Tag Archives: Enbridge

policy unframed…

clever little comic in Prince George Free Press this week. Apparently, I’m not the only one with Enbridge marketing burnout… it’s everywhere, online, on CBC Radio One and Two… and it’s exhausting… and… well… laced with some pretty heavy BS-bitumen.

Prince George Free Press illustration - March 21, 2014

Prince George Free Press illustration – March 21, 2014

This 2nd is a small 6×6 piece that I did yesterday as a challenge from my significant other for an upcoming local art show that will be all 6×6 pieces…

policy unframework 1

policy unframework 1 (crayon and acrylic pain on canvas)

 

Enbridge, Canada, and “good-faith” negotiations… stop me if you’ve heard this story before…

Well, Joe O. we might have a problem in BC… says Steve-o…

In early December, Doug Eyford, the federally appointed “Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure” released his report: Forging Partnerships, Building Relationships: Aboriginal Canadians and Energy Development.

In the 7-8 months that it took for Eyford to pull the report together, he suggests he: “travelled across Alberta and British Columbia to meet representatives of Aboriginal communities and organizations, industry, and provincial and local governments.” And the he “met with over 80 groups.”

Three main themes are highlighted in his report: Building Trust, Fostering Inclusion, and Advancing Reconciliation. His final theme is “Taking Action”.

Oddly enough, this quote stands out near the beginning…

Eyford Report – Forging Partnerships, Building Relationships: Aboriginal Canadians & Energy Development

Several years ago, a good fifteen or more, Chief Justice Lamer said the words above. At that time, the vast majority of Treaties in British Columbia remained unsettled, which means that the Traditional Territories of Aboriginal people and communities in BC also remained unceded.

Since then, court challenge after court challenge mounted by Aboriginal groups and communities have worked their way through the Canadian court systems – several of them resulting in favorable decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada. Many of them stating a similar message… ‘get back to the negotiating table and figure this out’ and do it in ‘good faith’…

And, yet… one more lawyerly report to the Federal Government comes out stating the same thing again. “Build Trust” ‘build inclusion’ ‘reconcile’… ‘build trust’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘reconcile’… the ongoing legal mantra… not so much the ‘legislative’…

The response from former investment banker, and now Federal Minister of Natural Resources:

“The themes of the Eyford report — trust, inclusion, reconciliation and action — can guide all parties in building further the relationships that will underpin responsible resource development and the participation of Aboriginal Peoples,” said Minister Oliver. “We will now engage on the report with Aboriginal Peoples, as well as provinces and industry, and identify the most promising avenues for meaningful follow up.”

Sounds ‘promising’…

I can take a wild stab at this… after some 150 years of history… the most ‘promising avenues’ in the relationship between the Federal government and Aboriginal communities, will not include “trust, inclusion, reconciliation, and action”…

They were not very ‘promising’ ten years ago, twenty years ago, and so on… why would they be now?

Plus, now there’s a problem… Eyford’s report suggests, in one of his first recommendations, in the “Building Trust” section:

The sub-title for this section is: “Constructive Dialogue on Energy”

Shouldn’t that have maybe happened before Enbridge proposed the Northern Gateway pipeline? And maybe before anywhere between four to six natural gas pipelines were put on the book in BC, and then Kinder Morgan proposed to twin their oil pipeline to Vancouver…?

Well, this is actually one Eyford’s recommendations a little later on in the “Advancing Reconciliation” section…

page 37

I am wondering though… who’s going to pay for these “conferences, workshops, and community forums”? Are the feds going to pay for isolated communities to get community members to these? What about communication barriers, English literacy challenges…? What sort of timelines?

Whoa… I guess these might be too logical to be asking…? (too complex, too difficult…)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Eyford’s report also enters the sticky, complex realm of “Cumulative Impacts”:

page 14

Eyford highlights a quote from a recent court case in B.C.:

He fronts another recommendation:

page 15

This after suggesting:

page 14

So where do we start assessing the ‘accumulation’ of ‘cumulative’… 2005, 1990, 1950, 1900, 1867…1763 (the year of the Royal Proclamation)?

And how is ‘Canada’ (e.g. the Feds) going to undertake this in light that BC is responsible for ‘negotiating’ the Treaties, or other government-to-government agreements? (Bit of a sticky one here…)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The final recommendation out of Eyford’s report is a ‘capper’…

page 44

I’m going to keep posted for when that starts for Conservative/Reform MPs, including Joe Oliver.

The combination of the two reports – Eyford’s on ‘Forging Partnerships, Building Relationships’ and the Joint Review Panel’s report on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline – create some interesting and curious issues to be watched closely as this all moves along. However, the cynic in me tends to jump on this suggesting I know where these recommendations from Eyford will go… good old responsible, sustainable recycle bin in the PMO. [Prime Minister's Office].

How’s the old jingle go…?

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.’

Stay posted… however, I smell timelines similar to the proposed Mackenzie Valley Pipeline… what were those? Well, proposed sometime in the 1970s, still not built, and now basically obsolete…

Remember this…? Enbridge doesn’t want you to.

Remember this from early 2012?

The Costa Concordia cruise ship hits a reef and sinks – 32 people die.

I had a post about it back then (Proposed Northern Exit-gateway Pipeline: Accidents happen because of human error… and are not averted due to elaborate statistical analyses…) because ironically enough the Enbridge ‘northern gateway’ pipeline hearings were on in northwestern BC and one Enbridge official (or consultant) was carrying on about the detailed statistical equations they had undertaken, which suggested that the chances of this happening to a massive oil tanker on BC’s coast were: 1 in 15,000 years.

hmmmm…

Here’s the Costa Concordia today – over one and a half years later.

The partially submerged Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy. Local Waterloo company 2G Robotics is scanning the ship to help in the uprighting process.

This from a CBC article running today:

Waterloo robotics firm helps upright Costa Concordia

Gotta love that media… the ship is still sitting exactly as it is in this picture – e.g., sunk. Yet, the media headline suggests that some Canadian firm actually “helps upright” the ship. Hmmm, maybe the honest headline would be ‘trying to upright’…

So the top picture paints a lovely image. That village has had to put up with a half sunken ship where 32 people died, literally in their front yard for over a year and a half. Probably no oils or fuels leaking… or sewage, or otherwise…

Awesome.

Sure would like to see the ‘statistical analysis’ that predicted the odds of this happening… Probably wasn’t all that different than Enbridge and the Harper gang’s numbers on oil tankers on the BC coast…

Maybe not all that different then the odds that predicted this in Harper’s hometown:

Calgary Saddledome flooded in spring/summer of 2013

Shit happens – no matter what the statisticians suggest.

“There’s always the human factor…” says U.S. Coast Guard, as oil tanker hits San Fran Bay Bridge

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

The headline from the National Post reads: Oil tanker crashes into San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge:

An empty oil tanker caused minor damage Monday when it struck a tower in the middle of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while navigating beneath the hulking span, officials said.

The 752-foot Overseas Reymar rammed the tower about 11:20 a.m. as it headed out to sea, according to the Coast Guard and state transportation officials. It didn’t affect traffic on the busy bridge, which is the main artery between San Francisco and Oakland, Ney said.

OSG Ship Management Inc., which is the parent company that owns the Marshall Islands-registered ship, said the vessel hit an underwater portion of the massive bridge structure.

Investigators had not yet determined the cause of the crash.

“There’s always the human factor,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Lansing said. “That is again what we’ll look into and see whether, in fact, it was a human error or something else and take that into consideration in the development of future regulation.”

Visibility at the time was about a quarter-mile, but officials didn’t say if that was a factor.

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

from Silicon Valley Mercury News

The Silicon Valley Mercury News reports Pilot in Bay Bridge oil tanker crash had three accidents since 2009:

…The pilot of the ship was identified as Guy Kleess, 61, of San Francisco, a former Exxon oil tanker captain who has been involved in at least three other shipping accidents since 2009.

The incident provided a stark reminder of a similar Bay Bridge collision five years ago, when the Cosco Busan, a 901-foot-long cargo ship, hit the adjacent tower of the Bay Bridge, spilling 53,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel into the bay, fouling 69 miles of shoreline and killing thousands of birds.

