Skip to main content
Search Liberal.ca
Congratulations to Daphne Sleigh of Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia, winner of the Win the Political Experience of a Lifetime Contest!

Critic’s Journal: Why I’m fighting for the environment

Posted by Kirsty Duncan on December 19, 2011 | No Comments

When I studied overseas, I proudly wore my Canada pin every day. Each day, without fail, I was stopped by someone who said, “Oh you’re from Canada, we love Canada!”

I would proudly beam, thinking about the country for which I longed, and gladly listen as they rhymed off why my country was important to them: Pearson – the great peace builder, the country that welcomed the world, the Montreal Protocol to reduce CFCs which threatened the ozone layer. There was no prouder Canadian!

But these are dark days for all of Canada, and indeed the world. The Conservative government has shamed my country on the international stage by pulling out of Kyoto and has abdicated responsibility to our global neighbours and to our children and grandchildren.

This government appears to have no understanding of what is at stake for Canada, or the world. Judging by their actions, it appears they have no appreciation that climate change is real; that it is happening now.

Canada has had its climate change wake-up calls with the great ice storm, the Saguenay floods and the melting Arctic. The US has experienced fourteen one-billion-dollar extreme weather events this year – more than there were in all of the 1980s. There is no grasp of the fact that the chance of keeping the average warming to the two-degrees Celsius associated with dangerous climate change, is growing slim.

Instead, we are told that meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets would cost Canadians $14 billion in carbon credits and would mean the loss of thousands of jobs, with no impact on emissions or the environment. But this is absolutely false and senior officials know this. If we reduce emissions there will be no need to buy costly offsets.

It is not a choice between a climate-change deal or continued economic development, but rather a choice of both or neither. If we do not reduce carbon emissions, the cost to our children and grandchildren down the line is estimated to be $21-43 billion annually by 2050; and the cost to the children of small-island states and the least-developed countries is economic devastation.

My Canada would not allow this to happen to our future, my Canada would lead, as it has done throughout the last century. So join with me, fight back, do not blindly accept the government’s talking points, as the government willfully ignores the science of climate change and global warming’s impacts on Canada.

Ask what a two-degree Celsius change means to Canada in terms of extreme weather events, Great Lakes water levels, human health, sea-level rise and so on. Demand to know the costs of cutting greenhouse gas emissions now or in the future and how the government calculates this $14 billion in penalties for pulling out of Kyoto. Astonishingly, the government can provide this figure, but is unable to provide costs for fighter jets and prisons. Ask the government to take moral and inter-generational responsibility, rather than making a cowardly withdrawal from our international obligations and encouraging other nations to follow.

I ask you this because when I next touch down overseas, I never want to be asked again, “What’s gone wrong with Canada?”, “What happened to the great peace keeper and the environmental leader?”

And when I look into my young constituents’ eyes, I want to know that I did everything in my power to fight for their Canada to ensure that they can grow up in a safe and prosperous country.

- Kirsty Duncan

Liberal environment critic
Help spread the word by sharing this with your friends.

Short link:

Email this to your friends.
Sender: Sender:
Recipients: Recipients:

Load from: Gmail · Yahoo! · Hotmail · AOL

Personal Message: Personal Message:

We will never share your email address.

We'd love to hear your opinion. Your comments won't be posted on the website.
Sender: Sender:

We will never share your email address.

Join the conversation  

Please note that comments are moderated with the goal of stimulating an intelligent and fruitful discussion. As such, we ask that you use language that is civil and respectful, and refrain from attacks of any kind. We reserve the right to remove or not post any comments or information that does not meet these requirements.
  1. Avatar of Patrick Hamilton Patrick Hamilton said on

    Kirsty: God Bless You…..if only we had an environment minister as well informed, pro-active, and passionate as you….but who am I kidding?….Mr. Harper and his cabal control Canada’s environmental policy….no one else, especially Mr. Kent.
    Canada needs a Liberal Govt to join the 21st century on environmental policy…Countries that have embraced greener technologies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, (such as Sweden and Germany) have not suffered economically….
    Mr. Harper and his cabal are taking the future generations of this planet down a very slippery slope….Mr. Harper and his cabal, who continue to bury their heads in the (tar) sands on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, need to be stopped before it is too late….

    On a happier note, Id like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very joyous Holiday season!

    Vote
      0  
    • Avatar of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Patrick,

      Hello and warm wishes.

      Thank you for your kind and beautiful note.

      Yes, the government should be greening our economy–unfortunately, the government invested only $3 B in a green stimulus, whereas China invested $221 B–and developed thousands of new jobs.

      I wish you and your family a beautiful, happy holiday season, and joyous New Year.
      Yours very truly,
      kirsty

      Vote
        0  
    • Avatar of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Patrick,

      Hello, warm wishes, and thank you for your beautiful note.

      I am touched by your kindness.

      Yes, the government should be greening our economy, and sadly has not. Canada invested only $3 B for a green stimulus, whereas China invested $221 B–and produced thousands of green jobs.

      I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season, and a joyous New Year,
      Yours truly,
      Kirsty

      Vote
        0  
  2. Avatar of Martin Showell Martin Showell said on

    I too remember the days when Canada was a respected international leader. And I fully expect that we will again attain that status.

    Our current government is to blame and I suppose, we the people, have to accept that we allowed this government to happen.

