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CONTRIBUTION · 3rd April 2014
Elizabeth Thorne
Thinking is a subversive activity but Iím doing it anyway. Iíve been thinking about Social License. Itís something I hear a lot about these days. Iíve heard, ďYou donít have a social licence to do thatĒ. Iíve heard, ďAll they want is a tax receipt that proves theyíve got social licenceĒ. Iíve heard, ďOh no problem, we can help with that. It gives us social licence.Ē These are real quotes by the way. So what is social licence anyway? Up until 3 years ago Iíd never heard of it!

It appears to mean that if large companies give enough money to local groups and worthwhile causes, it buys them permission to make a mess in or near the community. They donít phrase it quite that way but thatís what it boils down to.

Some examples in Kitimat are the proposed tripling of sulphur dioxide emissions into the Kitimat Valley air shed by Rio Tinto Alcan; the risks attached to natural gas plants near our town and the pollution problems attached to getting that gas out of the ground; and potential leaks of diluted bitumen from the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline and the ships that will take it to China.

Ah yes, Enbridge. They have been spending money in town, this is true. But they began the process by assuming that all they had to do was spend enough money and then they could barrel on through with their plans. They did not take the time to learn about and understand the First Nations whose territories their pipeline would cross. I donít think it crossed their minds that there was anything to learn. They are spending vast quantities of money on advertising on behalf of their pipeline and in order to win Kitimatís upcoming plebiscite. I still havenít figured out why they need to win it so badly!

But Iíve got news for Enbridge. You canít buy social licence. You have to earn it. You earn it by the way you operate your other pipelines. You earn it by not spending 2 days pumping more oil into a line thatís showing low pressure before even thinking that there might be a leak. You earn social licence by meeting all environmental regulations not by getting the federal government to get rid of those regulations. You earn social licence by publishing maps that have all the islands on them. You earn social licence by telling the truth and taking responsibility, not by ducking and dodging and saying it will be the shipping companiesí responsibility.

Enbridge has not earned a social licence in the Kitimat Valley. I have not seen any evidence that they can be relied upon to clean up their own mess when it happens. In exchange for 60 jobs in the plant and maybe 100 spin offs we are expected to risk the lives of thousands of fish, birds and marine mammals and the human businesses attached to them. I donít think so. Vote NO on April 14. Enbridge hasnít earned our trust. Enbridge has no social licence.

Elizabeth Thorne
Oh high and almighty Gods of Social Licence.
Comment by Need Jobs on 22nd April 2014
Social Licence, another hammer to keep us workers oppressed and unemployed by Minority. Each time we hear some Environmentalist or Politician blab Social licence we should all pretend to throw up.
Social Licence
Comment by Leon Dumstrey-SooS on 11th April 2014
I believe that if we are responsible/active/contributing members of society, than each one of us has earned this licence!

For example what will/could 180 jobs create?

First they will bring families -perhaps some 500-700 people, that will require housing.

Housing requires land for construction, materials and labor-more jobs! Materials support retailing!
Few more jobs!

500-700 people will require:
Perhaps 150 homes, which will tranaslate in about 1/2 Million$ to Municipal Tax Revenue to provide for Citizens needs!

Aditional jobs for, police, fire, teaching and medical
positions. School may be open or new one build!

Recreation facilities, Library and retail service will be more patronized!

Community will flourish! Because people make communities! People restore services needed!