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COMMENTARY · 10th July 2010
Merv Ritchie
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project is being proposed to carry raw crude bitumen (Oil) from the Tar Sands of Alberta to Asian destinations. It is not a secret that China is the major potential consumer of this tar sands product. It is also rumoured Chinese interests in this product have provided funds for Enbridge, in the tune of $300 million, to fund their public relations and regulatory approval program.

On June 22, 2010, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director, Richard Fadden, appeared on CBC TV. CSIS’s role is to catch spies and stop inappropriate foreign infiltration of Canadian interests. Fadden singled out China and revealed, during this appearance and in a previous speech, some very startling information that might be of interest to those concerned on the stance taken by the North West BC Municipal Councils regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal and other projects.

“There are several municipal politicians in British Columbia and in at least two Provinces there are ministers of the crown, we think are under at least the general influence of a foreign government. They have no idea. It’s just a long standing relationship; you develop friendships.” stated Fadden.

Several municipal politicians in British Columbia and at least one Cabinet Minister seem to be the direction Northwest British Columbians should be looking. In reference to the public and the citizenry Fadden spoke about local community awareness.

“I’m making this comment because I think it’s a real danger that people are totally oblivious to this kind of issue.”

This would be the second point to take into consideration. First there are several of our local municipal leaders who may have been compromised and second most of them, including the population of the region are completely ignorant of the potential of external/foreign infiltration of our free political process. Fadden described how insidious it is and how subtle this potential infiltration of political system happens.

“They haven’t hidden their associations but what’s surprised us is it’s been so extensive over the years and we’re now seeing, in a couple of cases, indication that they are in fact shifting their public policies as a reflection of that involvement in that Country.”

These are not small, insignificant allegations. They are important and extremely relevant to what has been happening regarding the promotion of all types of trade activity in the Northwest. Enbridge and the associated Alberta Tar Sands Oil is not the only export commodity to China. Raw logs are also one of the top items affecting this region.

It has been stated by various politicians, Premier Gordon Campbell being one of them, that these allegations are reckless and paint everyone with the same brush. He is right as, in the case of the Northwest, it is not difficult to narrow down a potential list of suspects.

Cabinet Minister Pat Bell is frequently speaking about his Chinese contacts having made various trade journeys to Asia encouraging raw log exports stating that at least the fallers and truckers have work. Former Politician and Cabinet Minister, Roger Harris, has been seen frequently with a local Chinese (national?), Adam Tang and Harris now works for Enbridge Northern Gateway. Tang has developed many serious long term friendships in the area and has worked to encourage more raw log exports to China (Coast Tsimshian). Does Fadden exclude Tang? No, everyone is now implicated. Minister Bill Bennett from the Kootenays has also spoken favourably about the Chinese markets. Is he also suspect?

As for our municipal leaders, Kitimat Mayor, Joanne Monaghan, has compromised her independence on the Northern Gateway Proposal by accepting to have her picture with her Mayoral regalia accompany a statement written by Enbridge purporting to support the project. On November 20, 2009 a Chinese delegation visited Kitimat after a provincial government promotional tour in China purporting to look at the Eurocan site. Monaghan has endured significant criticism from the community and her council yet she maintains her right to appear in Enbridge promotional material.

Terrace Mayor David Pernarowski along with Councillor Brian Downie have both accepted money from Enbridge to appear at their meetings. These two have been conspicuously absent from meetings by groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline even though many gatherings were in Terrace, travel not being an issue, however they accepted money to travel to pro Enbridge forums.

Colin Kinsley, the former Mayor of Prince George and now chairman of the pro Enbridge Northern Gateway Alliance expressed outrage in a news release after Liberal Party of Canada Leader Ignatieff stated oil tankers should be prohibited from BC coastal waters. Is Kinsley compromised?

The various refusals or obstacles put in front of invitations to attend gatherings by First Nations, Union and Environmental forums opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal by Enbridge, which is purported to feed the Chinese appetite, along with the blatant willingness to join and attend all the pro Enbridge political events demonstrates there is a serious problem and concern we should all be contemplating.

There has been no naming of those individuals CSIS director Fadden referred to when speaking about our local BC leaders however we need to be aware of the reality. CSIS director Fadden is speaking from a foundation of knowledge that, in his own words, we are generally oblivious to.

In the two councils we report on regularly, Terrace and the District of Kitimat, we find from Terrace; Mayor Pernarowski with Councillors Carol Leclerc and Brian Downie and from Kitimat; Mayor Joanne Monaghan with Councillors Richard McLaren and Mario Feldhoff, continually taking positions favouring Enbridge along with participation in pro Enbridge forums.

If we were to be concerned with, or suspect of, our municipal leaders, as has been suggested by the CSIS director, then it is these individuals along with their associates and administrative officials on whom we should we should focus our attention. If they are beyond reproach then we should demand Fadden come clean and tell us if our region, the Sacred Circle, is being compromised. We need to demand it and not be oblivious to a reality. All these formerly mentioned individuals deserve this vindication and name clearing. Without it there will always be suspicion.

Link to full CBC explanation along with story and videos HERE

End Note: A conspiracy theorist might ponder about the recent resignations of the top Executive Directors of the Terrace Economic Development Organizations. Were they too uncomfortable with the knowledge of interference of the political leaders by outsiders? The range of possibilities is endless.

As for Chinese insiders, Pat Bell has a number of Chinese personnel within his ministry executive offices. [. . .] is in the International Policy and Trade Relations section as an economist. Born in Fujian, China, she achieved her Masters Degree in Economics in BC. Bill Bennetts Ministry; Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources employs [. . .] as a Senior Policy Analyst. [. . .] attended both UBC and UVic between 2002 and 2007 achieving a Masters Degree in Economics. This is discovered with very little investigative work. Attending BC Universities, working as a public servant for BC and being a Chinese national places one at the top of Faddens suspect list.