    But, thank goodness for democracy, we will take back our government. I do not believe that Canadians support pulling out of Kyoto. Not even the minority 39% that voted for the cons support this decision. This was done without Parliament, without debate, and with no mandate to do so. It was a mistake and the government will pay for it.

    With the good work of concerned citizens, led by fine, hard working and informed opposition MPs, like yourself, we will correct this and other mistakes. We will again lead the world. I strongly believe that.

    So, keep the faith Kirsty! We’re with you! Keep up your excellent work and help give voice to our concerns and fears.

    Happy holidays to you and your family.

    Vote
      0  
    • Avatar of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Dear Martin,

      What a kind and thoughtful email!

      Here’s to fighting hard in the New Year!

      I wish you and your fmaily a very happy holiday season, and a joyous New Year,
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

      Vote
        0  
  3. Avatar of Jarek Walter Jarek Walter said on

    Kirsty,
    I’m wondering what is your opinion on hydraulic fracturing used in natural gas production. I have difficulty accepting oil and gas companies claims that injecting millions of gallons of water saturated with chemicals into deep wells then bringing it to the surface as a waste is safe for the environment. One of the biggest advocates of this process is Encana Corporation. It is interesting that in 2011, Encana was recognized for corporate social responsibility efforts and moved from 39 to 15 on the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.However, Encana’s hydraulic fracturing operations in the United States are visible in the 2010 documentary, Gasland, which alleges that hydraulic fracturing causes pollution of ground and surface water, as well as air and soil pollution.The same allegations were repeated in the just released report by USA Environmental Protection Agency (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/contamination-in-us-apparently-linked-to-encana-fracking-epa/article2264884/). Encana’s response was full scale PR campaign war with EDA (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/encana-digs-in-against-epa-fracking-report/article2278187/).This is not what I would expect from a socially responsible company. Taking into consideration Encana’s position in Canadian corporate and political world, I would assume that any criticism of them would amount to a political suicide. I’m sorry for my pessimism but I see clearly more and more influence of corporate power taking over agenda from the government and the elected bodies. 3500 army of lobbyist in Ottawa seems to be doing fine job.

    Vote
      0  
  4. Avatar of Robert Laberge Robert Laberge said on

    Here we go again. Liberals signing the Kyoto accord and doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to get to the agreed targets and then dumping it on Harper and crying when he nixes it. Give me a break!!
    I do have to give kudos to Dalton for making strides towards renewable energy and paying a high price politically for it. Too bad McGuinty is trying to change Ontario’s energy mix at a time when Ontario is sinking financially.

    Vote
      0  
    • Avatar of Martin Showell Martin Showell said on

      Rick: You are wrong. The Liberals did not do nothing – and putting it in capital letters doesn’t make your misinformation any more correct:

      1998 Apr: Canada signs Kyoto
      2000 Oct: Government introduces “Action Plan 2000″
      2002 Nov: Government releases “Climate Change Plan for Canada”
      2002 Dec: Canada ratifies Kyoto
      2003 Aug: Pledges $1 billion more for its climate change plan
      2003 Mar: Canadian government issues “One Tonne Challenge”
      2005 Feb: Kyoto Protocol formally goes into force
      2005 Feb: Budget includes provision which would make greenhouse gas emissions a controlled substance so Ottawa could regulate them (later pulled because all other parties opposed it)
      2005 Mar: The federal government and Canada’s car makers reach an agreement on emissions standards
      2005 Apr: Government launches “Project Green” and pledges $10 billion to cut greenhouse gases by 270 megatonnes a year by 2008-2012

      2006 Jan: Jan. 23: The Conservatives win a minority government, unseating the Liberals. Part of the Conservatives’ platform was scrapping Canada’s Kyoto commitments.

      Everything unravels and we are back to zero.

      It is not the Liberals who have fallen down on climate change Rick, it is the conservatives…who so far have done … absolutely … nothing to curb emissions. All they have done is pull out of Kyoto and embarrass Canada internationally.

      Vote
        0  
      • Avatar of Robert Laberge Robert Laberge said on

        So from 1998 until the end of 2005 exactly how many tonnes were cut?
        A one word answer will suffice.

        Vote
          0  
        • Avatar of Martin Showell Martin Showell said on

          I don’t provide one word answers and I am not your personal fact finder – look it up. You might want to start here: http://www.ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators/default.asp?lang=en&n=FBF8455E-1. This graph shows a dramatic decline in the rate of increase starting about 2000 with a bit of a dip leading up to 2006. There seems to be a declining trend from 2008 to 2009 mostly attributed to the global recession.

          However, respectively, I think you are missing the point. No government can simply wave a magic wand and decrease carbon emissions. It requires a target, then a plan, followed by legislation, and then after a few years you hopefully see results.

          As Kirsty points out the Liberal government had to fight the opposition every step of the way on this. It took until 2002 for Kyoto to even be ratified and it did not go into effect until 2005. The Liberal plan called for reductions from 2005 – 2012 unfortunately, the plan was killed by the conservatives. Who replaced it with nothing and then proceeded to dramatically reduce the targets.

          On top of that, your original comment shouted at us saying the Liberals did absolutely nothing. If you take into account the points I listed, can you please at least accept and acknowledge that your original statement was grossly inaccurate and misleading?

