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Motion of Caution
REPORTING · 8th January 2012
Linda Halyk

IS it time Kitimat Mayor and council got off the fence?

The election is over so their "motion of caution" should be brought back to the table.The Mayor has basically stated that they are in support by her statements in the article below. Presumption is not a good word in political circles. The Mayor said she was in favour of a referendum", so go for it, put the the cost into the new budget. On another note "a contingency fund should be set up for snow removal", what you don't use this is saved for next and on and on, but I digress. The towns and districts around us are making stands Smithers, Prince Rupert have come out against, First Nations are saying no. It is time Kitimat got on with a decision and find out where this town stands so we can show a united front. So we can fight a pipeline that is going to destroy our world as we know it. Time to get a date set for the referendum so people can do their homework and make an informed decision. We need to move toward sustainable green alternate industries, Kitimat may have been built with industry in mind as per the Mayor,and it may be a garden city, with many green spaces but, in the 1950's it was still built around the car. Our Provincial & Federal leaders for Skeena Bulkley Valley have said NO, we have their support so lets make a decision.

QUOTES from Alberta Oil
["It is to this history that Mayor Joanne Monaghan refers when she dismisses fears about development in the region ruining a natural wilderness. “Kitimat is geared to be an industrial town,” she says over lunch at the local Chalet Restaurant. “That’s what it was built as.” Indeed, what began as one of the largest construction projects in the post-Second World War economic boom resulted in an equally grand experiment in city planning. Kitimat was conceived in the shadow of a smelter, but American planner and architect Clarence S. Stein designed it as a “garden city.” Meticulous detail went into carving an urban core out of the northern wilderness. Distinct neighborhoods and services were laid out for a population many thought would crest 50,000, with heavy industry built and removed from the commercial and residential areas of town. To developers, Kitimat was viewed as a blank slate – a woodland metropolis cut from the same cloth as former West Coast frontier towns like Vancouver, Seattle or Portland.

It is also true that the town remains partially stuck, very much groping in what is perhaps the darkest hour before the mayor’s dawn. Local divisions aren’t limited to the physical split between the town’s industrial park and its residential streets. While the Apache-sponsored gas terminal has progressed to the point where site preparation is underway, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway faces tremendous opposition – from the Haisla, but also from pockets of local residents. The multibillion-dollar pipeline has underscored deep-seated tensions in the region to such an extent that the local council refuses to talk about it. Some, including Monaghan, favor a referendum on the project. “It’s a contentious issue,” she says.

With a fall election looming, the mayor has already taken heat from constituents for appearing in an information brochure published by Enbridge. “I just about resigned,” she says. Council minutes and editorial pages in the local tabloid are filled with a now-familiar chorus of opposition. The vitriol reached such a fever pitch that a motion “neither opposing nor supporting” the export project passed unanimously in council chambers last summer. “I wouldn’t call it a gag order,” the mayor says. “I would say it’s a motion of caution.” Council members “don’t want to come out in full support of something and then all at once they find out that there are issues that they have not thought of.”.

It is another sign of a tension that exists between legacy industries and new opportunities on the northwest coast that Enbridge’s Gateway pipeline faces such fierce opposition. Privately, people in Kitimat are resigned to the fact that Gateway will be built, regardless of local opinion; some quietly admit the project’s fate is out of their hands. But few expect the export conduit alone – or, for that matter, construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal – will create much in the way of long-term employment in the region."]

“A lot of people here are stuck in their old ways, in their old lumber and forestry industries. That’s what they know,” says Alex Pietralla, executive director with the Kitimat-Terrace Industrial Development Society, or KTIDS for short.
Where was KTIDS when we fighting to save Eurocan? I didn't hear anything from them did you, maybe they are the ones holding us in the past? What have you seen KTIDS do for Kitimat in the last four years to bring in more sustainable jobs or jobs at all?

Below are a few facts I have found through my search for the truth:

In December 2010, opposition parties teamed up in the House of Commons to vote 143-138 in support of a ban on “bulk oil tanker traffic” through the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound off B.C.’s north coast.

The then-minority Conservative government opposed the motion.The motion passed on the same day that Parliament’s environmental watchdog declared that Canada isn’t ready to respond to a major oil spill.


We recognize there are no guarantees,” said Enbridge’s marine adviser, Chris Anderson.

Enbridge environmental studies suggest that the condensate would evaporate relatively quickly, producing “short-lived toxic effects.”

It would take up to five years for the Kitimat intertidal zone to recover from a spill of 250 cubic metres of bitumen, as much as two years for condensate, Enbridge calculates.

A major bitumen spill from a tanker would be much more serious, affecting all levels of the food chain, fouling the feathers of birds, contaminating fish spawning and rearing areas, invertebrates and marine mammals.

