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CONTRIBUTION · 5th December 2011
Dieter Wagner
The Harper government is pushing for acceleration of the Northern Gateway approval process now that the Keystone project has been delayed.

The environmental movement and concerned citizens have made great efforts to explain the dangers of the project. But there are other aspects which are objectionable.

With Tar Sands extraction expansion, mayors in the affected regions have pleaded with the oil industry to slow down. They cannot keep up with housing and infrastructure for more workers trained elsewhere. Inflation runs rampant; the service sector cannot attract workers for lower-paying jobs in these gold-rush communities. Housing costs are so high that people cannot afford to move there and raise families, an important factor for any civilized society.

Workers drive vast distances in large vehicles every week or two, and many are flown in and out. There are 90,000 “temporary” workers employed living in camps. It has long been known that camp culture is not healthy for a society.

Jobs are created where they are not needed while manufacturing jobs in traditional employment areas evaporate in Ontario, Quebec, B.C.

The revenues for oil in Canada are the lowest in the world. When revenues were minimal during Peter Lougheed’s tenure, the royalties were $3/barrel. This was reduced to $2/barrel. When the price of oil sky rocketed, it was proposed to return to $3/barrel. The oil industry objected and got their way. Who is really in control of the provincial and federal governments? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we live in a petro state.

When some people in government suggested that one or two refineries ought to be built here, the oil giants once again cried foul and demanded that government put up the money for construction.

As a taxpayer I consider it an insult when they produce oil for $25 a barrel, sell it for $90 and then insist the taxpayer contribute the cost of building a plant to refine it..

Adding to that insult this year alone, the federal government (tax payer) shelled out $1.3 billion for tar sands expansion.

Ontario and Quebec still import the oil they need from off-shore. Would it not make more sense to use our own resources and product?

Why are we paying “world price” for our own oil? This doesn’t happen in other oil producing countries.

It should be quite clear with information from many, many sources that the oil industry is caring little about you, me and the country. They look strictly at the bottom line with support from some of our governments.

To hell with the environment, climate change, inflation; it only really effects the common people.

Stand up and fight for something irreplaceable and against short term profits for multinational corporations.
Tough Crowd
Comment by Linda Halyk on 7th December 2011
Former Kitimatian: Bet you can't beat our house prices, Mac like Vancouver rediculous prices. How long do you think those big oil companies are going to keep up all the places you get to play? How much is your house going to worth when they realize all of Mac is so polluted and the people are dying?

You can keep your foul smelling oil, your poisonous chemical lakes, your polluted air.

Aaron who do you think controls prices and the media and on and on. Check out the Van Sun for the last week there is your proof. Our government controls them but only after they are told what to do by big business.

Free trade has done nothing for Canada except take away our jobs and raw natural resources. NAFTA states that we must give a certain portion can't recall the % of oil to the US even if means we don't have enough for ourselves. When the world finally runs out of fossil fuels or at least Canada, the agreement says then we must start shipping a % of our water. Who keeps getting the short end of the stick here. We do. The price of things in China may be cheaper but, the slave labour, the lack of environmental controls is killing the world.
Free trade sure look at the soft wood lumber industry what a nightmare, but the US can sell a gallon of milk for $4.00 and Canadians drive down to buy it by the 1,000's if it was the other way around the US would be screaming foul play you sudsidize your farmers.
Where do you live economic growth do you not listen to whats happening in the world? Economic crisis after economic crisis. The jobless rate went up in Canada last quarter, the Americans are losing their houses the government almost went broke. These are great economic times all right.
Wealth has not spread around the world the rich get richer the poor get poorer. 1/5 of the Americans make more each year than the other 4/5ths combined. So who is spreading what?
China & India are the biggest pollutors in the world. Dubai's sewer system is not big enough to handle the waste. Bet you can't guess what they do with it. Well they put it in poop trucks as they call them and they have a continuos line day and night from Dubai of these trucks for mile after mile waiting to dump it in the ocean. 100's of thousands of gallons of untreated sewage. Some miracle for humanity.
Some miracle this unsustainable growth will be when the tar sands pollute the Athabasca watershed only the third biggest watershed in the world.

