Friday, January 20, 2012

UK must rethink its unfailing support for Canada's fossil fuels

Steven Harper continues to reshape Canadas image in the world.

The Canadian government's desperate responses to tar sands opposition should be a cue for Britain to stop doing its bidding in Europe. This waspPosted on  16 January 2012 16.46 GM in the Guardian written by

If it's true that desperate times call for desperate measures, the Canadian government is acting like a junkie in need of a fix.

As public hearings on the proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline proposal got underway in British Columbia last week, natural resources minister, Joe Oliver, lashed out at "environmental and other radical groups" and "jet-setting celebrities." In an open letter, he accused them of being the stooges of foreign special-interest groups, opposing tar sands development in order to undermine Canada's national economic interest.

The letter was so far off the mark, one can only conclude that the government is becoming unhinged over the growing opposition to tar sands development. This should be a cue for Britain to reconsider its unfailing support for Canada on this issue in the European context.

To read more go here\

I find it difficult to believe that people believe that Enbridge will be in a position to safegurard the lands they pass through. On Monday morning on CBC Rafe Mair raised the fact that there is an oil spill on average every two years along the BC coast, and that is without the new tankers that will come as a result of thenew pipeline.  The following story about how Enbridg has worked with the First Nations in the north bears some reading.

How Enbridge Sawed Off Good Relations with BC First Nations ()for the full story click on the link)

Killing Haisla's sacred trees just one way firm has undercut dealings with aboriginals on Pacific Gateway route.

By Geoff Dembicki, Today, posted Monday January 16th

More than five years ago, in a patch of coastal rainforest not far from the mouth of the Kitimat River, what was supposed to have been a quiet land survey turned into a public relations nightmare. 
The purpose of the survey was to scout locations for an upland terminal and tank farm site, part of the infrastructure needed to stretch a 1,172 kilometre steel pipeline from Alberta's booming oil sands to B.C.'s ragged north coast.

The Calgary-based pipeline company Enbridge had contracted the job to an international engineering and consulting firm named AMEC, which, in 2006, sent survey members into old-growth forest dense with Sitka spruce and Western red cedar.

Covered by thick moss and ferns, this area, about 700 kilometres north of Vancouver, is literally a living museum of First Nations history.

Scattered throughout the forest are deeply notched tree trunks where Haisla peoples once stripped bark for their baskets, or took planks to build their homes.

Carbon-date these culturally modified trees, Haisla leaders say, and you can establish native land claims dating back hundreds, even thousands, of years.
Sometime during their expedition, AMEC workers chopped down 14 of these trees, irreplaceable artefacts in a culture largely built on oral histories. (A company spokesperson declined to explain why.).....

What followed over the next five years was a blueprint for how not to engage with native communities, an incident that to this day remains unresolved.

The picture that emerges, and from several milestones like it, is a decade-long First Nations consultation process fraught with errors and missteps. 

And with historic public hearings on the $5.5 billion Northern Gateway pipeline just begun last week on Haisla territory, some observers think Enbridge may be in a much more precarious legal position than most people are aware. 

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