Approval was given despite the negative findings of hundreds of scientists from across Canada and around the world who signed a letter to Prime Minister Harper in June. Indeed, Harper could hardly reject a pipeline in his own country when he had told the most powerful leader in the world in September 2013 that he "won't take no for an answer" on the Keystone XL pipeline.
According to the poll, conducted by Environics and commissioned by Environmental Defence, 41 per cent of Canadians believe the importance of the oilsands to the economy is six to 24 times higher than it actually is. And a full 57 per cent of Canadians overestimate the value of oilsands to the country's economy.
Harper and Abbott have to understand that we can no longer have economies that exist outside of the ecological limits of our planet. Our reliance and exploitation of fossil fuels is endangering our future as well as our present and it needs to end. We need to transition to green energy and we need to keep more fossil fuels, especially high-carbon fuels like the tar sands, in the ground.
We are mystified that with so much at stake, with the risks of this project being so high, the board would quibble over nine days. We would have expected the board to err on the side of good process and give Kinder Morgan the extra time to answer the questions that have been asked by municipalities, landowners, local businesses, First Nations and environmental organizations.
It makes you wonder how many other voices that complain about tar sands impacts are being ignored? Fort Chipewyan's calls for independent health inquiry, the cancer concerns in Fort Saskatchewan are just two, both recently echoed by the Edmonton Journal's editorial board; the fact that some doctors may not comfortable treating oil-symptom patients is another.