Enbridge Northern Gateway's “charm offensive” ad blitz just plain offensive

Leaked "mood board" for Enbridge campaign from Desmogblog.com

With just over two months until the Joint Review Panel announces its recommendation on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project, Enbridge Northern Gateway has embarked on a new TV, pamphlet, and newspaper advertising blitz in hopes of garnering public support.  In newspapers, Enbridge Northern Gateway’s full-page advertisements feature photographs and poems with a nature theme.  

The first advertisement was a tranquil underwater scene and a poem entitled "The ocean --", the last lines reading “The ocean should remain an ocean. Always.”  The word always is synonymous with forever, and brings to mind the Kalamazoo River.  

The Kalamazoo remains a river.  Forever.  Forever polluted at the hands of Enbridge.  Will the ocean suffer the same fate, enabled by the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project?

The second advertisement featured a photo of a killer whale’s tail breaking the surface of the water.  The last line of its poem entitled "The transient killer whale --", read “What it (the whale) doesn’t like are oil spills.”

Enbridge Northern Gateway has admitted the potential for toxic tar sands bitumen and condensate spills in Douglas Channel, along the coast and islands of British Columbia.  Enbridge Northern Gateway thinks they have all the answers to cleaning up a spill in the marine environment.  A newly released study commissioned by the B.C. government, contracted to U.S.-based Nuka Research & Planning Group LLC, and a 2011 study by the same company filed as evidence by an intervener in the Joint Review Panel process for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project, both clearly identify the inadequacies of spill response plans including those of Enbridge Northern Gateway.  

A spill from one of the very large crude carriers Enbridge Northern Gateway proposes would transport the toxic tar sands bitumen could be between 181,856,028 and 363,654,821 litres.  The Exxon Valdez oil spill was 42,000,000 litres; it killed 22 whales, and hundreds of thousands of birds and other creatures.  

The only way for the ocean to remain an ocean, always, and to prevent the killing of whales caused by a toxic tar sands bitumen or condensate spill enabled by the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project, is clear.

The third advertisement showed a photo of cedar trees.  Lines of the accompanying poem, The western red cedar--, read “It’s lived here for hundreds of years. It should live for hundreds more. And not make way for a pipeline.”  How very hypocritical that is, considering Enbridge Northern Gateway’s applications and approvals for “investigative work” permits.  Two of their 33 applications include the harvesting of 226 cubic metres of merchantable cedar trees.  

Not only will the cedar trees be harvested to make way for their pipeline, but according to their application, the trees will be wasted as it is Enbridge Northern Gateway’s intention that “No merchantable timber removal is planned, all timber to be bucked and scattered.”  The wastefulness has not been limited to cedar trees.  Also included in their investigative works is the wasting of 239 cubic metres of balsam, 577 cubic metres of spruce, 426 cubic metres of pine, 573 cubic metres of hemlock, 64 cubic metres of aspen and cottonwood, and 300 cubic metres attributed to unnamed species; all merchantable timber.

Enbridge Northern Gateway goes on to say “70  per cent of the Northern Gateway Pipeline route will use previously disturbed land, like old forestry roads, cut blocks and other disturbances.”  

Through their investigative works applications they have identified harvesting of 327 cubic metres of non-merchantable timber from immature stands, and seedlings.  Also to be bucked and scattered.  Those “disturbed lands” contain our forests for the future; areas for our truly renewable and sustainable resource.

The only way for the cedars to not make way for their pipeline, is clear.  

Enbridge Northern Gateway rounds out their advertising blitz with a new tag line “Because a better pipeline will not be built at the expense of making other things worse.”  

The depth of Enbridge Northern Gateway’s shallowness in thinking British Columbians would fall for this is unfathomable.

No tankers.  No pipelines.  No problems.  I say "NO" to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. Always.

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