Monday, September 13, 2010
No Tar Sands Pipeline to the BC Coast!
Ooh but the natives are restless and it's not just the First Nations either. British Columbians are fed up. We're fed up with our lying weasel of a premier. We're fed up with his entire il-Liberal government. We're fed up with what they've done to BC Ferries, BC Hydro and BC Rail. We're fed up with their enthusiastic support for offshore drilling in Canada's most seismically active region. We're fed up with their damned Harmonized Sales Tax and the scam they used to impose it against our will.
Overall it's a pretty tough crowd for a gang of Albertan Tar Sanders who want to put our pristine coast at risk so they can flog their oil to Asia.
Iggy says a tanker port is okay, just not up in Kitimat. The alternative is to run those tankers straight through Vancouver's inner harbour via the treacherous Second Narrows. That should all but ensure that the Harvard schoolboy loses most of whatever support the Liberals still have in this province.
But back to Kitimat. Just around the corner from the proposed tanker terminal lies the village of Hartley Bay, home of the Gitga'at First Nation. You may remember them as the folks who manned a flotilla of their little boats to rescue the passengers and crew of the BC ferry Queen of the North after it ran into tiny Gil Island and quickly sank. Those people live off these waters and they know that their waters are no place for oil tanker traffic.
The Tyee reports that their village at Hartley Bay is "ground zero" for the looming battle to kill the supertanker port:
Villagers have always felt at Mother Nature's mercy, but to some extent, they've adjusted to her cycles. During the spring, residents migrate to a seaweed and halibut camp at Kiel. And each autumn they visit the Quaal River for salmon.
Gitga'at culture has been battered long and hard by fur traders, churches, loggers, treaties and fisheries, Clifton said. Under Enbridge's proposal, 220 supertankers would pass annually within view of Hartley Bay. A major oil spill could wipe out whatever culture is left. "We've had many, many battles throughout our history, since as inhabitants we were discovered," Clifton said.
"But the sea is food for our soul. We need that."
Those battles -- and others -- were globally important, said Bruce Hill, a former logger turned conservationist with a long history in the region. But logging firms, he argues, just don't measure up to oil companies in terms of political or economic clout. Enbridge, one of the country's foremost pipeline operators, got $100 million from anonymous oil producers and Asian funders to help its project through federal reviews.
"This is the full weight of Canada as a petro-state," Hill said. "B.C.'s environmental movement has never had a fight like this before."
Now those Oil Heads and Tar Sanders on Parliament Hill may think this idea is just dandy but they're just plain stupid if they think British Columbians, and I mean the lot, are going to put up with this. Why? Just so Alberta can boil more bitumen out of the ground?
Andrew Nikiforuk is right. Canada has been transformed into a petro-state and we're beginning to act just like all those other corrupt petro-states act. We hide the truth. We lie. We put Big Oil's interests ahead of the public interest at every turn. And that's a damned disgrace.
And, if you're even slightly outraged at this, you should read Murray Dobbin's explanation of why, for Canadian progressives, stopping the Tar Sands madness should be "the fight of our lives."