The government didn't open its ears on telecom on its own. It took Canada's largest-ever online campaign and sustained, widespread, solutions-based engagement to make it happen. We'll need that to continue, and we'll need to bring that energy to privacy, free expression online, and other issues of the day.
By the end of this month the federal pipeline regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), is expected to approve Enbridge's proposal for its 38-year old Line 9 oil pipeline in Ontario and Quebec, which would carry shale oil -- known for its propensity to explode as it did in North Dakota. With that in mind, the province of Ontario must hold its ground on Line 9 and ensure its demands for a safer pipeline are met.
With your help, we'll produce and distribute a provocative film that will go beyond the issues, to the very DNA of change, and encourage constructive discussion across all points of view. It's the only way we're going to find the innovative solutions we so badly need. This is an amazing moment. KeystoneXL pipeline, Enbridge's proposed pipeline, and Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion, hang in the balance.
The basic argument goes like this: A barrel of oil sands crude currently trades at a lower price than other global oil benchmarks. That price gap means Canadians are losing money on every barrel sold. Access to world markets will fetch higher prices, elevating our collective prosperity. It's a persuasive story, tickling the part of the brain associated with loss aversion. No one wants to bleed money day after day. At the same time it paints a picture of one nation, our fortunes rising and falling in unity. It's good politics. But the reality is more complex.
Too much is to be gained from the energy sector to expect that the federal government will be anything but aggressive in the fulfillment of contracts and quotas and grand business ambitions, and the opposition be damned. What is troubling is the heavy-handed manner in which the operation has been brought forward.
Premier Christy Clark set out five conditions for pipeline development in British Columbia. The Premier has been firm on these conditions and has repeated many times that pipeline projects will not be allowed in British Columbia if her conditions are not met. So, why is Kinder Morgan dilbit currently being transported through the Salish Sea? And why hasn't the provincial government stepped in to stop it?
The federal government might wish to consider the message it would send if it failed to uphold Enbridge's right to conduct lawful business in Canada, as approved by the National Energy Board, after extensive consultation and public involvement.
We are dismayed, together with our eminent Canadians for the Great Bear and thousands of others by the report of the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel (JRP) which regrettably recommends the approval of the Enbridge pipeline proposal. Everyone who depends on this ecosystem, from fishing and tourism industries to First Nations communities, would be affected. We have seen, in the case of the Exxon Valdez disaster, that the damage will be profound and long-lasting. Have we really not yet learned this hard lesson? When something is priceless, you do not let anyone place it at risk.
The National Energy Board's Joint Review Panel (JRP) has now released its final report on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project. The project would see 525,000 barrels of the heavy oil diluted bitumen (dilbit) transported across British Columbia each day and loaded onto super tankers for shipment to international refineries. This puts British Columbia at significant economic and environmental risk.
What is at risk is very clear. Just talk to the people who live in this region, and they will tell you. It's their jobs -- the fishing and tourism industries -- and their cultural identity. And it's the spectacular ecosystem upon which all of that depends. A place that is as unique a global treasure as the Great Barrier Reef or the Amazon rainforest. It is no wonder that so many Canadians exercised their democratic rights by participating in the review process for this project. More than 9,500 people wrote to the Joint Review Panel, 96 per cent against the pipeline.
Goods don't flow in only one direction. It turns out that a great deal of British Columbia's trade revenues come from the delivery of goods and services to provinces east of Alberta -- and one assumes most of those exports went through Alberta by truck and train.
If Premier Christy Clark opened the door to the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline with an announcement about a deal with Alberta, then for the sake of B.C. -- and Canada -- let's make sure that door stays firmly shut. The Great Bear is a truly unique place. Recovering populations of humpbacks depend on its waters.
Individual conservation successes are important, but together they point to the need for a much bigger global conversation about how we can meet human needs while sustaining healthy ecosystems and protecting our last precious wild places. In the end, our gift to the earth can be nothing less.
It was a Victoria day like any other until I found out the Canadian government has been vigorously spying on several Canadian organizations that work for environmental protections and democratic rights. My colleagues and I had been wary of being spied on for a long time, but having it confirmed still took the wind out of me.
We've seen it before. As close to home as Alaska, where the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill devastated wildlife, communities and cost a generation its livelihoods. As close to home as Michigan, where an Enbridge pipeline leaked 800 thousand barrels of diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River. It is still being cleaned up, three years later.
While Canada's energy businesses are booming, the country's manufacturing sector is dying a slow death. Unfortunately, anytime someone pipes up about this, Western Canadian policymakers demand a quick end to the debate. But if we don't address the issue now, we'll face a much larger employment problem in the future.