          Vote
            0  
      • Avatar of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

        Dear Martin and Rick,
        Hello, warm wishes,and Happy New Year to you both!
        I apologise for my delay in responding, but have just returned home to Canada.
        Thank you Martin, as always, for your posting!
        It is important to understand that the Liberal government was up against the Conservative-Reform alliance that did not even believe in the science of climate change and threw up every conceivable roadblock. For example, Liberals attempted to hold a debate in the House of Commons to discuss the merits of the Kyoto protocol, but the then government, many of whom are now ministers, filibustered and slowed down progress considerably.
        While Kyoto was signed in 1997, it was not ratified until 2002. In 2005, the Liberal government introduced project green, a comprehensive climate change plan developed with stakeholders across the country to put Canada on the right track to meet commitments. The Conservatives killed the plan when they became government. Conservatives are trying to rewrite history by calling the Kyoto protocol a blunder. The only purpose is to mask their own inaction.
        The Pembina Institute has reported that the Liberal Project Green would have taken us 80% of the way to meeting our Kyoto targets. This Conservative government has reduced greenhouse gas emissions targets by 90%, and has made announcements to get us only 25% of the way to its 2020 target.
        I sincerely hope this is helpful, and again, I wish you both a happy, joyous New Year!
        Yours truly,
        Kirsty

        Vote
          0  
        • Avatar of Martin Showell Martin Showell said on

          Thank you Kirsty.

          (Just to clear up any confusion in my post…I don’t know why I referred to “rick” – spending too much time responding to too many posts on this site I guess :-)

          My comments were of course, directed at rlaberge.

          I was hoping you would respond as well, Kirsty. I was fairly sure you would – you seem to be very engaged on this site – but I wanted make sure that rlaberge’s statement that the Liberals did nothing on climate change was quickly replied to. That kind of misinformation needs be corrected and cannot be allowed to stand.

          In honesty, I first found the article that I took that time-line from (http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/kyoto/timeline.html) when researching the Liberal response to climate change prompted by a discussion we had after your posting of your Climate change speech back in December. So, I have you to thank for piquing my interest.

          I wish more Canadians would take the time to research the facts instead of just buying into this kind of conservative rubbish.

          Vote
            0  
          • Avatar of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

            Thanks again Martin!

            Again, I am sorry for my delay in responding–took a few days off, and did not have access to the site.

            Yes, it is very important to share what Liberals did on climate change,
            Yours very truly,
            Kirsty

            Vote
              0  
  5. Avatar of Robert Halter Robert Halter said on

    Jarek…..I am presently waiting for some in-depth information regarding hydraulic fracturing practices in North America from Cenovus Corporation in Alberta. It seems much of the destructive effects being documented in the “Gasland” Documentary is not caused by the technology, but the poor or delinquent use of it. In fact it seems one Company in particular is responsible for of much of the negative consequences being experienced as a result of this technology world wide and I’m not talking about Encana.

    Because of the world dominance of such a Company, in order to effect meaningful changes to such practices, the challenges are no doubt going to be surmountable. However, so to is the reality we will face if nothing is done to improve this situation. Right now there are few too many individuals working to do what they can to rectify the present reckless pursuit of unregulated fracturing. So, we need to educate others and then communicate with one another about what we can do about it. From there we can start to organize.

    Though we also need to be concerned with things like how H.A.R.P. may be contributing more to the effects of Global Warming than Co2 emissions. Poor quality control measures in the hydraulic fracturing industry, if not addressed will be killing a great number of us much sooner than the effects of Global Warming ever will.

    I do not believe for a moment that Global Warming is not a real phenomena, nor that its mainly caused by dysfunctional human developments, but I’m not at all convinced that zeroing in on Co2 emissions alone, if at all, will have any real effect reversing the situation that now exists. Maybe this is an objective position, or maybe it’s not, but when one weighs the diversity of information out there. It’s not that difficult to realize one needs to question some of the adopted truths being promoted by the Global Climate Change Movement. One that comes to mind quite frequently is the implementation of a global carbon tax or Cap and Trade. Who really benefits from such a thing?

    Being a grass roots Liberal to the core, I don’t really have any other political Party, where I can have my political convictions sincerely considered. So, when the Liberal party of Canada drifts too far away for its core values. I also lose my ability to have a say in the political process of this Country. The reason I’m not keen on adopting any policies promoted by the Global Climate Change Movement without extensive discussion about it within the Party first. Is because there is too much information out there which connects the Movement to having a secret global agenda and its key organizers being affiliates or members of secret societies. This kind of thing from a Liberal point of view, brings the works and ambitions of the entire movement into question. Leaving one to wonder who we should be believing has the unbiased established truth regarding Climate Change.

    I firmly believe it is being prudent and in the best interests of all Canadians, for this Party to be re-examining the agendas and proposals of such things like the Kyoto Accord and the Global Climate Change Movement. Before we as a Party, endorse or promote any organization or environmental accord, we first better be certain, the information we are being given is valid and legitimate without being political. Because environmental policy in the future is going to be a lot more important than is has been. Its about to entail decisions as crucial as a Corporations livelihood, an Aboriginal Nations culture, or a geographic location’s existence as we know it. With half truths being able to make such decisions will be impossible.

    Vote
      0  
  6. Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

    The problem with many Canadians is that we listen without follow up. Then we abdicate our own thoughts to someone else to do our work for us, only we do not really follow up to see if they are doing the job we thought we heard they said they were going to do.

