REALity May 2018 Ottawa, ON
The controversy over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline in BC, oddly enough, isn’t about the pipeline. The controversy goes much deeper than that. It goes to the very core of Canada, our constitution, our families, our economy and our right to determine our own pathway as a sovereign nation.
The clamour against the development of the oil sands in Alberta by environmentalists, according to Scotiabank, is costing the Canadian economy $15.6 billion dollars per year. Jobs are not available as a result. It affects all levels of government by denying the latter funds for our social, health and education services; it isolates Alberta and is causing stress by way of the conflict with the federal government and between the Alberta and BC governments. One would think because of the activity of the environmentalists, who forcibly object to the pipeline, that Canadians were irresponsible proponents of environmental abuse. In fact, Canadian standards of conduct in environmental responsibility are second to none in the world.
What then, is behind this conflict? The answer, bluntly stated, is economic sabotage, carried out by well-funded American interests. In 2008, the Rockefeller Foundation, the US William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the US Tides Foundation sponsored the Tar Sands Campaign to curtail the export of Alberta oil. A decade later, the success of this sabotage is undeniable. The agenda is to stop or limit the expansion of pipelines, up-traders and refineries, to cap oil sands development, and to isolate Alberta crude to Alberta only. It has largely succeeded.
The US based Tides Foundation directly funds Canadian environmental organizations, such as the Dogwood Institute and Leadnow, both of which were a featured part of the March 10th, 2018, anti-pipeline scuffle in Burnaby.
From the very beginning, the Tar Sands Campaign website tells us, “the campaign strategy was to land-lock the tar sands so the crude oil could not reach the international market where it could fetch a high price per barrel. This meant national and grassroots organizers [need] to block all proposed pipelines”.
In short, the campaign against the Alberta oil sands has been bankrolled by American groups trying to kill Canadian resource sales.
The Tides Foundation has given $36 million to more than 100 organizations in Canada, the US and Europe to campaign against the oil sands development and the transportation of oil to foreign refineries and ports. Likewise, the Hewlett Foundation has given $90 million to First Nations in Canada and environmental groups in British Columbia and the Western US to oppose oil and gas development. More than 60 groups also get behind-the-scenes and “ghost-writing” support from NetChange, a private American company funded to “support and amplify” the campaign.
The reason for this paid hysteria by US interests is that the latter want to keep Canadian oil landlocked so that it can’t reach overseas markets such as China. Our landlocked oil, as a consequence, has to be sold to customers in the US at a largely discounted rate, which requires Canadian refineries to buy expensive oil from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Azerbaijan and yes, the US, instead of using Alberta oil produced under the world’s most stringent environmental protections.
This has all occurred even though the Canadian courts have made clear that the federal government has jurisdiction, under our constitution, to make decisions about infrastructure like pipelines and railways. The views of the First Nations are much more diverse than portrayed by the media. Indeed, First Nations across whose land the pipeline will lie, want to allow the Trans Mountain Pipeline to run across their land. There are some First Nations opposed to the pipeline, but the latter do not have the pipeline anywhere crossing their land. That is, First Nations most directly affected by the Pipeline, support it. In addition, polls conducted in BC indicate that the majority are in support of the pipeline. In fact, it is significant that 80% of BC communities close to the route (51 communities) support it.
Future Prospects for the Pipeline
The BC NDP government holds power only by virtue of the three seats held by the Green Party, which strongly opposes the pipeline. As a result, BC Premier, John Hogan, stated that he will do all that is necessary to stop the pipeline being built [and keeping himself in power].
Unfortunately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the last election, diligently courted the environmentalists. He will be vigorously attacked by the pipeline opponents if the pipeline is built. The latter will be thrilled if the federal government and the RCMP throw scores of them into jail for disobeying the law. They will use violence, sabotage and civil disobedience to create confrontations over the pipeline. There is no end to the damage they will cause by activities such as chaining themselves to equipment, blocking roads, and vandalizing cars and trucks. The media will be delighted to report their nefarious actions as a legitimate political right. The problem will be that Prime Minister Trudeau, facing an election in October, 2019 will not likely have the backbone to insist on what he has the legal right to do: decide on the construction of the pipeline.
Canadians need a strong leader who will insist that the pipeline be built. The pipeline is best for Canada. There is little doubt that the economic potential of pipeline construction and oil exports will be of substantial benefit to all Canadians, not just Albertans. Canadians should not be intimidated by protesters, funded by American interests, who will do all in their power to disrupt the construction of the pipeline. The well-being of our families is at stake in this struggle.