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Canadians to PM Harper: No Enbridge Pipeline


Photo: Ian McAllister

I don’t see too many “jet-setting celebrities” in the crowd of ~2000 people that showed up to demonstrate their opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in Prince Rupert British Columbia this Saturday. Just regular Canadians, many of the First Nations, who value their beautiful coast, and clean water, clean air, and a stable climate.  Canadians across the country are speaking out against this very risky proposition. Interestingly – and disturbingly – the CBC’s coverage stated that only 600 people participated, even though the RCMP estimated the number was nearly four times that many (for more on this, visit The Regina Mom’s blog)

Here’s a letter that was published in the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal this Saturday, written by Dr Mark Polle, a family doctor from Northwestern Ontario (reprinted with the author’s permission):

The Harper government has attempted to discredit all who oppose its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline as “radicals” backed by foreign money. Internal government memos released recently apparently even refer to pipeline opponents as “enemies of Canada.” This outrageous rhetoric is so obviously false that it will surely backfire.

While there is certainly interest in this issue by American environmental groups — after all, tar sands pollution will not stop at the border — the vast majority of “foreign money” and influence in the pipeline approval process comes from the foreign-based oil companies involved and the international markets who want the oil they will produce here.

Tar sands oil will not be for Canadians and most of the money earned will also leave the country.

On the other hand, all the risk of oil spills on land or on the pristine B.C. coast remains with the local residents, wildlife and ecosystem surrounding the pipeline.

The Harper government is also glossing over the fact that the land it is presuming to build the pipeline on is traditional aboriginal land which has never been ceded to any government.

Mr. Harper and his spokespeople are trying hard to portray these legitimate stakeholders in the process as “hijacking” the political process.

Actually, Mr. Harper, these people are the political process. If you believe in democracy then listen to your citizens!


More links:

Protests, Facts, & Bedfellows: Northern Gateway Pipeline Actions, Science, & Money

Outrageous Rhetoric Will Surely Backfire

Crowds Pack Prince Rupert Streets To Protest Northern Gateway Pipeline

10 Comments leave one →
  1. 2012/02/06 10:17 am

    I hate Harper too but I’ll trust him more than you fear mongering climate blamers that condemned by kids to the greenhouse gas ovens with childish glee for 26 friggin years.You doomers didn’t love the planet, you hated humanity with your fear and hate and finger pointing.

    The global scientific community is comprised of millions of scientists and experts all over the world and as long as these millions of concerned experts refuse to march in the streets and ACT like it’s a CO2 crisis for their kids too, we can only conclude academic exaggeration?
    Seeing even some of the millions would bring back the lost support for CO2 mitigation.
    Climate Change is doomed for the storage boxes in the basements of Academia.
    SCIENCE gave us the pesticides over half a century ago that made environmentalism necessary in the first place.
    We were fools to be so obedient to these lab coat consultants with the license to exaggerate.

    • 2012/02/06 5:28 pm

      Such nonsense you spout.
      Hope you don’t need one of those lab coat consultants next time you end up in the hospital emergency ward.

  2. bill permalink
    2012/02/06 1:18 pm

    Bravo to Mark for his letter. Just recently off the northern coast of Vancouver island a cargo ship was in distress and had to be rescued due to rough seas! How on any planet can Enbrige guarantee the safetly of it’s operations. We,ve seen it time and time again marine disasters are a fact of life. Look also at the recent Costa Concordia fiasco. How many people have to die to feed the corporate greed?
    Furthermore there may be jobs in the short term building this pipeline but what happens in the bigger picture. Who really will benefit from this rediculous venture, a few select company execs. perhaps?

    • 2012/02/06 5:27 pm

      Ah, Bill, the Left coast is having it’s way with you!
      No, seriously, I agree, it shows amazingly short-term thinking – lining the pockets of a few oil industry execs, and leaving the people of northern BC to pick up the tab with a despoiled environment.