    Just like this week, I spent a whole day listening to aboriginal representatives of NW BC on the gateway pipeline by Enbridge.
    As I listened I got the warm and fuzzy feeling that to a one they were all against the pipeline and the devastation it would eventually cause was not going to happen.

    But, rumours prevail that many of these groups are already taking money to let it pass. The Metis nation are sitting on the fence, likely waiting for money, money first and foremost for them all. And then I overheard one of the heredity chiefs speak to a friend, unknown that I was listening say now we will see how much money we can get. He had spoken clearly and adamantly that he was against the pipeline, it would destroy the environment and ruin the rivers and the fish they depend on for generations, when a spill occurred.

    Everything I heard in a whole day was put into question; these people were taking a strong stand against the pipeline not to stop it but to get more money before they approved it.

    All of us must stand up and make sure we are heard, because the ones we think are doing what we want, are not really talking for us but for themselves, be it aboriginal, MLA, our government, opposition, indeed anyone who tries to make us think we can stand back, they have our interests at heart are likely mendacious.

    Indeed the news lately is saying the pipeline may not go ahead because the heredity chiefs and the First Nations are against it; while they are not against it at all , but are for more money only.

    I do not want to suggest that they were not some genuine speakers for the first nations, but that some or many were only bargaining for more money in their speeches. Thus we can not sit back a feel safe because someone makes you think they have the situation in hand, because in hand means they do not want you interfering in their designs.

    The first nations indeed have no objection to this pipeline if enough money is paid.

    Vote
      0  
    • Avatar of Cherish Clarke Cherish Clarke said on

      It is true that there will be some speakers on the pipeline issue who will be bargaining for more money or will be pro-development and these people may in fact be First Nation’s (FN’s) people. I have seen it occur from within my own FN in BC whereby some FN’s people oppose development and others encourage development seeing as it will lead to jobs and other economic possibilities, it is no different than that of the non-first nations community. There is clearly a divide on the pipeline issue. It is not a race based issue but rather one that is based upon economic opportunity vs environmental protection. The divide seems even further between FN’s community because traditionally, the relationship that FN’s people have with their territories is central to the notion that we are stewards of the land, that there is a respect for mother earth, and we do not inherit the land from our ancestors but instead we borrow it from our children. I respectfully object your statement: “The first nations indeed have no objection to this pipeline if enough money is paid”. There are still MANY who object to the development of the pipelines. Any development issue is one that will surely divide many FN’s communities into segments of pro or anti development. It is an ongoing struggle and FN’s people are not any more united in their stance than non-aboriginal people. But I would state that it appears more aboriginal people are anti-development and stick with their traditional knowledge and their connection to the land knowing that it is the land which is central to our culture and identity. Traditionally First Nations people were hunter/gatherers, and there is something special about retaining that connection to the land: hunting, trapping, fishing, berry picking etc. I know this because I partake in these activities and I know it adds to my sense of identity and pride. I would also like to add that if the pipelines or any other developments do go through traditional territories of FN’s people, that there should be a level of compensation for the resources and resource sharing agreements should be put into place.

      Vote
        0  
      • Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

        I think you do not see that no amount of compensation can make up for the destruction of our rivers, land and ocean, many of which are not repairable in our many lifetimes. The compensation will be long gone and the destruction will remain for those who will inherit it.

        Also I want to make clear that it is not the user of the land of the FN people that are bargaining for money at least not all of them, it is the hereditary chiefs, who are the sole recipients of the compensations, that are putting on one face that is hiding their true values. It is they who will deicide if and how much will go the real people who need the resources, be they FN or other residents of the area.

        My main point was that the seemingly united front against the pipeline should not make the rest of us complacent if we oppose the pipeline, because as I heard with my own ears, if is a façade to make us feel safe, and to stops us from being so aggressively against it. We then are being manipulated, we let the few spokes people for the FN pull wool over our eyes and we then think we are achieving what we want when we are actually helping the greedy by not keeping up our vigil against the pipeline.

        There is so much false about the propaganda on this pipeline to sell more oil for Alberta, that is now fully employed, that we do not see that the best for all of Canada is to refine it here, or in Ontario where there are refineries already existing, and the further east where new refining jobs can be created where there are job shortages. The need for this pipeline, even if it were safe, is so bogus as to be laughable. Our oil industry is doing very well, it does not need to be in such a hurry to sell more, it is only a bad way our current government is using to buy itself out of debt at all of our expense, be they environmental or financial.
        The FN heredity chiefs are just pawns in this filthy game, they are being manipulated by greed and indeed someone are as angry about it as I am, I just fear not enough of them, or the ones with the position of power to abuse their own people, not unlike our own leaders.

        Vote
          0  
        • Avatar of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

          Don,

          I don’t disagree with the core of your argument that opponents of gateway should not become complacent or just leave it up to FNs to fight for this. But i think you should listen to cherish and not make blanket statements based on one overheard remark and rumours. FN’s chiefs are accountable to their people, it’s often the band councils that are pro business. Sure there are crooked people everywhere and no doubt some will be corrupted by Enbridges money.
          I’ve lived on the central coast and my experience matches that of Cherish – there are strong activist pro envroment families and others whose main worry is jobs and money. All FNs have to wrestle with this tiger, it should not be forgotten how much of a sacrifice it will be for them to say no – easy for us to judge. Yet it is my belief the mood in BC anyway is to say no – particularly on the coast, there it’s almost unanimous.
          Take a look at Jareks link above, it’s a pretty good indication of just how committed FNs are to saying no to this pipeline. I wouldn’t be surprised if a route to PR is green lighted, but that is up to the folks there. At least it isn’t as insane as running super tankers through the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
          Thx for the heads up though. I’m going to talk to some friends i have who are likely right in the thick of the enviro protest against this – i trust their opinion and will report back what they have to say on your worry.

