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COMMENTARY · 29th April 2010
Walter McFarlane
Recently, Mayor Joanne Monaghan was quoted in the Edmonton Journal here speaking about the Enbridge Pipeline Project.  We at the Kitimat Daily cannot wait to see what she says in her defence about this one.  Take a second to read the article.
 
Once upon a time, there was a group going around to publications wherever they could, working to make the Kitimat Council of the day look like a laughing stock.  We obviously no longer need this group.
 
The article portrays Monaghan as having gone above and beyond speaking on behalf of Kitimat and is now speaking on behalf of the entire Sacred Circle.  Monaghan is quoted as saying:

“We’re desperate here for jobs in the aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities.” 

So desperate in fact several of these communities, both aboriginal and non aboriginal are opposed to the pipeline.

“There is a lot of optimism about Northern Gateway, but I would never condone it unless it can go ahead in a safe way.”
 
Not everyone in Kitimat is optimistic as she says and Enbridge does have some opposition in here in town, namely Douglas Channel Watch. 

The second quote about only condoning the project if it were safe is another concern.  No guarantee can hold off a spill.  A pipeline spill will damage habitat in the wild, salmon spawning beds, drinking water and tourism on a river and scared lands, habitat, tradition and tourism on the ocean.
 
In addition, how safe is safe?  Myself, I’ve always found saying “that will never happen” will increase the odds of it happening Exponentially.  In recent times; how about the vessel which ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia? The spill off the coast of Mexico?  Perhaps the Enbridge Pipeline spill in lower BC?  How about the Titanic which was reported to be unsinkable AFTER it sank?
 
She might be able to condone the Enbridge project when it is safe but what about the town of Fort Chipewyan. Doctor Jack O’Conner linked a cancer outbreak worthy of a large City to the Tar Sands and was taken to task by Health Canada to shut him up.  Can anyone condone that as being safe?

“The Exxon Valdez was single hulled, had no pilot or tugs or captain on the bridge. If some people say that 20 years later we can’t do anything here because of that, then what about the ferry (B.C. Ferries’ Queen of the North) that went down and is still leaking oil. Should we stop all ferries?”
 
The final quote puts the icing on the cake.  Comparing what is considered the worst human caused environmental disaster, which destroyed the livelihoods of the communities on the Alaska Shoreline to a local tragedy where two people lost their lives insults both the communities and the dead.   Not only does the quote take advantage of a local tragedy which hit close to home, the sinking of the Queen of the North, to drive a point home, but it shows ignorance of the spill of the Exxon Valdez.
 
Although the Exxon Valdez was a singled hulled ship, the damage was in an area which had a partial double hull.  It was determined; a double hull by the new regulations would not have prevented the Exxon Valdez Spill.
 
Despite all the guarantees of being able to prevent oil spills, so far, it has only been talk.  With all the safety measures in place, oil spills still happen.  If we are desperate for 50 jobs, build a fast food chain or build a department store.  It might not be feasible but it is safe.

We had an opportunity to talk to Monaghan and she commented the Edmonton Journal did not have permission to use her quotes because they kept changing them on her. She did not have a chance to read the finished article yet and said she would contact us when she did.
Mind your P's and Q's
Comment by Yvonne Studley on 29th April 2010
Jeeze Louize woman . . . . open mouth - insert foot. When is she going to learn to watch what she says?

We survive on Salmon, crabs, ducks, geese, clams, cockles, oolicans, mussles, sea weed, herring eggs, sea cucumbers, seal, moose, deer - all of these are part of the food chain. If the water is contaminated because of a spill, what is my family and my people, to live on?? Will Mayor Joanne Monaghan, et al, feed my family? Will she travel far to get our traditional food?

Its fine and dandy to talk about the jobs that will be generated by the pipe line - very few specialized jobs that most people in this area will be qualified for.

Our quality of life, our food source, our traditional territory is not for sale or available for contamination. For those who say otherwise, lets run that pipeline through your property and see how you feel then. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Honour and oil
Comment by Gary Haupt on 29th April 2010
In Asian cultures, when a company or even military commander is found to be lying or has otherwise failed to ahdhere to the 'proper' course of action, they are often held to the Samurai beliefs. They commit Sepiku.

" From Wikipedia..Western society

Contemporary Western society uses shame as one modality of control, but its primary dependence rests on guilt, and, when that does not work, on the criminal justice system.

Paul Hiebert characterizes the shame society as follows:

Shame is a reaction to other people's criticism, an acute personal chagrin at our failure to live up to our obligations and the expectations others have of us. In true shame oriented cultures, every person has a place and a duty in the society. One maintains self-respect, not by choosing what is good rather than what is evil, but by choosing what is expected of one.

Personal desires are sunk in the collective expectation. Those who fail will often turn their aggression against themselves instead of using violence against others. By punishing themselves they maintain their self-respect before others, for shame cannot be relieved, as guilt can be, by confession and atonement. Shame is removed and honor restored only when a person does what the society expects of him or her in the situation, including committing suicide if necessary. (Hiebert 1985, 212)"


It is obvious that those pushing and extolling the virtues of a pipeline and shipping of oil will say anything, promise anything, to get it.
So, I propose this as a solution....A time honoured way of ensuring that the 'right thing' is done. If and when there is a spill at the Enbridge terminal, in the pipeline or as a result of a shipboard problem...the CEO of Enbridge and the CEO of whatever shipping company is involved, are held to this standard.

No finger pointing, so stalling, no excuses. Oil flows into environment? Top of companies take their own lives. Sepiku.