:

  1. Disregard the position of more than 120 First Nations further degrading the abysmal relationship our Prime Minister has with Canada’s Indigenous people.

  2. Risk the last pristine temperate rainforests in the world and the hundreds of salmon rivers that are contained therein that support the entire coastal culture, economy and society.

  3. Risk the tens of thousands of coastal jobs that depend on a clean coastline for their survival.

  4. Throw away the 20,000 long-term full time permanent jobs by not refining the bitumen in Canada before exporting it.

  5. Fuel the Asian machine that has already more or less destroyed the manufacturing industry in Canada, thus exacerbating the situation.

  6. Export unrefined oil products overseas while importing over 55% of our oil from unstable locations such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russian and Africa. This makes no sense, economically, strategically or politically. Canadians should question whether we could count on those suppliers for a steady supply of oil in the future.

  7. Tanker bitumen on vessels over 1,000 feet long through the Douglas Channel and then through the island obstacle course between there and the Hecate Strait, which includes five 90 degree turns, and expect to do this continuously without a mishap. It only takes a one-degree course error and the tanker will be on the beach. To risk these marine environments with all the associated economies and food sources is madness.

  8. Risk an oil spill, which will mostly be paid for with Canadians’ tax dollars, removing those billions of dollars from the health care, pension, education, cultural and other key financial pots.

  9. Enrich international oil companies and Enbridge. Canadians shouldn’t expect any oil cheques if this goes through.

Everyone around me rejects this project. They include teachers, miners, loggers, clergy people, office workers, fishermen, hospital workers, First Nations, municipal workers, maintenance people and so on. No ‘foreign groups’ or ‘Hollywood notables’, just straightforward honest, thinking, everyday Canadians. The lies and inflammatory rhetoric coming from Ottawa and Alberta underlines the insanity of this project.

 

John Disney, Masset, B.C.

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