That an oil tanker similar in size to the Exxon Valdez, with the capacity to haul millions of gallons of heavy crude oil, hit a bridge in San Francisco Bay alarmed environmentalists.

This last line is particularly entertaining… what exactly is an environmentalist in the eyes of these writers? Is it only ‘environmentalists’ concerned about this?

The Washington Times reports:

Monday’s mishap brought back memories of a major crash in November 2007 in which the 902-foot Cosco Busan rammed the bridge and spilled 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay.

That accident contaminated 26 miles of shoreline, killed more than 2,500 birds and delayed the start of the crab-fishing season. Capt. John Cota, the pilot of the Cosco Busan, was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors.

Apparently, that’s just more than those ‘pesky’ environmentalists fronting concern… I’m guessing the maybe 7 million+ residents of the Bay and surrounding area might be a bit concerned if this ship had hit the bridge with its full capacity of some 500,000+ barrels of oil which it had just offloaded.

from mercury news

from mercury news

The Silicon Valley Mercury News

Biologists for years have said that if a large oil tanker spills in the bay, the currents could carry much of it southward, where it would devastate egrets,herons, harbor seals, salmon and other species in the marshes and wetlands. Because of the weak tidal action in the southern part of the bay, the oil would take months, if not years, to remove.

The article continues with some key questions:

Among the key questions Monday: Why was the ship sailing in significant fog? After the Cosco Busan spill in 2007, the Coast Guard put in place rules limiting large ships from sailing when there is less than half a mile of visibility. Coast Guard officials said Monday that the visibility was a quarter-mile at the time of the accident.

Also, did Coast Guard officials who track ships on radar warn the vessel it was about to hit the bridge tower? [what about the ship's own radar...?]

And why did the ship or its contracted emergency response crews not deploy boom — floating barriers that protect against oil spills — until hours after the accident?

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Shawn Lansing said the ship, which was built in 2004, had a double hull, which is required under a federal law signed by President George H.W. Bush after the Valdez spill. At a news conference Monday afternoon, Lansing said investigators don’t yet know the cause of the crash but are looking at human error as a possibility.

There it is again… ‘likely possibility’… ‘may’… and now we’re back into the circle of ‘evidence absence’ and ‘absence of evidence’… and… well…

… then the great news cycle… this accident will blow away or float away in the Bay tides in coming days and weeks.

Except maybe in places where people are contemplating the ‘human error’ risk factors present in shipping oil, bitumen, fuel and otherwise in areas where collisions between land, and land-based structures could be absolutely disastrous – as the Exxon Valdez and numerous other accidents demonstrate.

Here’s an image from the Vancouver Sun of the community of Kitimat and the Douglas Channel stretching west:

Vancouver Sun image

Vancouver Sun image

And a more complex view of the Douglas Channel from the Dogwood Initiative website;

from Dogwood Initiative website

from Dogwood Initiative website

And the Bay Bridge… pretty darn tough to see that thing…

Fog City

Double-hulled, triple hulled, highly trained pilots, radar, Coast Guards, regulations (current or future), policies, judicial reviews, ministerial imperatives, etc. … it don’t matter when it comes down to old faithful “HUMAN ERROR“…

It’s not a matter of ‘if’… it’s only a matter of ‘when’… that is… when we’re talking shipping, ships, and oil.

Risk… Reward?

[Remember this post from almost exactly one year ago today: Proposed Northern Exit-gateway Pipeline: Accidents happen because of human error… and are not averted due to elaborate statistical anlayses…  [or elaborate regulations... which may not be followed anyways... as in this case and half mile visibility and big bridges]

Enbridge Northern Exit-way II

Enbridge Northern Exit-way II

 

Beware the “weak kneed skeptics” that criticize the gutting of Canada’s Fisheries Act – what a sham

What…?! fish don’t actually need habitat in a ‘conservative’ world…

The undoubted sign of a society well under control or in decline is that language has ceased to be a means of communication and has become instead a shield for those who master it…”   -John Ralston Saul, Canadian thinker.

Wow, where did these folks come from…(see photo above)? …Oh, wait, I think I can tell you… but i’ll leave that to my inside voice.

Let the gutting of Canada as you know it… Begin.

Maybe the Harper Conservatives/Reform didn’t watch the crash and burn of Danielle Smith’s girls gone Wild-rose party earlier this week in Alberta.

Even Canada’s “heartland” folks that some might say lean towards the right side of the spectrum and maybe a little tinge of crimson on the back of the neck… were not ready for ‘gays will die in hellfire’ and ‘white folks make better candidates’-type comments coming from folks wanting to be elected to government in AB.

…And a leader that said “gee, shucks, that’s just their personal views, don’t worry those won’t affect their politics…”

Or…maybe… just maybe… was it a crash and burn, or, simply completely blown polling results… who’s to know really…

But then we have Harper and his crew.

Take the picture above, straight off the “Fisheries and Oceans Canada” website: Harper Government Commits to the Responsible Protection and Conservation of Canada’s Fisheries.

The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced that the Harper government will introduce changes to protect the productivity of recreational, commercial and Aboriginal fisheries. This means focusing protection rules on real and significant threats to these fisheries and the habitat that supports them while setting clear standards and guidelines for routine projects.

And there it is… a point made many times on this salmonguy site… The Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans has the mandate to conserve and protect fish and fish habitat.

NOT… “responsible protection and conservation of Canada’s fisheries”…

Someone… pardon the pun… is missing the boat.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

From the Vancouver Sun yesterday:

Fisheries Act changes introduced amid debate over new law’s intent

OTTAWA — The Harper government unveiled a massive omnibus budget implementation bill Thursday that includes Fisheries Act amendments that will strip the term “habitat” from the most crucial section of the law.The government’s intent, according to a spokeswoman, to assist “everyday Canadians” in their dealings with federal fisheries bureaucrats.

And the official said allegations that the government is giving in to demands from energy and mining lobbyists are false.

“These are changes being made in our department that are designed to help Canadians — everyday Canadians: landowners, municipalities, farmers – be able to undertake activities on their properties without obtrusive interference by our department,” said Erin Filliter, spokeswoman for Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield.

Hmmm… interesting…  this is about everyday Canadians… says Ash-field.

But… but… I thought it was about “Responsible Protection and Conservation of Canada’s Fisheries

_ _ _ _ _ _

The Vancouver Sun the day before yesterday:

Minister admits Fisheries Act changes could help speed project approvals

The quote in the first paragraph from the article cracks me up:
The federal government’s planned overhaul of the Fisheries Act may reduce the regulatory burden companies such as Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. face in getting approval for major projects, Fisheries Minister Keith Ash-field said Tuesday.
Yes, that’s not a typo on my part, it’s a direct quote… He’s Mr. Ash-field… hmmm. someone trying to say something at the Sun…?

But Ashfield rejected opposition accusations that the federal government’s plan for a “more sensible and practical” Fisheries Act was a result of corporate pressure from the energy and mining sectors. “It certainly hasn’t influenced me in any way shape or form. I have never sat down with [or] had any discussions with Enbridge,” he said in an interview.

Ashfield said farmers, municipalities and even some conservation groups in Canada support the government plan to shift regulatory enforcement focus away from general fish habitat and toward specific fish and fish habitat that are of “vital” importance to the recreational, commercial and aboriginal fisheries.

Oh yea… what about scientists, researchers, and streamkeeper groups? What about the 100,000 plus or so BC’ers that spend time cleaning creeks and streams and looking after fish and fish habitat?

Ashfield drew attention to groups outside the mining and energy sectors backing the changes, including the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

What horseshit, last time I checked, Ducks Unlimited wasn’t really a fish conservation organization…  doesn’t it work on protecting wetlands so that there’s more ducks to potentially shoot…?

And of course the federation of municipalities is going to go for it…

The bullshit that elected officials will spew out in the name of marketing and PR is astounding.

But Ashfield acknowledged his proposals could reduce Enbridge’s requirements under Fisheries Act habitat protection rules for the estimated 1,000 waterways its Northern Gateway pipeline will cross. “It could be determined that some of these waterways may not necessarily be vital waterways,” Ashfield said.