          Vote
            0  
          • Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

            Thanks Ken for you reply,
            The pipeline is to Kitimat not PR though, a small difference in a way and a very large one in another, the ocean route to Kitimat is far more complex, narrow and at a much higher risk of accident then to PR.

            Yes I may be overly concerned about the FN apparent line and real line, but of at least a dozen speakers in the meeting I attended only one made is clear that he did not want money no matter how much it was, and I know 2 of these chiefs personally and they seem to be fence sitting to some degree although I do not push it with them. The spoke fervently against the pipeline, the falsity of the jobs being created, but did not say clearly money would never influence them. Yes there are band councils, but they are not the ones who can approve or disapprove the deals with any power, unless they to are heredity chiefs, as well. Each nation has many chiefs and this issue is being used to try to split them to the sole benefit of one large company and our government. There will be no jobs, especially long term created for us around Smithers, and very few in Kitimat. Most will go, 99% of the wages will go to the Alberta pipeline companies.

            Our environment ministries are at fault. I still hope that all the FN will step onside against this project, but from the word I hear it is not to happen, we outside these communities, and indeed all of Canadians have a stake here and must research it better and speak out against it, I have written lots in other places regarding these pipelines and the environment and our economy. We need better and clear policy from the LPC. The conservatives will sell us all out for dirty money, ruined environments and short term financial gain for long term pain. Again I say this is not only our region’s concern it should be every Canadian’s concern. The shiny appeal of big money now will disappear quickly later.

            Vote
              0  
            • Avatar of Ken Cunningham Ken Cunningham said on

              You sound pretty passionate about this Don as am i. As i said over on liberal.ca, i believe it may well come down to civil disobedience, as i don’t believe the Harper govt will take no for an answer regardless of the JRP finding, and i’m willing to go to jail to block this if i have. If you’re in Smithers you’re well aware of just how important to everybody in that corner of the world is an enviroment that remains as pristine as possible. Hope to see you on the protest line if it comes to it.:)

              Agree with your point they will try to split the chiefs – in fact you can pretty well guarantee it, because that’s how these guys think – they would take the money, so they can’t believe anyone else would be principled enough not to.
              Nevertheless, although it is early days yet, i’m pretty impressed with the strong unified front the BC FNs are putting up; only one major defection to Enbridge[ publically] so far and you can see what happened there – the Gitxsan forced their chief to renege.

              Vote
                0  
              • Avatar of Cherish Clarke Cherish Clarke said on

                I am uncertain how many first nations still follow a hereditary chief system. All chiefs I know of are not hereditary but rather are elected by their people and are the voice on behalf of their members. The chiefs are not the sole recipient for the compensation that would be provided: that money would go to the people. I do understand your argument that no amount of compensation could erase the potential damage it is just like how the compensation of residential schools could never erase or fix all of the damage inflicted upon FN’s people.

                I also agree, people should not be complacent, if there is something that someone strongly stands for then they should not be lazy in their approach. They should be actively engaged in the process and working for their ideals and values. It doesn’t make sense that someone sits back and states that they care deeply about something but then is lazy and complacent then later complains of being manipulated after not taking a stance to defend their values and ideals.

                I can’t dictate to another FN about their leadership. It is their decision as to who they will have represent them. What I do know, is that if this pipeline goes through, that it is almost a guarantee that the next step will be that the first nations take the federal government to court. It will be unfortunate if the current government chooses to ignore the voice and the rights of the people. This could very well turn out to be the next OKA.

                http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/martin-lukacs/keystone-pipeline_b_1215693.html

                Vote
                  0  
      • Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

        This type of media coverage shows some of the problems within the First Nations, and my point may not have been very well explained is that we should not give up our vigil if we are against this pipeline, because some or many of the heredity chiefs positions are solely for more money, that they are truly not against the pipeline for environmental reasons, they are only as a position to get more money. One must understand that the chiefs do not have to represent the FN people, it is not democratic in the least, they inherited their ownership of their lands. Some may listen to the people, but are under no obligation to obey and are at little risk of loosing their position. My reply to Cherish says more.

        I would hope that the LPC takes a position on pipelines like this that are ill thought out and will produce way more harm then good. After construction they will be very few jobs created here, and the spills will last forever almost. Local industry, and tourism will be destroyed causing a net loss of jobs after the first spill. Look at a map and see where these oil tankers have to travel , the current government knows there will be incidents, and it is writing off NW BC waters for money for Alberta, when we should be sending our oil on pipelines to Ontario and the east coast where jobs are needed and the infrastructure is partly already in place. I suggest that there is a reluctance to do this and become oil independent and a exporter of finished product, partly, because once we are not using foreign oil Canadians will no longer want to pay world price for our fuel, but for only a reasonable cost and mark up. The LPC has to have policy against this type of export of raw materials by northern gateway or keystone. WE need more jobs in the east not here in the NW, especially temporary labour jobs that sell our all our other industries. At least keystone is in area where spills can be managed and contained this is not the case here.

