New Oceans, Fisheries, and CCG Minister

Interesting choice…

My school is in his riding, but the proposed pipeline terminal is not. There’s all ready a little boom going on for mariners here because of the pipeline buy-out… and there’s all that noise about what’s happening in Kitimat with the LNG.

You hear so much about how the pipeline is undemocratic, environmentally risky, economically unsound on the one hand and how it is vital to our economy, is a jobs creator, and can be done safely on the other. People are so emotional about it, until you don’t know what it really is any more. I think I’m comforted by the fact that an Oxford/McGill economics graduate with a background in renewable energy and water treatment is pro-pipeline and now in a position to see that it’s done properly.

Canada definitely needs those pipelines. They will certainly be good for BC Mariners. Governments have let these knee jerk against everything eco protesters have too much of a voice.

At least in Canada you don’t have to worry about projects being tied in US courts by the ecologists for 10 years.

I agree with you on a practical level, but not on a philosophical level. I don’t like to see Ottawa being so heavy handed. Its the nature of a pipeline that it will cross a lot of lands; I just wish there had been more consensus building. And there are legal challenges. The difference is, the federal government has guaranteed that the project will start on time despite what the courts may do. It feels wrong to do things that way. I think the process matters as much as the product, and I don’t like to see some Canadians get stepped on by our government, even if I don’t agree with them.

While its true that Alberta’s resources are the furnace of our national economy, nearly all the risk in this project is being assumed by only BC. You talk to people in Vancouver and Burnaby and some people hard reject the pipeline as a concept, but most wish that we were getting a bigger piece of the pie. You commonly hear them ask: why are we planning to ship bitumen as a raw product? Why aren’t we building or expanding a refinery for it? Wouldn’t everyone benefit more from that?

Tar sands crude has a bad image as an evil product. They should refine it right in Fort Mac. Gasoline and diesel are generic products that everybody needs. No stigma attached.

I don’t know. Maybe.

Maybe they should refine it in BC: our hydro is cheap here, we smelt aluminium because of that. Maybe its safer to put bitumen through a pipeline than refined product. I’m def not a pipelines expert. I would like someone to explain to me though: why like that?

When it was starting up, they were using steam pumped through directional bores to heat the formation and make the tar pump able. Its not most of the bitumen that is shallow enough to be mined. The trouble with that was, they were using natural gas to make the steam. There’s not enough natural gas in the country to make all the steam they need to produce those formations (and we are gas rich). What aught to have happened was to build nuclear plants up there: then it could be produced more efficiently, more prettily, and with fewer emissions (we are also uranium rich). No one really loves these big pit mines, I think… the haul trucks are exciting… but other than that, wells would be better. Easier to reclaim in the end, too.

Al that being said, I think syncrude does do some upgrading near ft mac somewhere.

Here you can see that the area is vast, but only the minority of the leases can be extracted with pit mines.

And don’t forget about the heavy fuel. The stuff is low sulphur.

Here’s another question I’d like to have answered:

Why don’t we build the pipeline to Churchill? Vancouver and Halifax aren’t the only deep water ports. Its not like the economy of Vancouver will collapse without a pipeline: other towns need the investment. We’d have to actually start behaving like an Arctic nation: build icebreakers, build communities, (re)build rail, pay attention to what’s happening up there, but anyway its about time. Like this:

Hey look! It doesn’t have to cross the most tectonically active part of the country.

People are so North blind. If you ask even very geeky geography people how many countries does Canada boarder? They will say 3: USA, France, and Denmark. No one ever says: Russia. We have boarder disputes with all of these countries, except France. Yet, there’s no sense of urgency.

There is urgency, but only to sell resources in ways that could probably be done better.

Speaking of the legal challenges: the federal govt lost.


Because the environmental study “did not assess the impacts of marine shipping — increased tanker traffic that would result from the expanded pipeline — on the environment and southern resident killer whales in the waters around the line’s shipping terminal.”


“…the federal government did not adequately, or meaningfully, consult with Indigenous people and hear out their concerns…”

Like I said: the process matters.

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Too much politically correct BS. To much blather and expensive wasted time and opportunity. It’s time to cut to the chase and get “git ‘er done.”

I can’t agree. We have to do it right or not at all.

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The Canadian court agrees with you and blocked it based upon failure to consult with aboriginal interests.