The government announcement stressed that the current fisheries law, which bans activity that results in the “harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat,” has been too broadly enforced.

Too “broadly enforced”!?

Show me all the frigging fines and convictions then.

You can’t, because there were only two in 2008.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Globe and Mail also ran an article on this issue the other day:

Tories to overhaul Fisheries Act

…But critics argue the government is looking to reduce the regulatory burden on energy and mining companies, and the changes will jeopardize rivers, streams and lakes that are part of broad and important ecosystems.

“This announcement does indicate an intention to compromise for some of Canada’s lakes, rivers and streams – whichever the government officials deem to be not vital,” said Lara Tessaro, staff lawyer with the Vancouver-based EcoJustice group.

“In the context of environmental protection, it is a really bizarre approach to have government officials handpick which lakes are not important. … What fish need to survive is healthy and productive habitats, from spawning grounds to rearing grounds to habitats for their entire food chain.”

Ms. Tessaro added that the legislative amendments are unnecessary if all the government wants to do is streamline the process for minor development projects, because they are covered by policy guidelines that could be easily changed.

Great, we’re going to have salmon and other fish habitat decisions made by ‘elected’ officials in Ottawa. Yup, those elected officials that come with a great breadth of knowledge about fish and fish habitat… (in Ottawa). Just like the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure…

…real solid fish habitat folks those ones…

This is a sham.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

See it’s language like this article out of the Globe and Mail that sum up the current governing regime:

Blasting ‘weak-kneed’ skeptics, Tories fan out to plug EU trade deal

The Harper government’s PR machine will be working overtime Friday as 40 per cent of the Conservative cabinet fans out across the country to shore up support for a free trade deal with the European Union.

Fifteen cabinet ministers, three MPs and a senator will stage 18 separate events throughout Canada to play up the benefits of further opening this country’s markets to the 27-member EU bloc.

Interesting, I thought we were in a time of great cutbacks and savings…?

Public servants and ministries are being hacked and slashed in the name of smaller government… and yet: “Fifteen cabinet ministers, three MPs and a senator will stage 18 separate events throughout Canada to play up the benefits of further opening this country’s markets to the 27-member EU bloc.”

Sounds like wise spending to me… better get out there and replace all those “weak knees”…

Oh no wait… Health care spending is also in the works…

The Conservatives kicked off the public relations campaign Friday morning with an Ottawa speech by International Trade Minister Ed Fast to the Economic Club of Canada.

“Trade is not for skeptics or scoffers. It’s not for the weak-kneed or faint of heart,” Mr. Fast told his business audience.

Who are these people in power?

Oh wait, I know…

The article on trade concludes:

The Tories can’t really complain of obstructionism in Parliament by the NDP now that the Harper government controls the Commons and, effectively, the Senate.

The Tories can use their majority powers – 166 seats – to limit and curb debate on any bill they want passed.

Nothing like bullies in power that love public relations campaign and the great spin machine.

Can only sit and watch the dismantling and then the nosedive and faceflop in the next election as Harper’s recent nosedive in the polls show.

Harper’s brand hits ‘new low’ amid robo-call, F-35 scandals: poll

As his beloved Ministers continue to be embroiled in conflict of interest scandals, spending scandals, lying about true costs of fighter jet scandals, etc… What’s next for the ‘Blue’ men group?

(And yet all of this shenanigan-ing on the Fisheries Act carrying on while Justice Cohen still deliberates on the Fraser sockeye situation… glad to see that Harper and the gang have essentially written off that $20 million process…)

Sadly misplaced focus…? $30 million to ‘eco-terrorists’ opposed to irresponsible oil and gas dev… Yet,$10 Billion of PetroChina ‘investment’ in Canadian sovereignty?

do you know the story of Cerberus the mythical three-headed dog that guarded the gates to Hades?

.

Shhhh… nobody tell the “Harper”- Reform government that maybe they are misplacing energy, time and resources barking up the wrong tree..

And… maybe opening a real can of worms that some folks flapping their Right wings may not want opened… (not mentioning any – Fraser Institute – names…)

Or… is this ruse to bark up the enviro-terrorist tree simply an effective ploy to keep us all:

Hush, Hush

…about the huge increase in PetroChina (Chinese government owned corporation) multi-BILLION dollar investments and direct purchases of Canada tar sands projects, and natural gas, and… and… and…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Coming from the National Post newspaper:

Are new guidelines for charities just upholding current law or a way to silence oil-sands critics?

The Conservative government will keep a closer eye on environment-focused charities accused of breaking rules that cap their political activity, cracking down on groups that allegedly engage in politically charged work beyond the legal limit.

Thursday’s budget arms the Canada Revenue Agency with $8-million over two years to ensure charities devote their resources to charitable work and to improve transparency by asking them to disclose the extent to which their political activities are funded by foreign sources.

“[Some charities] are not acting like they’re a charitable institution; they’re acting like they’re an environmental lobbyist — that’s the big objection,” said [Professor] Frank Atkins, a University of Calgary economist. “They’re hiding behind their charitable status.”

The revenue agency says a charity is allowed to devote up to 10% of its total annual resources to political activities, but Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said this week the government has received “a lot” of complaints from Canadians who worry their donations are going toward political action rather than charity work.

“There is clearly a need, in our view, for more vigilance,” Mr. Flaherty said.

The question of foreign money being used to affect Canadian policy is chief among the government’s concerns, Prof. Atkins [at University of Calgary] said.

“What’s happening out here is that whenever there’s a regulatory approval process, it gets loaded up with all these obscure groups seemingly out of nowhere,” he said, referring to “deep-pocketed foundations in the United States” challenging oil-sands development and the pipeline project. “Even those using Canadian money are still not acting like a charitable institution.”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hmmmm… is that the same Professor Frank Atkins that is listed on the Fraser Institute website as:

Frank’s main academic areas of interest are monetary policy and the application of time series analysis to macroeconomic data. Frank had the privilege of supervising the Master of Arts (Economics) thesis of Stephen Harper, who is now the Prime Minister of Canada.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Well… geee… National Post reporter that sounds like some credible, un-biased ‘sources’…?

Seems the Fraser Institute got quoted twice in this article… as the article finishes with:

Niels Veldhuis, a Fraser Institute vice-president, said there is no question the federal government believes some environmental groups are not abiding by the rules.

“The government ought to look into that,” he said.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Right… this is the same Niels Veldhuis who thinks that Stats Canada numbers are wrong on many Canadians ability to meet basic needs:

as of 2005, only 4.7 per cent of the Canadian population did not have enough income to meet basic needs

(Stats Can suggests its almost twice that…)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Oh wait… is that also the same University of Calgary that has various “Research Chair” positions in its Faculty of Medicine sponsored by the likes of Enbridge, Husky Energy, and no shortage of either pharmaceutical companies or other corporations?

For example:

AstraZeneca Chair in Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Who’s AstraZeneca? Well, they’re a “global biopharmaceutical company…”

Or, the GSK Professorship in Inflammatory Lung Disease — what’s GSK?

Oh that’s just GlaxoSmithKline Inc.:

“GlaxoSmithKline is one of the largest research and development (R&D) investors in the industry, collaborating with academic institutions, governments and other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to help people live healthier lives.”

Or, the Novartis Chair in Schizophrenia Research. Who’s Novartis?

Oh just this little company that:

Over the past decade, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada has introduced 20 new medicines that have had an important impact on patients suffering from a wide variety of major illnesses…

.

Not that I’m necessarily saying this is “bad” or “good”…

Just asking the ‘fair question’…

as, when Harper and buddies start barking, they should probably think it through a bit, and maybe ask around their caucus:

S.H.: “hmmm Joe [as in Oliver] is there maybe some worm cans we might open here?”

J.O.: “Oh no, Steve-O we’ll just shit-can those enviro-terrorists out there in BC…”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

It’s also the same University of Calgary Economics dept that lists one of its “Affiliates” as the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

Who has the mission to:

to provide relevant, independent and objective economic research in energy and environmental issues to benefit business, government, academia and the public.

And:

CERI’s economic studies are highly relevant and objective and the analysis and advice contained therein are sought by government and business planners and decision-makers.

