REPORTING · 17th April 2014
Mayor and Council have been silent long enough concerning the prickly Enbridge file. While other concerned communities have declared their position Smithers, Terrace, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii all saying thanks but no thanks, Kitimat Mayor and Council remain firmly clawed to a weakening fence, stubbornly holding on with neither a Nay or a Yea. One would think, they’ve had more than enough time to study the merits pertaining to the Enbridge proposal.
I realize how busy those council packages can be, so I’ve taken it upon myself to shed a little light on some of the concerns Mayor and Council might want to consider. It would appear few have given much thought as to how and where all this wonderful oil would come from and what are the procedures needed to extract this life enhancing commodity.
What exactly are Albertans doing to a rather large area of northern Alberta? All we hear in beautiful B.C. is that they either suck it out of the ground by loosening the gunk oil from the buried deposits with heaping amounts of injected steam or by mining the sandy oil and then separating the two again, with large quantities of water. Finally, the best part, everybody makes huge pots of money!
Environmentally, what all this activity has done to the province of Alberta and some say on the rest of the globe, well that’s not really talked about. Its not that important, apparently. What is important and exciting is the potential of increasing production 2 to 3 times present production! Imagine the size of the money pots then! The Oil Barons would get the Lion’s share, deservingly so, the presiding Governments would be next Provincial and Federally respectively and then of course, all the workers who made it all happen. So, what is there not to like? Its an obvious win, win, win. As the multi-nationals gear up for more production, land-locked Alberta and the Prime Minister can’t understand why anybody wouldn’t want to get in on some of the Action! The sooner we rip up the rest of Northern Alberta to get at that Black Gold, the sooner the rest of Canada can handsomely profit as well. It’s a known fact that Canada possess the second largest oil reserves worldwide.
All we need now is a couple of pipelines to move that product to markets that dearly want it. Hell we won’t even process it, we’ll get it to our customers as soon as it comes out of the ground, still warm, just the way the Chinese like it. Added value is ancient history what’s “trending now” in Canada is Raw Exports. Why, it was a complete success with Raw Log Exports to China, this bitumen-sales will be a piece-a-cake.
Well, if it was only that simple. I know that P.M. Harper doesn’t trust science to say the right things-probably why he shut down a good portion of the research facilities across Canada. In this cutting-edge era of knuckle-dragging, oxygen starved mentality such laws as- Cause and Effect- have little bearing when it comes to discussing the consequences of oil extraction in Tar Sands country. As much as we would like to ignore the rather large amounts of pollution going up in the atmosphere over Alberta, the huge amounts of Natural Gas we use to power the whole Endeavour, or the ripping up of Boreal Forest -which function as lungs to the Northern Hemisphere-to access the oil soaked sand, or the huge amounts of fresh water used in the separating processes that are finally stored in giant ponds, actually lakes so toxic that any contact with life, be it fowl or mammal means certain death- all these, are the lasting negative imprints on our ailing planet. So now, the Big Players in the Oil Industry with P.M. Harper leading the Charge want to double even triple these lasting effects.
I’m afraid future generation will curse our wanton stupidity. Maybe its time to rethink this whole affair of the Tar Sands. Does B.C. want to be part of this environmental destructive venture. Perhaps the advice of the well respected former Premier of Alberta, Peter Louheed may prove most helpful, “go slow,” tread lightly he often remarked concerning the Tar Sands.
It would appear Mayor and Council gravely underestimated the concerns of a majority of full time Kitimat residents. “We deliver on our promise to make communities better places to live” that Enbridge message sounds all sincere and reassuring but it took a small group of intelligent, determined and resourceful individuals to cut through Enbridge’s representations and expose the not so pleasant potential consequences of piping diluted bitumen through our B.C. rugged landscapes. As the plebiscite demonstrated we’re a cautious bunch, for the most part, and wary of risking our Kitimat valley to the rumbling of a bitumen filled pipeline and to grotesquely large Supertankers on our Douglas Channel. Its time for Mayor and Council to make the right decision and join the majority of Kitimat voters and say No to the Enbridge project.
The Time Has Come
Comment by Linda Halyk on 17th April 2014
Right on Gaetan, great letter.
Now if they will only listen. Not just for all of BC but Alberta and the world, a NO is the only answer.
I couldn't agree more.....
Comment by Larry Walker on 17th April 2014
Well said and thank you for taking the time to write it.