The depth and longevity of effects would depend, in part, on the amount spilled, location and time of year. {Yesterday the tide went from a low of 2 feet to a high of 18 feet.}

An Enbridge study calculated that a spill of 36,000 cubic metres of bitumen — on the order of the Exxon Valdez spill — in Wright Sound would contaminate 240 kilometers of shoreline in 15 days.

It could take 4 years for exposed rocky shores to recover, up to 12 years for sheltered shores.

Northbound ships are another matter: Use of helicopters to transport the pilots is under discussion for the first time in B.C., either landing on a tanker or winching the pilots up and down, at Camano Sound or Browning Entrance. Helicopters are employed to ferry marine pilots in the U.S. on the Columbia River.

{ How will this happen if we have gale force winds of 100km per hour and 100 foot waves.} Enbridge will also install radar in “significant areas” such as Wright Sound, where tankers might encounter cross traffic, including cruise ships plying the Inside Passage, as well as in Principe and Douglas channels, which narrow to about 1.4 kilometers off Dixon and Emilia Islands, respectively. Super tankers are 2 football fields long ....

The company is committed to employing a spotting boat in the initial years of operation to look for congregations of marine mammals such as whales. Information from this initiative might lead to adjustments in tanker speeds and route scheduling to avoid collisions during sensitive times of the year. Noise, ship strikes and spills are all concerns for humpback, fin and killer whales known to frequent the supertanker route proposed for the Northern Gateway project. “Fin whales in particular are notoriously susceptible to being struck by vessels,” warned Lance Barrett-Lennard, a whale biologist with the Vancouver Aquarium. He added that high noise levels associated with tankers are “problematic” for populations still recovering from commercial whaling into the middle of the last century. The problem while be that they get run into but even more serious is that super tankers are the noisiest and the whales will not beagle to communicate with each other. And a super tanker a day we may lose them all.

Enbridge expects about 220 ship calls a year to Kitimat: an estimated 25 per cent of those would range to 320,000 dead weight tonnes, 50 per cent in the range of 120,000-200,000 tonnes, and 25 per cent in the range of 80,000-120,000 tonnes. There are plans to increase to 355 a year.

Oil tankers in these categories do not ply the north coast waters now, meaning that even one tanker effectively represents a 100-per-cent increase over what now exists.

One of the top lessons of the Exxon Valdez, if you have response equipment in the right places that can be deployed quickly, you can help limit the consequences,” said Owen McHugh, an environmental management project manager with Stantec Consulting. Why do we want to just limit the consequences, why are willing to take these consequences at all?

One of the worst spills that can occur is on ice covered rivers/creeks. Where will a lot of this pipeline run?

A 2007 “pipeline performance” report by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board found 12,848 pipeline incidents across 377,000 kilometers of energy pipelines over a 15-year period. Internal corrosion was the most prevalent cause of pipeline failure at 57 per cent followed by external corrosion at 12 per cent.

The 2009 incidents mainly involved produced water (nine, including contaminated with salt, petroleum or chemicals), natural gas (seven), fresh water (five), and sour gas (four). Internal corrosion was the “predominant hazard” and accounted for about 40 per cent of incidents, the commission reported.

Environmentalists are concerned that the bitumen that would flow through the Northern Gateway project from Alberta to the coast is especially corrosive. The math says possible spill every 29.4 KM so approximately 39.8 spills over 1700 km., they have had 856 incidents a year. I if our own record is this bad and Enbridge's admitted spills: at 700 spills over last 10 years that would be 70 spills a year, 5.833 spills per month or 1.35 per week you would think with this many spills they could get it right. With this type of record I wouldn't think anyone would want the pipeline. Enbridge not only has a poor track record with spills but their estimated amounts of the spills changes daily and can go from as little as 4 barrels to 1500 barrels NWT spill. Their clean up efforts are to say the least lack luster. They can't even clean the Kalamazoo river which is very slow moving what in the world will they do on the fast moving frozen Kitimat and any of the 700 plus other rivers this pipeline will cross in BC.

A Ministry of Environment report said that Pembina (which had recently acquired the line from Federated Pipe Lines Ltd.) spent more than $30 million on the cleanup, making it “one of the most expensive inland pipeline oil spills in Canadian history.” Fish, insects and other wildlife were affected, while Chetwynd was forced to shut off its water supply, the ministry said.

30 million on a light oil spill, what about a bitumen spill.

Enbridge says it is important to have staff on the ground and in the sky to monitor for small leaks that might go undetected on pipeline right-of-ways. Communities play a role in that, too, he said, while noting that much of the pipeline through B.C. is in wilderness areas where few people visit. Really!!! and you want us to rely on your spill detection to tell us there is a spill that you might not be able to get to for days due to weather, landslide conditions.

“Over the last 33 years, there have been six catastrophic landslides affecting natural gas pipelines in west-central B.C.” the report warned.

Please make informed decisions do not believe everything you hear or read. This pipeline will not bring sustainable jobs and the economic benefits are over powered exponentially by the risks of a leak or a spill.

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