Ahhh, yes… I read one of those highly “objective” studies from their website:

Oil Spills and First Nations:  Exploring Environmental and Land Issues Surrounding the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Here’s one of the many fine “objective” comments from the report (and it quickly becomes clear who is “to benefit”…:

A major oil spill in the Kitimat estuary region may cause a high number of sea bird mortalities as well as marine mammal and fish deaths due to the abundance of species living there and the diversity of the habitat. However, there are controls in place to reduce the likelihood of widespread and catastrophic spillage of an oil tanker or within the oil pipeline.

Even if such an event should occur, the habitat range of most species is vast enough that populations should be able to recover in time…

Oh yea… interested to see where that ‘objective’ theory comes from… (e.g. don’t worry about the effect of oil spills on migratory species…)

Or,

Conclusions on the Environment 

…Construction activities will cause a deterioration of habitat, but this deterioration is short-lived and species will be able to recover.

And, apparently, this ‘objective’ organization that wrote this little 50-page report (including relying on several references from the 1970s), is also an expert on issues of aboriginal law & aboriginal rights and title:

Aboriginal law is not cast in stone, with much depending on the nation involved and the context:

ancient Code of Hammurabi (written in stone...)

Huh… fascinating… I’m not sure that I know of any “law cast in stone”.

Oh wait… there is the ancient Code of Hammurabi…

.

.

But don’t worry say the authors:

CERI recognizes the various environmental concerns and does not hold a position for or against the pipeline…

(Funny, but reading the report I caught a strong whiff of bovine deposit surrounding that statement…)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Where’s the root of some of this enviro-charitable-crimes theory coming from?

Well… Vancouver-based researcher Vivian Krause (@fair questions) seems to be tooting her horn on this one…

She wrote an article in January in the Financial Post suggesting that maybe her research was at the root of Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s and honorable Steve-O, great leader’s, crack-down on these apparent ‘enviro-terrorist’ organizations…

So much so that she was actually asked to come and testify at the federal House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources in early Feb. 2012.

the National Post newspaper opinion piece:

Vivian Krause: Oil sands money trail

Last week, on the eve of the environmental review for the $5.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline project that would carry Alberta oil to Kitimat for export to Asia, Canada’s Minister for Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, expressed concern that foreign-funded environmentalists would jeopardize the review and block the pipeline.

Oliver didn’t mention my name, but the research that raised concerns about the foreign funding of environmentalism in Canada is apparently mine.

For five years, on my own nickel, I have been following the money and the science behind environmental campaigns and I’ve been doing what the Canada Revenue Agency hasn’t been doing: I’ve gathered information about the origin and the stated purpose of grants from U.S. foundations to green groups in Canada. My research is based on U.S. tax returns because the U.S. Internal Revenue Service requires greater disclosure from non-profits than does the CRA.

Speaking on CBC last night [Jan. 16, 2011], Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “But just because certain people in the United States would like to see Canada be one giant national park for the northern half of North America, I don’t think that’s part of what our review process [for the Northern Gateway] is all about.”

_ _ _ _ _ _

Krause has been getting some federal government airtime on this one…

A Vancouver Sun article (Feb. 9, 2011) reporting on her testimony to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources:

Vivian Krause’s conspiracy theory — you decide

Vancouver researcher Vivian Krause is one of the most controversial figures in the rather incredible battle shaping up over the Northern Gateway pipeline.  You can google her name and find various profiles, but the bottom line is that this personable Vancouver researcher has portrayed herself as a woman of marginal means who has devoted the past five years or so of her life to unearthing details about U.S. financial influence on the Canadian environmental movement…

… I should add that hers is a rather remarkable story, as she is surely more influential on Canadian natural resource policy right now than the vast majority of parliamentarians we’re paying lavish salaries to in this town [Ottawa].  Her theory about a grand “plan” behind all this money has been given credibility by none other than Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Enbridge Inc. CEO Pat Daniel.

[link to Edmonton journal article also by same journalist: "American anti-pipeline trusts just blowing smoke? Right and left have conspiracy theories about groups’ funding" with quotes from great-leader Harper and CEO Daniels]

Krause appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources today, and there were some lively exchanges…

The article goes on to quote some of her testimony…

_ _ _ _ _ _

Now, if you’re curious at all, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources was:

Established by the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, the mandate of the the Standing Committee on Natural Resources is to study and report on matters referred to it by the House of Commons, or on topics the Committee itself chooses to examine.

It can study all matters relating to the mandate, management, operation, budget and legislation of the Department of Natural Resources and of organizations pertaining to its portfolio.

The issues being dealt with by the Committee that Krause was called to testify at is the:

Current and Future State of Oil and Gas Pipelines and Refining Capacity in Canada.

She testified on Feb. 9, 2011 and the transcripts are available by clicking on the link.

Here are some curious components:

What hasn’t been known until recently, however, is that some of the opponents of various pipeline projects, and the campaigns against the Canadian energy sector also have some deep-pocketed supporters south of the border. In order for the joint review panel to conduct its work in a manner that is open, fair, and transparent, I believe that funding on all sides should be out in the open.

In my review of the American tax returns of the foundations that are funding the environmental movement both in the U.S. and in Canada, I’ve traced $300 million that has gone from American charitable foundations to environmental campaigns affecting our country. Most of my analysis is based on American tax returns because the IRS requires greater disclosure than the CRA.

The $300 million is from roughly 850 grants that I’ve traced from 10 foundations. In addition to these foundations, there are an additional dozen or more American foundations that have granted substantial funds to Canadian environmental groups.

By my analysis, American funding from the foundations I’ve followed has increased ten-fold over the past decade, from about $4 million in 2000 to $50 million in 2010. Of the $300 million in American funding I’ve traced, at least $30 million is specifically for campaigns targeting the oil and gas industry in Canada

… It’s not small amounts of money from a large number of foreign sources; it’s very large amounts of money from a very small number of billion-dollar foundations.

Actually, my blog and most of my writing has been about the science and the money behind environmental campaigns. Really, it’s the use of the flawed science and some of the exaggerated claims that are my biggest concerns. Some of what the environmental organizations are saying is simply untrue…

When billionaire funders are involved in influencing public opinion and public policy on a major issue of national importance, I think the money should be out in the open, whether the billionaire funders are American or Canadian.

I believe that this applies to foreign investment and philanthropy, as well.

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Well… Ms. Krause… you are EXACTLY RIGHT!

Just like Professor Atkins of the Fraser Institute… errr… University of Calgary… errr… Fraser…

What was it he said again at the beginning of this article…?

“They’re hiding behind their charitable status.”

Seems Fraser Institute (a charitable organization) researchers might be hiding behind the ‘objectivity’ and ‘neutrality’ of an academic institution…?

I find it quite curious actually… I agree with many aspects of Ms. Krause’s research and even Professor Atkins… I’ve asked similar questions since working and serving on a Board for a large enviro organization over a decade ago.

Not in a “conspiracy theory” manner, but more in a: Whose mandate are we fulfilling here?

I called these types of enviro-organizations: US-foundation puppies — and decided to find a little different line of work…

It’s pretty hard to imagine that one is doing good, principled work on environmental issues and otherwise when one’s work is simply being funded by money that was basically made by oil tycoons or computer giants, or otherwise…

As the old saying goes: “there is no such thing as clean money”…

It’s all dirty.

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So What?

And, as Ms. Krause asks in her testimony, some folks suggest: “So What?…” about her findings.

I ask the same: SOOO what?

What difference does $300 million… or… errrr… ‘targeted $30 million’ make…

…when compared to the Billions of dollars that PetroChina has offered to invest in the proposed Enbridge Northern Exit-way pipeline,

Or the $2.5 Billion that PetroChina invested to buy out Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. MacKay River oil sands project.

Or, just a few months ago… (Feb. 2012)

PetroChina takes stake in Shell gas field in B.C.

Canada’s push to access Asian energy markets got a shot in the arm Thursday after China’s largest oil and gas firm agreed to buy a 20-per-cent stake in Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s shale gas properties in British Columbia.

With the planned investment, PetroChina International – a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp. – has underscored its commitment to participate in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project that Shell is planning for Kitimat, B.C.