We "environmentalists" as you want to call us are concerned not only for our back yard but your backyard. Your house in Kitimat is going to be worth a big fat ZERO when a spill happens, and not just you or Kitimat will be affected the whole of BC right down the Fraser River to the Ocean. So you won't need your big truck cause there will be no where for you to go.
We aren't asking you to give up your big ass gas guzzler today, but think about your future your kids and grandkids and so on. We all know oil pollutes just be smart about it, drive less, think about your next purchase.
Before you jump on a band wagon to have oil pipelines come through BC find out the true economic value. It does not out weigh the risks.
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 6th December 2011
What in the world is that? Sit dowm the Adults are talking. Gimme a break ! being able to drive a gas guzzler because you support a pipeline is like a child molester asking to legalize pedophelia .Just because can doesnt mean its right. Do not stereo type people as I remember you wanted to recall the mayor because she made a statement on radio about it was ok to raise taxes because people had trailers and quads and motorcycles parked in every drive way. Hmmmmmmm something like you . You are the Hyprocate. I spelled it incorrectly so you would understand what I meant. Please write something intelligent on occasion.
Comment by Rory Brown on 6th December 2011
First it was people talking about the environment. These are some of the same people that were at Riverlodge protesting. If you want to be an environmentalist, there is more to it than what is happening in your "back yard". These so called environmentalists are driving their SUVs, towing their trailers, and going out in their boats (with motors). If you were truly concerned, you would be using the busses, carpooling, or riding a bike. You can't have it both ways. Remember, the fuel you burn was in a pipeline in someone elses back yard.
Now its about housing costs, and other rising costs. Is this something new? We all want to pay less, but we all want to make more. I have an idea. From now on, everyone will make the same. Doctors and ditch diggers, all the same. Now there will be no reason to go somewhere to make more, thus driving up costs. These "gold rush" towns will dry up as noone will go there. Pipelines will no longer want to come here, as the need for fuel will drop.
Well, I am not ready to give my truck for a new bike, so keep raising the prices, and I will keep driving.
I <3 Globalization
Comment by Aaron von Schleinitz on 6th December 2011
"Apocalypse now" I'm glad you pointed out the real center of discussion here. The world being in such a mess. The truth is the world is getting better all the time. This last ten years of unsustainable growth as you put it has been a miracle for humanity. Think how many hundreds of millions of people in China and India have been lifted out of poverty and into the middle class. How many now have food everyday, access to education, and steady employment. Oil and industrialization has improved man kinds life greatly.

It's not nationalistic and socialist ideas that have helped to spread wealth across the globe. It's globalization, capitalism, and democracy. This economic growth of the last ten years is due to the world opening its doors and bringing everyone into the modern world.
Comment by Apocalypes Now on 6th December 2011
The media is already controlled by Govt.sympathisers, and big business. What is it that makes you want to sell off all our riches for a pittance. The type of growth we have seen this past decade is unsustainable. I am not against progress but it has to be sustainable. the cheap goods you buy are cheap because there is complete disregard for the well being of the majority of the people in China or Mexico that produce the cheap goods we buy. There is a reason the world is in the mess its in my friend. Contrary to what you may think,Greed is not good.
Comparing us to Venezuala
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 6th December 2011
We could be so lucky, maybe. But it isn't fair to be so flippant. At least Hugo stood up to GW Bush. He also delivered free heating fuel to the poorest people in America, FREE.

He also offers free eduction and free health care to everyone in his country.

There might be somethings wrong there, but there are many things wrong here, look at the First nations communities who are being rescued by the Red Cross.

And doing trade with China, one of the worst human rights countries on record anywhere on the planet? Aaron, you need to do a rethink.

We must refine our own oil and then have an energy policy. Free trade is not fair or free when we are saddled with the restrictions of all types including the new SPP agreement.

It is not simply sell our oil and all is well.
The world according to chavez
Comment by Aaron von Schleinitz on 6th December 2011
Well said Mike. Many of my young friends who live there for work feel the same way.

"Apocalypse now", we enjoy a lot of benefits of free trade here in Canada. Cheap Chinese goods, foreign cars, and anything else foreign made you would like to buy. If you want all the benefits of free trade you have to play by the rules. Including paying world prices.

If you want the government to start controlling things like fuel and food prices you'll find it starts there and quickly turns into control of the media and everyday life. Hugo Chavez makes a good case for this in Venezuela.
Facts from a former Kitimatian
Comment by Michael Gairdner on 5th December 2011
Having been born and raised in Kitimat and only having moved away 9 months ago. I look forward to reading the Kitimat Daily to keep abreast of what is going on in the community. I made a conscious decision to quit my job at RTA and move my entire family to Fort McMurray. Not for the so called gold rush as Mr Wagner refers to but to offer my family all that a larger centre has to offer. I ask the question what is it that brought all of out families to Kitimat in the first place 'JOBS' and very well paying ones. Fort McMurray is no different. Yes there are a lot of camp workers. Just as Kitimat has now as the construction industry has camps to house workers. But also Fort Mcmurray has so much more to offer, our family loves watching the Jr A Oil Barons, who are currently rated 5 th in the country. snow mobiling, cross country skiing, downhill skiing and wonderful recreational facilities that would be the envy of any community. All of which is funded in part by the industries that employ us. Yes housing is comparable to living in Vancouver but unlike Vancouver the average house hold income is 170,000 a year. I, after visiting the area, found Fort McMurray a wonderful place and not at all like the stories I have heard. The people who live and work here are hard working and wonderful people who we are proud to call neighbours and friends. In fact when we bought and moved into our house many of them welcomed us to the neighbourhood. Mr Wagner I respect your views but not to the point where you are no longer factual. Inflation is no less rampant here as say in Kitimat as to tell you thr truth we find most items cheaper here than when I lived in Kitimat. Industrial development is a fact of life if it where not for this Kitimat would never have existed.
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 5th December 2011
Do you think if we charged ourselves less for oil we woiuld be less free?The only reason we gouge ourselves is because of an outdated free trade agreement. An agerement which doesn't let us charged ourselves less the we charge the USA.We may have benefitted from free trade with the USA at one time but that was mostly in Ontario with vehicles. That is going down the tubes fast . Could you please explain the point you were trying to make about freedom?
Free Markets for Free People
Comment by Aaron von Schleinitz on 5th December 2011

-"Why are we paying “world price” for our own oil? This doesn’t happen in other oil producing countries."

You mean like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? I think you'll find what they save on gas they loose in freedom.