For the last six weeks, deep in the B.C. legislature, eight MLAs have been toiling away at trying to set spending limits for municipal parties and their candidates in 2018, as well as third parties. It's been an oddly quiet discussion, given that their recommendations might restore a modicum of faith in local democracy. Might.
So let's do the math here: three pipelines stretching 4,197 kilometres, generating tens of billions of dollars in profit, the vast bulk of which will leave Canada, for 228 permanent jobs at Enbridge, 50 at Kinder Morgan and 35 at Keystone XL. That's 14 jobs per kilometre. A word to the wise -- don't leave your day job.
Over 60 protesters have been arrested opposing Kinder Morgan's new pipeline, including environmental activist David Suzuki's grandson Tamo Campos. Kinder Morgan plans to bore two small holes and then drill 250 metres into the mountain to test whether it can tunnel through the mountain to drastically increase the flow of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands.
Some of the strongest legal challenges against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline come from B.C.'s First Nations, and supporters from across B.C. are digging into their pockets to help ensure those are a success.
The Simushir, a Russian-flagged cargo vessel is the newest cause celebre of anti-tanker activists out in British Columbia. Liberal MP Joyce Murray and NDP finance critic Nathan Cullen are waving distress flags over what they portray as a near-disaster that reveals systemic faults in Canada's shipping-safety regime.
When disaster almost strikes but doesn't, a question always lingers: Was the close brush a reminder that accidents will happen, or proof that we can deal with them when they do? So it went with the Simushir, the Russian container ship that lost power off British Columbia's coast last weekend and drifted into the political shoals of the province's ongoing tanker debates.
B.C.'s Christy Clark government is proposing to overhaul of the Societies Act, and they've distributed a snoozer of a White Paper to let you know all about it. If you've dozed off already, WAKE UP, because there's a massive zinger quietly planted deep inside.
Enbridge is expected to be a significant issue in this fall's municipal election campaign in Kitimat, just as Woodfibre LNG is expected to be in Squamish.
Working in Alberta, the belly of the tar sands beast, the odds are often overwhelming but, over the past few months, something has changed. The resistance to the tar sands has not only grown in leaps and bounds, it is changing the dynamics of the entire fight.
There is a famous Chinese curse that goes "may you live in interesting times." The government ushered in some interesting times indeed on September 12...
"In the lawsuit filed today, we argue that due to fundamental flaws in the JRP's report, Cabinet was deprived of the legal authority to make a final decision on the pipeline," Chris Tollefson, ELC executive director and lawyer for BC Nature, said.
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.
The truth is that Northern Gateway is important to both British Columbia's and Canada's future. It will open up new markets for our most valuable resource, creating thousands of jobs and new opportunities for British Columbians and Canadians. And, by incorporating leading measures for safety and environmental protection, we are designing a project that delivers these benefits while also protecting our environment.
The Conservative government's decision to approve the Northern Gateway pipeline is the greatest threat to national unity since the Quebec crisis in 1995. It is reminiscent of Pierre Trudeau's National Energy Program of 1980, except in that case the program could be and was cancelled. This is, simply put, an "up yours" to our province of B.C.
Using an outdated and tired argument that economic development can only come at the expense of our environment, David Miller recently dismissed Northern Gateway as wrong for Canada. I respect Mr. Miller, but I firmly disagree with his assessment.