Neither side would release the value of the deal Thursday, but reports in Asia pegged it at $1-billion.

Or,

PetroChina to invest $5.4 billion Canada gas

CALGARY—PetroChina has agreed to invest $5.4 billion for half of Encana Corp.’s Cutbank Ridge shale natural gas assets, enabling an enormous chunk of land on the Alberta-British Columbia boundary to be developed more quickly than would otherwise have been the case.

“This agreement is the culmination of more than nine months of discussions between PetroChina and Encana and represents both a significant achievement and a major milestone in the developing relationship of our two companies,” Encana CEO Randy Eresman said in a statement Wednesday.

That’s just a cool, $8 – $10 BILLION DOLLARS of PetroChina investment alone in Canada’s resource sector — in the last year or so…

$10,000,000,000

What percentage is this $30 million of conspiracy-theory U.S. foundation money in comparison…

I think we’re far below 0.1%…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hmmmm… like Ms. Krause testified…

When billionaire funders are involved in influencing public opinion and public policy on a major issue of national importance, I think the money should be out in the open, whether the billionaire funders are American or Canadian [or Chinese?]. I believe that this applies to foreign investment and philanthropy, as well.

Yes, let’s get those ‘books’ opened.

And while we’re at it, lets’ get those book of The Fraser Institute open as well. And maybe the the Canadian Energy Research Institute, and, heck, while we’re at it how about the Van Horne Institute as well. (Another of those neutral objective ‘think tanks’ affiliated with universities in Alberta — and consisting of a longgg list of executives from oil and gas and pipeline companies).

The Fraser Institute is also listed as a charitable organization in Canada.

Go read its Annual Reports and see if they report any real numbers…

Where is the Fraser Institute getting its money? (some suggest players like Exxon Mobil).

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All in all this fuss over where environmental organizations are getting their funds seems like the difference between peeing from a helicopter on a pine-beetle-ravaged-forest-fire (e.g. potential $30 million in opposition funds to Canada’s oil and gas sector) and the all-out Asian-giant-resource-gobbling population-exploding BEAST

of BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars… and this little issue of a Billion people or so…

And yet, the Conservative/Reform crew just allocated $8 million to the Canada Revenue Agency to ‘crack down’ on this crazed-funding frenzy to enviro-terrorist organizations… that apparently will stop at nothing to protect their backyards…

Come-on… let’s get a grip here folks.

Where’s the potential bogey-man… in OLD oil money flowing north out of the States to pay minimum wage to enviro-researchers and organization?

OR

in NEW oil money flowing in the BILLIONS & BILLIONS & BILLIONS from a government (directly as PetroChina is owned by the Chinese government… they have to do something with all that American debt they’re holding)…

…that has a rather shady and questionable practice of dealing with several things… like basic human rights (ever heard of the Tibetans? or the veto on doing something in Syria…?), the environment (have you checked Beijing’s air quality today…?), dissenters (check recent headlines), and so on…?

Which is not to suggest there is a bogey-man — simply asking where should the inquiring eye, research, and questions really be directed?

Should Canada’s “Standing Committees” be spending time on small potatoes… or the entire quarter section potato farm…?

Should Canada’s “Standing Committees” be spending time inquiring into ‘conspiracy’ theories about how the soon to be bankrupt neighbors to the south want to keep all the oil to themselves…?

Does anyone really think that these BILLIONS of dollars of Chinese investment in Canada’s oil sector are simply going to be used to ship oil and gas to the U.S. through existing transportation networks?

No frigging way!!

BILLIONS of dollars of investment by a government-owned corporation mean that that Government is going to damn well want the resources they paid for… and… well… OWN. (like the former Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. MacKay River and other projects).

Let’s maybe call off the Conservative/Reform-Cerberus (three-headed dog)… and have an honest discussion about handing away Canadian resources to a foreign entity.

Remember when Canadians ‘lost it’ over Mulroney handing away Canada to our southern neighbors through the Free Trade Agreement?

This new brand of “Conservatives” (which even the old Conservatives are uncomfortable with… eh, Joe Clark?… seem to have lost that “progressive” tagline…) seem ‘hell-bent’ on putting the dogs at the gates of selling Canadian sovereignty, selling Canada’s future, and doing a brilliant job of making a fuss about little things, so as to provide the infamous diversionary tactic…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

What does this have to do with wild salmon?

Everything!

and marine resources… and ocean protection… and shoreline preservation… and fish habitat… and water pollution… and… and…

This whole crackdown is like busting the kid that takes spare change left in a phone booth tray, while in the lobby of Enron…

It smells of something much, much more ominous… (and sadly, this is no April Fool’s…)

PetroChina investing in BC’s wild salmon… (NOT)

inspired by good 'ol Far Side

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If this isn’t worrisome to Canadian sovereignty, aboriginal rights & title, and unsettled BC treaties… well… maybe we might as well shed the maple leaf and the white parts of the flag, and scuttle the BC Treaty Process (maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy), and why bother with any court cases about aboriginal rights and title…?

Some headlines from today and yesterday:

PetroChina bids to help build $5.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline

CALGARY — Chinese investment in Canada’s energy sector could move to a new level if PetroChina wins a bid to build the controversial Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline.

The largest of China’s three state-controlled oil companies has expressed an interest in building the $5.5-billion project across the northern Canadian Rockies and is considering purchasing an equity stake, said Pat Daniel, president and CEO of proponent Enbridge Inc.

“They have made the point to us that they are very qualified in building pipelines, and we will take that into consideration when we are looking for contractors,” Mr. Daniel said in an interview. “It’s an open bid process. They are a very big organization, they build a lot of pipelines, and they would love to be involved from what they have told me.”

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PetroChina produced more oil than industry giant Exxon Mobil in 2011

NEW YORK — A big shift is happening in Big Oil: an American giant now ranks behind a Chinese upstart.

Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s biggest publicly traded producer of oil. For the first time, that distinction belongs to a 13-year-old Chinese company called PetroChina. The Beijing company was created by the Chinese government to secure more oil for that nation’s booming economy.

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Canada’s ‘Cushing moment’: A northern pipeline crisis looms

CALGARY – Oil traders still grappling with an unprecedented pipeline bottleneck in the U.S. Midwest that roiled global energy markets last year should beware: Canada may be next.

The pipelines that carry crude from Alberta’s oil sands and the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to U.S. refiners may run out of capacity as soon as 2015, some analysts now warn.

Fears that the export of Canadian crude will be constrained have risen recently as a result of pipeline project delays and the unyielding growth of North Dakota output. Any resulting glut could weaken Canadian oil prices, depress profits for producers like Suncor Energy Inc and Cenovus Energy Inc and choke growth in the largest source of U.S. imports.

A crisis could be avoided, though. Major pipeline operators like Enbridge Inc say they’re confident that an estimated 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of idle capacity on existing Canada-to-U.S. lines is more than enough for up to five years, sufficient time to complete new lines or add pumps.

That view is by no means unanimous.

The government is also taking action. Canada is set to push forward new measures to cut approval times for major pipeline projects in order to speed the completion of proposed routes to the Pacific Ocean and refiners in Asia.

“At a certain point there will be an issue (with capacity),” Joe Oliver, Canada’s natural resources minister, said in an interview this week. “We remain optimistic that pipelines can be built in time to avoid … the kind of problem they have in Cushing.”

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Ottawa to eases pipeline rules in bid to boost oil exports to Asia

The federal government gave a boost to oil sands exports to Asia by streamlining the environmental review process and making it more difficult for environmental groups to mount an opposition.

[ummm... yeah... it doesn't seem to just be "environmental groups mounting opposition... there's this finnicky thing called: 'average Canadians'... that are in opposition]

In its budget brought down Thursday, Ottawa said it will propose legislation aimed at having “one project, one review” that establishes clear timelines for approval of big resource and industrial projects, reduces duplication and regulatory burdens, and focuses resources on the largest projects with the biggest environmental impacts.

Most of Canada’s oil is now exported to the United States, where it is heavily discounted because of pipeline bottlenecks.

