"Here," said a Heiltsuk friend as we began the walk, "put this in your pocket, it will help protect you." She handed me a piece of dried Devil's club bark, medicine from the B.C. coastal rainforest to carry with me as we walked by Alberta's tar sands facilities. Strong medicine was definitely in order as my lungs hurt, heart ached, and eyes welled up with tears with all that I witnessed.
British Columbians have made their voices heard both inside and outside the formal review panel process Concerned citizens, fishermen, engineers, academics, economists and business owners who have never spoken up publicly about something like this before, have said "no" to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. Why hasn't Enbridge headquarters got the message yet?
We are stoking the heat ourselves, with the colossal pressure and encouragement of all the corporations that make billions in return for our dependency on fossil fuel, funneling a pittance in revenue to our governments, all the while decaying our democracy. Dumbing down its citizens with the toys offered in return.
British Columbians would not take kindly to an Alberta pro-tar sands Prime Minister ramrodding through a decision to approve the Northern Gateway Pipeline in the face of opposition from so many different constituencies. In my personal opinion, it would be political suicide.
British Columbia had all the makings of Canada's "environmental election." Pipelines and tankers, forests and coastlines, oil and gas, dominated much of the political debate and news coverage. But in the end, pro-development Christy Clark won. So, should pro-growth advocates be celebrating the end of the road for environmentalism as a political force? Not so fast.
TarSandsRealityCheck.com, which launches today, offers fact-checked, easy to understand information about Canada's tar sands. Created by academics, ec...
I think both the NDP and the Greens owe it to the public to make a peace treaty and find a way to show everyone that we can work together for solutions that are good for people and the planet. This is an important lesson for us to learn before the upcoming federal election, while we still have time to find ways to work together. Big Oil won a battle this week but they haven't won the war.
Canada's ability to oversee large energy projects is crumbling. No matter which way you look at it, Canada's regulatory system just isn't up to the challenging task of protecting the health, environment and economy of Canadians from risky energy projects.
If we connect the dots between all the natural gas, coal and tar sands proposals in B.C., a big picture emerges and the choice we face becomes both stark and clear: B.C. needs a government with leadership and vision to make the hard decisions. The province needs courage to stop building pipelines that would put at risk thousands of jobs and lock us into global warming. We need stewards to protect our collective future wisely, by investing in green jobs and saying yes to a clean energy future.
In the past the BC NDP condemned the Liberal carbon tax policy without doing the hard work to address how an NDP government would address these challenges. Under the leadership of Adrian Dix it is now clear that an NDP government would take these issues very seriously and they have taken the time to carefully consider how the carbon tax needs to cover more greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that we not only reduce pollution but also build a stronger and more equitable economy for B.C. I'm impressed.
Will he or won't he? This week, the Keystone XL guessing game took another twist, scrambling the odds on whether U.S. President Barack Obama will ul...
British Columbians clearly oppose both Kinder Morgan and the Northern gateway, but I wouldn't doubt we will see the pro-pipeline Harper federal government stick their nose into the B.C. election in the coming weeks, as they twist in the wind watching the fate of their beloved tar sands pipelines land right in the waiting hands of Adrian Dix and the NDP.
The phrase "world-class oil spill response and prevention" is a meaningless platitude. There is no such thing as world-class oil spill response and prevention. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver's announcement does little to diminish the risk or change the nature of shipping oil on the B.C. coast.
A tax loophole exempting tar sands pipeline operators from paying an eight-cent tax per barrel of oil they transport in the U.S. is costing the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund millions of dollars every year. With expected increases in tar sands oil production over the next five years, this loophole may have deprived U.S. citizens of $400-million dollars worth of critical oil-spill protection funds come 2017. Regardless of how many barrels of tar sands oil will be traversing U.S. soil, none should be exempt from spill liability taxes. If anything, corrosive diluted bitumen should be taxed more for the inherent dangers it presents.
I wish the Harper government would drop the greenwashing and propaganda campaigns. But really this isn't about a pipeline or the pipe dreams of a Prime Minister. This is about the people and the lands they live on. The people of my home region in northwestern British Columbia are hardworking and community-minded by nature and inclination. The attacks from the Harper government, and the threats posed by Enbridge's pipeline and the supertankers they bring, have only brought us closer together, strengthening our determination to protect the values and natural wonders that we hold most dear.
The future of energy in Canada will determine the fate of our society. It must be widely discussed, nationally as well as provincially, beyond the boundaries of politics and economics. This is about the type of country we will leave to our children and grandchildren.