  3. luc Mcmane permalink
    2013/02/03 4:45 pm

    David is right.Millions of scientists, and if they went around saying “every things o.k.” how many would have a job? Fear mongering scientists with a financial gain to be had, and racist protesters. Yes, racists. ChinadirtyoilAlberta. See how the words are all spoken with the same degree of disgust. The protesters don’t like Asians. And Albertans. Since when do we allow racists to dictate public policy? Also, Christine, name me a business, no matter how small, that doesn’t care about making money. It’s just a matter of scale. I think there’s some jealousy on your part towards people who make a lot of money. The bottom line is that people that oppose NGP have ulterior motives and are using the environment to their own ends. They should have their citizenship revoked.

    • 2013/02/03 7:09 pm

      Ah, so much nonsense in one paragraph, how does one begin to address it?
      To start with, you have no idea what my family’s income is, Mr. McMane, but I will assert with 99.9% certainty that it is many times greater than your’s. It’s such a typical idiotic right-wing tactic, to assume that those who disagree with their extremist loot-and-be-damned attitude to our ecosystem must be low-income earners.
      And, LOL, yes, it must be those “millions” of scientists earning $50,000 – 60,000 dollars a year are the ones who are playing fast and loose with the truth, not the oh-so-trustworthy oil execs like BP’s Tony Abbott.

      • luc mcmane permalink
        2013/02/04 11:12 am

        Well, there’s the difference between you and I Christine. You focus on how much money people make and I really don’t care. We all work and some make more than others. ( I average over $100,000 ) My main point was that NGP protesters are racist. They want the poor people in Asia to suffer hardships, in what amounts to sanctions, to make up for our over indulgence. As for scientists? I’ve heard several times the Asian tsunami included in climate change reports. THAT, Christine, is nonsense. Burning fossil fuels caused an earthquake and resulting tsunami? That from your scientists.I have nothing but respect for scientists,and the hard work they do.The problem is,only 10% are really good,the rest make mistakes. The bottom line Christine, is that NGP protesters have ulterior motives. Racism, guilty conscience or just plain uneducated/uninformed. Quit trying to ram your opinions down the throats of poor Asian people.

  4. 2013/02/04 11:27 am

    More unsubstantiated nonsense from someone who clearly doesn’t understand the scientific process, yet feels he needs to share his uninformed opinions on the pages of any blogs who let him.
    There’s nothing in this paragraph that requires a response. Anyone reading it who understands science or the reality of racism and the power imbalance that it represents, will know nonsense when they see it.
    Move along sir, there’s nothing for you to see – or share – here.

    • luc mcmane permalink
      2013/02/04 12:36 pm

      Another example of scientists on the payroll for your audience. The city of Victoria, B.C. pumps 130,000,000 million liters of raw sewage into the ocean every day. Enough to fill a supertanker every 4 days. Yet they managed to find scientists to go on record, saying that Victoria doesn’t need to build a sewage treatment plant. These scientists say there’s nothing wrong with pumping raw sewage into our ocean. 130,000,000 liters, every day. Don’t forget Christine, I was quietly enjoying my life until a group of people started trying to “assert” their opinions and racist feelings on the rest of Canada. My wife is Asian Christine, and we own properties in Canada and Asia. We are very aware of racism and how imbalanced the West is over the poor people in Asia. Also, I am in the business of energy production. I build hydro electric, nuclear and coal fired power plants. I have worked in the Alberta oil sands and also in the U.S.A. I live and work in Northern B.C. In my opinion, if you don’t live and work in the area and on the project in question, you have no right to an opinion.

      • 2013/02/04 8:15 pm

        I don’t believe a word you wrote – except, of course, most Canadians are aware of the poor treatment of sewage by the city of Victoria – although don’t blame scientists for that one, there’s plenty of blame to go around city councils over the years.

        You are a shill for the energy industry, posting under an assumed name. Move along.

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