Canadian governments and industry have been pushing for market diversification in Asia by way of new pipelines to the West Coast, but have run into opposition from the environmental movement and First Nations that are targeting regulatory reviews to delay the projects…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

If Enbridge gets turned down in the current process surrounding the Northern Exit-way pipeline then folks in B.C. better be ready for an onslaught of pipeline proposals, that will be guided by the new Harper “one project, one review” process.

And PetroChina, now bigger than Exxon (which carried the title of world’s biggest money-maker until Apple recently unseeded it) will not take “NO” for an answer.

Especially when the tar sands oil in Alberta essentially becomes theirs… through straight up buying up whatever they want. There’s already some $20 billion or so (on the low end) invested by PetroChina and other Chinese firms in Alberta’s tar sands operations.

When the world’s biggest oil company, which is trying to feed an insatiable beast…

well, Houston… and B.C. … we have a problem.

‘absence of evidence must be evidence of absence’… when it comes to ancient knowledge of fisheries?

Ancient 'British' rock fish trap dating to approx. 1000

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Over the last two days I’ve had the good fortune to listen to Dr. Charles Menzies (Associate Professor in Anthropology at UBC) speak in Prince George on two different topics – yet intimately related…

On the UBC website it lists Charles research interests as such:

My primary research interests are the production of anthropological films, natural resource management (primarily fisheries related), political economy, contemporary First Nations’ issues, maritime anthropology and the archaeology of north coast BC.

I have conducted field research in, and have produced films concerning, north coastal BC, Canada (including archaeological research); Brittany, France; and Donegal, Ireland.

Last night, at Art Space within Prince George’s independent book store Books & Company, Menzies delivered a presentation called:

Abalone, Pipelines, and Aboriginal Rights – Making Sense of Coastal Opposition to the Northern Gateway Project.

Found it to be quite a fascinating subject, quite enjoyed Menzies taking some pointed shots at academia and some ‘status-quo’ theories of some academics. Stirring the pot a little… (wooden spoon anyone?)

Namely, taking shots at some archaeologists that have adopted some rather faulty views of what folks on the coast may, or may not have been doing pre-contact.

You know at the apparent “discovery” of North America… and especially coastal northwestern North America.

In the research that informed Menzies’ presentation he visited ancient (and contemporary) Gitxaała village sites.

Gitxaała (Kitkatla) territory is south down the coast from Prince Rupert, BC and in the general vicinity south of the Skeena River mouth. As I understand it, Dr. Menzies’ family comes from that area, and he himself grew up in Prince Rupert.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

He explained that his research was quite purposely directed to do some investigation of community-known ancient village sites (and still contemporary used areas) which are along the proposed Enbridge oil super-tanker route, which would be used if Enbridge and Harper get their way in ramming a TarSands oil pipeline (Northern Exit-way) down the throats of north-central, north-coastal BC people’s throat.

(that last bit being my editorializing…).

He explained that the ‘status-quo’ archaeological ‘investigations’ and theories of this particular area suggest that people of this area did not harvest many abalone.

Community members most clearly say otherwise…

But archaeological theory continued to deny otherwise… look at our evidence, they say…

good old: ‘absence of evidence must be evidence of absence’…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Dr. Menzies and his crew, through low impact archaeological investigation and community elder direction to sites, sort of blew that proverbial misguided boat out of the water.

Or… i suppose… put the bilhaa (abalone) back in the water… one might say…

Menzies’ and crew found, what one might characterize, as no shortage of evidence of abalone use by ancients. Some dating back further than 4,000 years.

Menzies has an interesting paper at his publications page documenting the ancient Gitxaała connection to abalone  — bilhaa.

Menzies_ Abalone_2010

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There’s a fitting quote early in the paper, which also relates to recent posts on this site regarding the federal government’s apparent ‘modernization of Canada’s commercial fisheries’:

The future of Canada’s schizophrenic Fisheries Ministry… called into question. (And DFO gets another new name.)

Menzies suggests:

The development of the non-aboriginal commercial dive fishery in British Columbia is a classic example of competitive greed combining with ineffectual resource management to decimate a resource.

The story of the collapse of abalone (bilhaa ) up and down the coast, is a common story, caught quite well by Menzies:

Bilhaa is one of a set of Gitxaała cultural keystone species. Cultural keystone species are species that “play a unique role in shaping and characterizing the identity of the people who rely on them.

These are species that become embedded in a people’s cultural traditions and narratives, their ceremonies, dances, songs, and discourse”. Until the late 20th century, Gitxaała people were unhindered in the harvesting of bilhaa within the traditional territory and in accord with longstanding systems of indigenous authority and jurisdiction.

However, the rapid expansion of a non-aboriginal commercial dive fishery through the 1970s-1980s brought bilhaa stocks perilously close to extinction. The DFO responded to this non-aboriginal induced crisis by closing the total bilhaa fishery. DFO made no apparent effort to accommodate indigenous interests.

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Abalone (bilhaa), was most certainly not just limited to the BC coast.

In a recent research project I’ve been involved in… here is an image from old Father Morice’s journals (e.g. namesake for Moricetown, Morice Lake, etc.) from Dakelh (Carrier) people in the now Ft. St. James area in late 1800s.

abalone ornament from Dakelh people of BC interior

These types of ornaments would have traveled in on the oolichan grease trails and other various trade routes including dentalia shells, and other items, with prized hides of various sorts and soapberry traveling to the coast.

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In today’s presentation at UNBC Charles spoke about his research into artisanal fisheries on the coast of France — in other words small family, or community owned fisheries…

…and the impact of globalization on these fisheries and fisherfolks.

The story is remarkably similar to the story of agriculture throughout Canada, and other areas. The move from family-owned plots of land and specialized crops, to monoculture, highly centralized and controlled institutions and corporations that control much of the flow.

As Menzies suggested, when fish prices change in Brazil it affects fisherfolks in Canada… the impact of globalization (and maybe one might suggest: ‘systems theory’…)

Similar with wheat, barley, rye, and so on…

The fish market of the globe is largely controlled by only a handful of organizations. Fishing gear is largely down to only two or three companies.

Gee, does this sound like Monsanto or other mega multinational corporations controlling agriculture worldwide…?

The benefits of this, largely benefiting only a few, and the implications and drawbacks having devastating consequences on the small players of the world — you know… the little players like community members and families.

… those same “families” that all politicians seem to be soooo concerned about…

…from BC’s current un-elected premier Clark to the highest fed levels in Canada and even current Republican blather flooding Canadian airways these days as they try and select a presidential candidate.

(gee… one might almost feel bad for all those “singles” out there… hey?)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

The great thing about sitting at the ‘back’ during presentations such as Dr. Menzies’ is that one can watch the various academics squirm and frown with mere mention of ideas that might challenge the status-quo economic theories or otherwise that are currently being jammed down the whole medley of ‘students’ out there.

All the more sad as they riddle themselves with debt (students that is) the size of a small European nation and learning tired and worn out theories — such as the “invisible hand of the market” and other ‘strength of privatization’-bumpf flying around like the old passenger pigeon of old

(or running around like a dodo bird with its head cut off).

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Not unlike the current Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ bumpf-filled, fluffy, blather around ‘modernizing’ Canada’s fisheries.

(yeah, sure… go for it… modernize the ‘fishery’… but I think i can safely say that the fish themselves are not all that interested in ‘modernizing’

… think it’s called barely surviving…

…fish populations around the world are on death-row, which means the fleet can be as modern as it wants to be, but an empty fish net, is an empty fish net

…even if it’s the latest carbon-fiber, titanium-lined, indestructible twine net, with GPS-spotter plane, fuel efficient, carbon credit, carbon neutral, double-hulled, long-distance trawl, Marine Stewardship Council-certified, boat and fairly-paid, union-represented crew.

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empty is empty…

(net… river… ocean… shoreline that once had abalone…)

or we… simply… just keep fishing down the food chain until bullheads start looking pretty tasty at the latest and greatest restaurants…

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Great finish to this, from Menzies (and colleague Caroline Butler) paper: “Returning to Selective Fishing through Indigenous Fisheries Knowledge”:

The historical abundance of salmon along the west coast of North America has been significantly reduced during the last two centuries of industrial harvest. Commercial fisheries from California to Alaska and points in between have faced clearly documented restrictions on fishing effort and collapse of specific salmon runs.

