“Disconnections” — contradictions in JRP report on Northern Gateway?


This week, the Joint Review Panel (on behalf of National Energy Board and Environment Canada) released its much ballyhooed report with its recommendation to the Federal Government to approve construction of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline from Alberta to the BC northwest coast.

Over the last few days, the media and political pundits are carrying on. Unfortunately on some websites such as the National Post one can read no shortage of editorial comment on how great the recommendations are and how the “eco-jihadists” will need to climb back into their caves. Not all that fascinating fodder…

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In an initial read through the JRP’s report I was struck by some interestings contradictions… of which I will try to follow up with in future posts…

The first volume of the report begins:

“This volume of our report, Connections, is about connections and linkages across time and place, on land and sea, between the economy and the environment, and among people, resources, cultures, wellbeing, safety, and way of life. It explains how we reached the conclusions and recommendations that are detailed in our second volume, Considerations.

Some people said economic development like the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project could harm society and the environment, while others told us a strong economy was necessary to sustain and enhance environmental and social values. They all recognized the linkages among people, economy, and environment, and that these are all aspects of a shared ecosystem.

Our task was to recognize these connections. We weighed and balanced them to answer the fundamental question: Would Canada and Canadians be better off or worse off if the project goes ahead?

My emphasis on the last bit.

As a general observation of the ‘look and feel’ of the document… lots of green colors, soft rounded font, decently laid out.

Just look at this lovely cover:

Splattered throughout the report are all sorts of lovely ‘enviro’ images… bears, eagles, coastlines, caribou, whales… lovely stuff.

A few images of pipeline work sites:

and a couple of oil tankers and the like…. Some urban images thrown in… downtown Calgary, the capital of the Canadian oil industry.

Some images from the hearings, lots of aboriginal imagery and crests (protocol being something maybe the designers and writers of the report aren’t fully aware of…)

But none of tarsands operations, or refineries, or oil spills, or oil soaked birds or otherwise. None of the Enbridge-enhanced mess in Michigan or Exxon-induced mess in Prince William Sound…

Ok, not surprised… but there is certainly something trying to be portrayed here… and it smells of some other recent ads I’ve seen flooding BC tv channels, newspapers, websites and so on.