        One must remember spills are inevitable, and in this area the most destructive of any area. WE are in the mountains, with constant landslides, avalanches, and some earthquakes. And all travels down hill into the last bastion of wild salmon in Canada if not the world. One can not stop a pipeline leak from getting into our river system.

        Further there are existing pipelines to Vancouver, why do we want to expose new areas to risk, to save a big company a little money. We have had 2 natural gas breaks I the last 10 years, little harm, gas moves directly into the atmosphere, not into the soil and rivers. It does not adhere to everything it touches, and destroys all living life that casually touches it.

        Vote
          0  
  7. Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

    Regarding endbridge pipeline and hearings:

    I understand , 2nd hand that the Carrier Nation would not attend the hearing in Prince George, stating a lack of trust of the committee, and the lack of say First Nations had in choosing at least part of the committee. Also the Metis I believe asked the committee who they were paid by, government, Endbridge, or whom, but they refused to answer.

    It seems that they are behaving Harper style, not much chance they will rule favourable on the hearings if one wants the pipe line stopped.

    In Smithers there was a table for the committee, one for First Nations, one for Endbridge, and one for the Metis and any one else was to give evidence. It was made clear they were only there to hear new evidence regarding the environment, and I think this suggests that they will ignore all other comments that they deem not new evidence. The preferential given endbridge , they had a table taking up seat space for many people, who had to stand, suggests that these hearings are for their benefit as well.

    It would be beneficial if one or both opposition parties sat and took notes at these meetings, or at least got full transcripts of the meetings, if this information is available to the public in whole.

    One should be recording publicly all the names of the First Nations who are totally against the pipeline and the ones suggesting money may help sway them.

    Vote
      0  
    • Avatar of Martin Showell Martin Showell said on

      Don: It is a shame that the Carrier Nation would withdraw because of not having “a say” in the selection of the review panel – however, that is simply not the way it works. I’m sure they are aware of that.

      All NEB hearings are a matter of public record. The transcripts for these hearings are available at:

      http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/prtcptngprcss/hrng-eng.html

      When available, there are also webcasts at the same URL.

      Vote
        0  
    • Avatar of Cherish Clarke Cherish Clarke said on

      Same goes for the cities and towns in Alberta and BC, someone should be recording their opinions regarding the pipelines. it is the First Nations that stand the most to lose and the least to gain.

      Vote
        0  
      • Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

        Yes it impressed me at the meeting I went to, that the government with it’s committee, and Endbridge were very well set up and prepared and the rest not really prepared at all and not organized except in the loosest form.

        As for First Nations having the most to loose, I think not truly. Many of the tourist outfits, commercial fisherman, sports fisherman, naturalist, canoers and kayakers and farmers, all have a lot to loose when a spill occurs. And I shame ably did not put all the wildlife at the top of that list, it is they who have no say that FN and ourselves should be speaking for. This disaster has not bounds. And I can assure that most of who live here love this land as only the FN people did of eons past. And if the FN take the money, then indeed it is the rest of us who do not want the money but want to keep our wildlife,pristine rivers and oceans for ourselves and all future peoples, regardless of creed or color , who will be the real losers, and I am including the FN people who like me love the land before money.

        This issue far surpasses FN, we are all people of this earth none more important over the other when it comes to our land. Harper and Endbridge are telling us that it is money and big business that comes first, this is a very bad road to go down and if this precedent is set, worse will be coming, count on it. Every Canadian has to fight this, not just the pro pipe liners, all have to see that once you push a boulder over the cliff it can not be brought back, but as long as it is on top the decisions can made to stop it. There is no hurry to push it over contrary to propaganda, better and safer use of the oil will come, there is no hurry, and it will be worth more in the future.

        FN have the enviable position of being able to put a real blockage to this project, but they also have the real power to allow it to go ahead, for short term gain and long term pain. WE all have to be vigilant, lest they turn against their lands and take the money.

        Vote
          0  
  8. Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

    Somehow I find the carbon issue, and global warming as the lesser of my concerns. Granted it will cause many disasters but none as serious as other types of pollution. Global warming, now caused by mankind, occurred in the past and will occur no doubt in the future regardless of what we do. It is past stopping now, and if everyone world wide did all they could now it would likely only slow down the acceleration if we have not already reached the tipping point due some say between 2015 and 2030. As we can see the world political and economic system is not going to react in time.

    But when it does get worse, what are we going to do about it, the is the real question, yes slow it down as soon as most come on line, LPC should make clear that we are again for being a world leader, but we must also lead in the preparation for the disasters that are coming.

    Most important is not the carbon in the air, it is the other pollutants that will make our water unliveable or drinkable, we need our fish to survive, our land to survive, without chemicals, some species will not survive the warmer temperatures or indeed a premature ice age which is as likely a scenario as any, but none of us will live if the air land and water is polluted to death. We are destroying natural plant forms to grow food crops that will not survive without chemicals, we are killing wild fish, so that we can rape the ocean and build fish farms, and ruining our soils with potash for instance that makes our land so salty it is useless and will grow nothing without more chemicals and indeed we do not even know for sure how many cycles the land will take, before becoming salt deserts, that even rain can not make grow.

    The sulphur from the oil creates acid rains that destroy lakes and rivers where even vegetation will not grow. Oil from oil spills ruins rivers lakes and oceans and renders them useless for decades , even centuries. Now in big cities on bad days, one can not even breath the air, I have been in both Honk Kong and Toronto on days when my lungs ached after only a few minutes of breathing the outside air.