Even while salmon runs on some large river systems remain (i.e., the Fraser and Skeena rivers), many smaller runs have all but disappeared. The life histories of many twentieth-century fisheries have been depressingly similar: initial coexistence with indigenous fisheries; emergence of large-scale industrial expansion followed by resource collapse; introduction of limited restrictions on fishing effort, which become increasingly severe, making it hard for fishing communities to survive and to reproduce themselves.

Yet for nearly two millennia prior to the industrial extraction of salmon, indigenous peoples maintained active harvests of salmon, which are estimated to have been at or near median industrial harvests during the twentieth century.

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Menzies raised this point in the discussion part of his presentation today at UNBC.

It’s one of my favorite points, which I’ve used in many presentations over the years.

In simple terms…

…the level of pre-contact salmon fisheries is estimated to actually be higher than the average annual industrial harvest of salmon over the last century.

Wow, I think I felt the flinch in the room today from a few academics…

And then the excuses and questions and qualifiers start flying when some folks realize that the pedestal that academic keeps trying to stand on is jussssst a little bit shaky.

Maybe not even shaky… it’s simply an imagined pedestal.

Just picture the classic Wiley Coyote running off the cliff chasing Road Runner then realizing there’s nothing under him…

Menzies and Butler conclude their paper on selective harvesting:

Scant attention has been paid to traditional fishing techniques and technologies and the ways in which they might contribute to sustainable harvesting and species conservation, and indeed, provide an alternative to current practices.

Traditional knowledge of salmon production may be of significant value in the current search for successful selective fishing techniques for the British Columbian salmon fisheries.

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See that anywhere in DFO’s plans…?

The image at the beginning of this post is from a British newspaper story:

Google Earth reveals fish trap made from rocks 1,000 years ago off British coast

For a millennium it has lain undisturbed beneath the waves a stone’s throw from one of Britain’s best-loved beaches.

But now modern technology has revealed this ancient fish trap, used at the time of the Norman Conquest.

Stretching more than 280 yards along the sea bed, the V-shaped structure was used to catch fish without the need for a boat or rod. Scientists believe it is one of the biggest of its kind. [Menzies might argue this as he's found kilometres of these along the northwest BC coast]

The trap close to Poppit Sands on the Teifi Estuary in Dyfed was discovered by archaeologists studying aerial photographs of the West Wales coast. [love that term "discovered"]

It was designed to act like a rock pool, trapping fish behind its stone walls as the tide flowed out.

At its point is a gap where fisherman would have placed nets to catch fish. They could also have blocked up the gap, and then scooped up fish trapped in the shallows.

ancient British fish trap

What a concept… so my ancestors in Wales and other areas were using similar selective fishing community-based technology… hmmm.

Pop this into the old search engine ‘ancient rock fish traps’ and you will find examples from around the world: the Arctic, Australia, Hawaii, Indonesia, Mediterranean, and so on…

What a concept, local knowledge being put to use to ‘manage’ a local resource. (and ensuring that resource survives for many human generations…)

I think they call that ‘rocket science’… or is it ‘not’…

science that is… it’s just knowledge… and… ummmm… COMMON SENSE.

Really, Mr. Oliver, Natural Resources Minister: Who’s ‘Driven by an ideological imperative’?

does this make sense?

Here we go…

In early January, rookie minister Joe Oliver — federal Minister of Natural Resources penned an open letter to Canadians, suggesting that radical environmentalists and the like were hijacking processes such as the National Energy Board hearings into the proposed Enbridge Northern exit-way Pipeline.

Here’s the CBC story from Jan.:

‘Driven by an ideological imperative’

In an interview on CBC News Network, Oliver said radicals are “a group of people who don’t take into account the facts but are driven by an ideological imperative.”

Review process should be shortened, minister says

Oliver says he thinks the environmental review process can be shorter and still protect Canada.

“Of course it’s a matter of judgment. We want to have enough time, but we don’t want to permit people to hijack the process, and that’s what’s been happening,” he said.

Last month, Oliver criticized the environmental review process as he approved French oil giant Total’s Joslyn North oilsands mine project 65 kilometres northwest of Fort McMurray, Alta. He said he wants to see the process streamlined and shortened to two years.

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Well, let’s stop and take a look at this for a second, Mr. Oliver (errr… honorable)

Definition of “ideological“?

1. Of or relating to ideology.

2. Of or concerned with ideas.

Hmmm. And definition of “ideology“:

the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.

And curious enough, the roots of the word actually mean: originally “philosophy of the mind which derives knowledge from the senses.”

Well, OK… and definition of “imperative“?

1. absolutely necessary or required; unavoidable: ‘It is imperative that we leave.’

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And so of all the National Energy Board hearings thus far into Enbridge’s proposed Northern Exit-way pipeline… there has been nary a peep of support, barely a twitter, rarely a squeak of ‘build it, yes’…

Now, let’s quickly look at “radical”, of which there are several definitions…

1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
2. thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company [or country].
3. favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
4. forming a basis or foundation.
5. existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.

So, I suppose Mr. Oliver, you are referring to #3 — those crazy radicals favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms…

Let’s think about that for a second………………

Build a new oil pipeline through north-central BC where one does not currently exist..

Plow over 200+ oil supertankers along the north-central coast of BC and through Hecate Strait where nary few run now…

Does that not imply, then, that building an oil pipeline is in fact the “radical reform” socially, economically, and politically?

And so who, really, are the “radicals” here?

(Not to mention that last time I checked the current “Harper” government is rather full of the old Reform Party brethren — many of those that do not believe in Darwin’s theories or other rather ‘radical’ scientific theories that refute the good holy word…)

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Let’s step forward a little to today’s headlines:

Chinese ‘frustrated’ by Northern Gateway regulatory delays

Chinese oil executives are growing frustrated with regulatory delays in plans for the Northern Gateway pipeline, even as interest in Canadian oil and gas surges in the energy-hungry country, the head of Enbridge Inc. says.

Enbridge chief executive officer Pat Daniel said despite keen interest here in Canadian oil and gas reserves, this seemingly made-in-heaven match is threatened by delays in the company’s efforts to establish a $5.5-billion, 1,177-kilometre pipeline to carry bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to a deep sea port at Kitimat, B.C., for shipping to Asian markets.

Curious… I certainly don’t remember Mr. Harper celebrating China as a “made in heaven” match just a few short years ago as he celebrated the work of the Dalai Lama…

“They’re frustrated, as we are, in the length of time it takes,” Mr. Daniel said in an interview on the sidelines of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s mission to China. “They’re very anxious to diversify their supply, they’re very dependent on the Middle East for crude.

“[Canada] seems like the perfect match that should last a long time, but if you don’t move it along, people do lose interest. We don’t have forever,” he continued. “The fundamentals in the business can change and you must take advantage of opportunities if and when they present themselves.”

Well… actually, in fact Mr. Daniel, we do have forever… what’s the rush…?

Last I checked China has been around quite some time… some thousands and thousands of years [without Canadian bitumen].

So has the oil in the ground in Canada’s tar sands — also thousands and thousands of years… millions actually.

And, well, the longer the oil stays in the ground, the more valuable it will become… (or obsolete).

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Mr. Daniel said they hope to have approvals completed within two years and construction in three, so that oil can begin flowing by late 2016 or early 2017, despite heavy opposition from environmental groups and first nations who fear the impact of an oil spill on some of Canada’s most untouched wilderness and coastline.

Huh… seems there’s this sticky couple hundred year old issue of unsettled treaties in B.C. with First Nations, Mr. Daniel… and… well… your Enbridge team has significantly botched its community relations work in BC.

It’s not just opposition from “environmental” groups. There have been farmers, fisherfolks, unions, teachers, municipalities, mayors, and just average plumbers and carpenters and truck drivers saying: “no thanks Enbridge, no thanks China, no thanks Harper and Oliver.”

And, well, on the coast of BC they’ve been saying that for a long, long time. ’bout as far back as when little Mr. Harper was still wetting his bed.

