As decision time approaches, most of us know the government of Canada to enable the flow of more diluted bitumen through the most populated region of British Columbia. The cost, in terms of the Liberal party’s political future in this province, could be great. A recent Insights West poll found that 64% of the people who voted for them in the last election oppose the pipeline. One of their own MP’s made the public appeal, “I ask you to listen to the collective wisdom of British Columbians.” Thousands are protesting anticipated approval of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion.
Prior to his election as Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau promised that the National Energy Board hearings on the proposed Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion would not go forward. We need a new review process, which both focuses on science and seeks social license in the areas where projects like this are being suggested. That changed after his election. The hearings resumed and, sometime before May 20, the National Energy Board is expected to recommend the Trans Mountain project be approved. If the Prime Minister agrees, there will be a seven-fold increase of diluted bitument coming through the most populated area of British Columbia. In anticipation of the proposed pipeline, the province of British Columbia is drawing up legislation for “world-leading provincial spills regime.” This is the backdrop for the ECOreport’s Monday, April 11, program on CKTZ: Bitumen sinks and is almost impossible to clean up.
The crux of Canada’s climate dilemma was recently played out at the Broadbent Institute’s annual Progress Summit. It was a refreshing debate in that, despite their very different perspectives, all three speakers appeared to speak what was really on their minds. Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips is understandably distressed about the her province’s growing unemployment and $10 billion in lost oil revenues. Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer is opposed to the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion because it is “way too much risk, no benefit (for Vancouver), on a planet that is dying because we are burning fossil fuels.” Canada’s Environment Minister does not want to do anything that would cause “tons of people to lose jobs.” But do Phillips and McKenna realize that the Canadian government is already damaging BC by not taking action.