    The carbon is important, because it show us the measure of the other real pollutants with it, that will be our real killers, carbon with the rest will change the climate, but the poisons will kill us, one at a time or the whole planet at once, be we warm or cold.

    I think our battle should show pictures and facts that are visual and awful to get people on line and I think the LPC should undertake the job of educating, not criticizing, demonstrating what the different chemicals do and alternatives, and how we are going to get there, and what we can expect besides some floods, higher ocean, and worse storms. I think most of us now have accepted that global warming is here and is not stoppable, but many do not see that the other pollutions are stoppable and deadly if we do nothing, especially the ones we can not see, although we see the results, it time, maybe.

    Vote
      0  
  9. Avatar of Robert Halter Robert Halter said on

    Just to give a little background as to why I think I have anything relevant to say in regards the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.

    Though I am not what someone would define as First Nations a great deal of the ascendant’s of one side of my family are and much of the that. Which I would describe as my inherent natural has a lot to do with those roots. Even though I thought up until recently, I was raised as a typical white person it seems I even had the experience of attending a residential school in my early years. The effects this had upon me I am only beginning to understand.

    Then there are my Metis roots which trust me is an entirely different prospective of live again. I remember when I first became Politically active in this Party in my early twenties. Having a Grandmother who was very close to me, pleading with me to forget the whole purpose for my doing so. Because my political views were too much like the last individual who was political active in our family and for him things did not end well.

    After I withdrew my political activities over political direction differences, except for a short stint with Jimmy Derocher’s campaign. I spent several years in Northern Saskatchewan living, working and helping first Nations individuals hone their trade skills. In order to for them to become more able to deal with their on going housing needs. I’m not sure how much my efforts help them because of the chronic lack of cooperation from the then Department of Indian Affairs, but I did what I could with what I had to offer them. I wasn’t really planning to leave when I did , but after my marriage fell apart, I was too much of a devastated man to be a lot of good to them.

    After moving back South I spent a few years working in and learning about the Oil Industry. From there I went to Winnipeg to be closer to my kids. A few years later I returned to Saskatchewan and spent seven years as a full time volunteer. Where I helped organize a food ministry which involved feeding hungry children and their families in the city of Saskatoon. From there I moved back to Brandon Manitoba to once again have the opportunity be closer to my kids. There I worked as a private Contractor for a few years. When the economy turned sore in late 2008 I decided to spend a year or so working for Embridge on the first phase of the Keystone Pipeline which went through the Brandon area.

    I am presently negotiating a position to be an environmentalist First Nations liaison for a gold mining Company. Who if I get and decide to take the job. Will be in the same area of B.C. the the Northern Gateway Pipeline is proposed to go through. My goal in pursuing the position is to employ my talents to ensure this Company’s industrial activities do as little damage to the environment in the area as possible and that First Nations individuals get the best financial and safety benefits they can in dealing with this Company and their industrial activities.

    Having said all that my position on the Northern Gateway Pipeline this. No it shouldn’t be done.

    First and foremost I don’t believe its necessary. From an environmental stand point there are probably dozens of other routes that would be far less potentially disastrous. Regarding this project we not only have the route of the pipeline to consider, but the insanely vulnerable implementation of ocean tanker traffic too boot. Who ever is trying to include the job and prosperity ingredient to justify the proposal is merely clouding the real issue. To actually believe this pipeline has any merit whatsoever is in no uncertain terms criminal thinking. Not any different than a decision a drug gang ruler would make when having someone killed for the sake of profit.

    People! What we really have to come to grips with here is what we are going define as having true value. All the money in the world is worthless. If we don’t have a place to stand on our feet, have fresh air to breath and uncontaminated water to drink. Until we’re willing to get totally honest about this. We’re just fooling ourselves about everything else we think we know.

    The main stream Corporate structure has become so corrupted, many of them can no longer understand the human equation. That life on this planet doesn’t belong to them. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to operate under the pretence of making profit, but making profit isn’t the golden rule. When it comes to Corporations, as well as Governments and institutions. Its we the people who have the responsibility of making the rules and making sure they abide by them. The day we as a whole quit believing this is the day, I think, we no longer believe we have any self worth.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m no where near believing that.

    Vote
      0  
  10. Avatar of Robert Halter Robert Halter said on

    Martin…..thank you very much for your links regarding the NEB it was very informative for anyone wanting to know more about the reveiw process.

    Vote
      0  
  11. Avatar of Jarek Walter Jarek Walter said on

    Kirsty, I’m wondering if you received the requested report on hydraulic fracturing from the government yet? I see that more pressure is applied to accept this practice. I took the liberty to include the article from The Lobby Monitor in this message.