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Well, to spread the headlines around – the National Post is reporting:

China and Canada set for free trade talks as Harper pens multibillion-dollar deals

…The prime minister also announced during his speech to the business forum [in China] that more than 20 commercial agreements — valued at close to $3 billion and involving nearly 50 Canadian and Chinese companies — have been signed during the trade mission to the Middle Kingdom.

“Canada has the resources, technological sophistication, and geo-strategic positioning to complement China’s economic growth strategy. And China’s growth, in turn, complements our determination to diversify our export markets,” Harper told corporate leaders.

“We expect to see similar success stories in Canadian energy exports to China, once infrastructure is in place.”

Harper has said building pipelines to the West Coast — such as the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline and a separate one for liquefied natural gas — is a national priority as Canada looks to ship its vast resources to Asia.

[funny, i think i read that correctly... "proposed"]

Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel said the commitment by the Chinese and Canadian governments for a strategic energy partnership will allow Canada to diversify its oil-and-gas export markets beyond the United States and enable China to broaden its supply base.

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Hmmm. Why is Enbridge’s CEO in China with PM Harper on a deal-signing trip?

And… does the changing climate really care about complementing China’s growth strategy, or diversifying Canada’s oil markets?

And what about a National Energy Plan for Canada first — let alone looking to satisfy China’s?

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Certainly, China is looking for more oil and gas from Canada, with Chinese vice-premier Li saying Thursday his country wants to increase imports of energy and natural resources from Canada.

State-owned Chinese oil and gas firms have invested more than $10 billion into Alberta’s oilsands and B.C. shale gas plays over the past couple of years alone, and the two partners expect the trend will continue.

“Canada is one of the countries with a deep energy and resource reserve. China, meanwhile, is a large and stable market,” Li, through a translator, told the business forum. He called for “more large-scale cooperation” on petroleum and minerals.

Never before has Canada-China business cooperation been so deep-based and wide ranging,” Li added.

The Chinese leadership is also pushing for the early signing and ratification of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), with Premier Wen Jiabao encouraging the two sides to further explore the feasibility of a full free-trade agreement.

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From human-rights abusers and Harper’s doghouse — to best buds and potential ‘free-trade partners’… in less than six years.

Really, Mr. Oliver, who are the radical ideologues?

Who’s ‘Driven by an ideological imperative’?

(that being definition #2 “thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms”)

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Lastly, if you’re curious about where rookie 70-year old MP Oliver came from:

Joe Oliver: From Bay Street to Natural Resources

Mr. Oliver spent more than 30 years in the investment world, working at several brokerage firms before becoming executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission and then head of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.

Do you think he, or past clients might own some Enbridge stocks?

Really, Mr. Oliver, who’s driven by the ideology — those looking to just make another buck, or those looking out for the good of the BC landscape, seascape, and greater global challenge of this little thing called “warming”…?

Propaganda: still doubting that marketing is everything and everything is marketing?

Harper Government branding exercise

I drew this cartoon in September 2011 as the “Harper Government” brand was ramping into overdrive.

It (Harper government) is now inserting itself (Harper Government) everywhere from the NHL All-Star Game, Stanley Cup Finals, to the Grey Cup and the show of Canada’s military…

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Propaganda:

1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.

3. the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.

The etymology of the word suggests: “Neo-Latin, short for congregātiō dē propāgandā fidē  congregation for propagating the faith.”

Hmmmm… hearkens to the roots of the current “Conservatives”… good ‘ol “Reform”

Doubt #3 in the definition above — see article below suggesting there are now over 1500 people hired by the Government in “communications”… (not to mention the free flow, back-and-forth of Harper staffers between major Canadian corporations and the Harper Government)

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There’s a decent little blurb on Wikipedia:

Defining propaganda has always been a problem. The main difficulties have involved differentiating propaganda from other types of persuasion, and avoiding a “if they do it then that’s propaganda, while if we do it then that’s information and education” biased approach.

Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell have provided a concise, workable definition of the term: “Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.

More comprehensive is the description by Richard Alan Nelson: “Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels. A propaganda organization employs propagandists who engage in propagandism—the applied creation and distribution of such forms of persuasion.

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Interesting read at Globe & Mail:

Under this PM, the state is everywhere

What does the Grey Cup football game have to do with the Canadian military? Not much, you say. True enough. But chalk up another public-relations triumph for the governing Conservatives. They turned the opening ceremonies of our annual sports classic into a military glorification exercise.

For our part in the NATO Libya campaign, the Defence Minister took bows on the field. A Canadian flag was spread over 40 yards. Cannons boomed.

The blending of sport and the military, with the government as the marching band, is part of the new nationalism the Conservatives are trying to instill. It is another example of how the state, under Stephen Harper’s governance, is becoming all-intrusive.

The propaganda machine has become mammoth and unrelenting. The parliamentary newspaper The Hill Times recently found there are now no fewer than 1,500 communications staffers on the governing payroll.

On the propaganda ledger, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney put on a show in committee last week. In what may have been a first, his spinners set up a billboard behind him replete with bright Conservative blue colours and flags. Everything except a marching band.

In the message-massaging department, news has arrived that the government is imposing new communications controls on the RCMP. The same is being done with the Defence Department. Secrecy surrounds the government’s plans to spend a whopping $477-million on a U.S. military satellite.

State surveillance, the rationale being security, is being taken to new levels. The Conservatives are bringing in legislation that will compel Internet service-providers to disclose customer information. A Canada-U.S. agreement is on the way that will contain an entry-exit system that will track everyone.

Research that contradicts the government line is discarded. Civil liberties fade, new jails proliferate. Those who speak out better watch out. When the NDP’s Megan Leslie stated an opposing view on the Keystone XL Pipeline, she was accused by the government of treachery.

[and yes, add in all those B.C. treasoners and adversaries and renegades speaking out against the proposed Enbridge Northern exit-way pipeline]

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Want some more interesting read, then how about Terry Glavin’s comment at the National Post:

Terry Glavin: Ottawa to Beijing — take our oil, please

In Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen, Brian enters a conversation I’ve been lately encouraging sensible Canadians to have about the implications of Prime Minister Harper’s unexplained and sudden embrace of a corporate entity run by the Chinese Communist Party that serves as the guarantor of Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum, the bottomless overdraft in Bashar al-Assad’s bank account in Damascus, and the specific means by which Tehran’s Khomeinists are evading the West’s sanctions and double-daring us into a war.

The prime minister would like that entity, Sinopec, to add to its global services the means by which Canada might emancipate itself from its over-reliance on American oil markets, and the stratagem that will allow Mr. Harper himself to look rather more manly in those obligatory White House photo opportunities that put him next to the handsome and swaggering American president with the smirk on his face.

Meanwhile, none of the formerly freedom-loving rednecks who now rally to the prime minister’s side in this affair have exhibited so much as a blush as they do so, when everybody knows full well what they’d have done had the New Democrats even hinted favourably in the direction of an arrangement anything like the one the prime minister has embraced. They’d be denouncing the NDP as al Qaida’s fifth column in Canada and they’d be busy filling the op-ed pages of the dailies with stout demands that Harper invite a team of US Navy Seals to round up the NDP caucus en masse so they could be executed for high treason in front of city hall in Fort McMurray.

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Hmmm, remember the “Taliban Jack” comments directed towards former NDP leader Jack Layton by the “Harper Gov” when Layton suggested negotiations in Afghanistan might be the way to go.

I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time until that suggestions plays itself out as maybe not so far off the mark — Americans are now out of Iraq and how ‘peaceful’ is it there? All the foreigners will be pulled out of Afghanistan soon enough, and what will be the result?

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What does all this have to do with wild salmon?

Everything.

The changes required… require political will.

When a governing regime is too busy muzzling scientists, silencing critics, uttering threats to non-profits and charities, and running a propaganda machine yet espousing austerity measures, which will hurt the mid and lower wage earners and poverty-mired first… then there’s a problem.

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And, when it doubt just make it up:

Kenney’s office apologizes for ‘new Canadians’ stunt

Six federal bureaucrats were drafted to pose as new Canadians for a citizenship reaffirmation ceremony broadcast on the Sun News network, an event requested by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office.

The bureaucrats smiled and held Canadian flags as the TV hosts referred to a group of 10 people as “new Canadians” that had “finally” received their citizenship.