    Oil and gas lobby runs PR campaign for shale exploration in New Brunswick
    NEWS | RITA DEVLIN MARIER | 01/31/2012 | 5:59 pm
    The vice-president of operations for one of Canada’s most important oil and gas lobbies presented this week the industry’s self-imposed guidelines for hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick, where shale gas exploration is controversial.
    Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) vice-president Dave Pryce travelled from Calgary to New Brunswick Tuesday to meet with reporters about CAPP’s “Hydraulic Fracturing Operating Practices.”
    The guidelines, unveiled Tuesday, “demonstrate the Canadian natural gas industry’s continued efforts to ensure responsible resource development and protection of Canada’s water resources,” CAPP President Dave Collyer said in a statement.
    Hydraulic fracturing, also know as “fracking,” is a method used to extract a certain type of natural gas, shale gas. It consists of injecting a mix of water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to created cracks in the rock which allow trapped gas to seep out.
    The practice has received criticism for environmental groups, who fear contamination of the water supply and point to uncertainties as to the long-term effects of the practice. Shale gas development has been halted in certain jurisdictions, including Quebec.
    In New Brunswick, 49 wells have been fracked so far and the practice is controversial. A 16,000-signature petition was submitted to the legislature in November calling for the government to abandon shale gas exploration, the CBC reported.
    David Alward’s Progressive Conservative government has faced numerous calls to impose a moratorium and criticism on its dealing with shale. Protests have also taken place.
    “In New Brunswick there is a lot going on in trying to understand the nature of the shale gas resource … so we thought it was important to be out here to talk to the media to give them a sense of what it is we are trying to do,” Pryce said of his visit, on the phone from New Brunswick.
    He attributed the opposition to a lack of information about shale gas.
    “There is a lot of public questions and certainly there is a fair bit of opposition in the absence of information, so we are trying to fill the information gap… we are also trying to say this is what we are doing to provide some assurance that we are operating safely, we can do fracturing safely and protect the environment, the ground water,” Pryce told The Lobby Monitor.
    Pryce’s visit is the latest move by CAPP to reinforce its presence in the maritime province. Last month it hired Angie Leonard, a former New Brunswick civil servant with expertise in and gas exploitation, as a senior advisor.
    Her hiring attracted controversy in the province because of her former role as a civil servant and because she is the New Brunswick energy minister’s sister.
    Pryce said Leonard would have an office in New Brunswick but that the lobby’s main office in the Atlantic provinces would remain in Saint John’s, N.L.
    “She has a good understanding of the business but most importantly to us she knows the communities… and can be a local face for a national organization in those communities,” Pryce said. “We recognize we are from Calgary and don’t want to be perceived as an organization that doesn’t have any understanding or expertise locally,” he said.
    In the guidelines, CAPP say producers will disclose which fluids are added in fracking, will test water, will insure the quality of the wells’ construction and will ensure the proper transport of fluid and a quick response to accidental spills.
    Collyer said that “with increased focus on fracturing from coast-to-coast, the Canadian industry wants to be at the forefront of transparency and to establish clear and consistent practices across the country.”
    He said the industry is committed to safe development of Canada’s shale resources.
    Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.) was not conviced.
    “I don’t find CAPP to have been a persuasive advocate for ecological sustainability … We are not anywhere near where I would be prepared to say that the CAPP guidelines make any difference whatsoever to the Green Party position.” The party opposes hydraulic fracturing, she told The Lobby Monitor.
    “There is an awfully steep high for any proponent of fracking to climb based on the evidence that is coming in from experience in other jurisdictions,” May said.
    CAPP was the second-busiest lobby group in Ottawa this fall, with 90 registered contacts with parliamentarians, high-ranking civil servants and other designated public office holders.
    Oil and gas projects in Atlantic Canada include offshore oil and gas as well as onshore gas and some oil, CAPP said.
    rdevlin@lobbymonitor.ca

    Vote
      0  
    • Avatar of Kirsty Duncan Kirsty Duncan said on

      Hello and warm wishes.

      Yes, we have received.

      Please call my office at 613 995 4702, and speak to Ryan, and he can work on getting you a copy.
      Yours very truly,
      Kirsty

      Vote
        0  
  12. Avatar of Don Girard Don Girard said on

    The problem with shale gas, coal base methane etc is that once you damage the seals between the gas layers and the ground water, there is very low probability of stopping the ground water contamination permanently.

    Gas prices are very low, and further study may produce better ways of exploiting this gas, or may show it is not worth the risk, what is the hurry to develop a questionable profitable resource when there is an over abundance In NA.

    The same applies for tar sands, it is a very profitable business as it is, what is the hurry to expand, especially when it is not to make Canada energy independent, but to sell to other countries that may not use the oil properly, safely and for a better world environment, indeed we may be selling to them, because it is not economic to refine in an environmentally correct manner here.

    We do not need more jobs in the resource industry, we need more jobs with down line industries these resource industries could produce and maintain a lower level of pollution per year, safe guard our resources for future generations and diversify out work force.

    Putting all our eggs in one basket that will one day be empty is not good business. Exporting resources is exporting jobs, when we sold out on the softwood lumber, we closed mills, lost jobs , and now export logs, only the best logs mind you, the poorer ones stay here for our own consumption, so we produce a poorer product.

    Also the endbridge pipeline is nothing more then a cheaper way for Endbridge to move oil to the coast, pipelines already exist to Vancouver, why do we want to create a new corridor for disaster, rather then expand the one that exists. This has nothing to do with getting oil to the coast, it has everything to do with saving money for multi national corporations. There is also a corridor in place to Ontario and the refineries there that are not at full production.

    I suggest that we use and advance existing resources without expanding them and develop down line industries, In case no one has heard, China is starting to hold back exporting it’s resources while it buys up ours. I think most can see where this will lead.

    Vote
      0  

Join the conversation

You might also be interested in:
Share your views: How can Canada lead again on the environment?