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REPORTING · 14th September 2012
Merv Ritchie
Two of the hottest topics in the Northwest will be heard and possibly debated in the third floor Boardroom at 4545Lazelle Avenue in Terrace, today, Friday September, 14, 2012. Shell Canada (LNG) Representative Jane Newlands (Manager, Community and Aboriginal Affairs) will be providing an update to the Directors and Staff of the Regional District Kitimat Stikine (RDKS). On Enbridge, RDKS Director, Dave Brocklebank, representing Area D (Telegraph Creek, Iskut, Bob Quinn, Klappan, Stikine River etc.) is reintroducing his motion to have the RDKS take a position opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

The Terrace Daily will be live streaming the RDKS Board meeting at 7pm. A lInk will be found on the front page or a reader can click HERE at 7:00pm to tune in and watch. To follow along with the agenda, to see which items will be discussed next, Click Here.

All minutes and the various other documents, Planning and Finance Committee Agendas etc., can be located by Clicking Here.

The previous meeting of the RDKS Board included an extensive debate on Enbridge after Director Brocklebank introduced it. This can be watched by clicking Here. Director Corrine Scott from Kitimat argued, as was her duty to represent the District of Kitimat and their official stand on the issue, to remain neutral. Mayor David Pernarowski, who is also a Director on the RDKS Board, argued the issue should be tabled, which it was, until this meeting today. Letters from both Directors, Brocklebank and Scott, are included in the RDKS agenda package and are presented below for the readers convenience.

Royal Dutch Shell, represented by Shell Canada, is currently planning to build an LNG pipeline to the Douglas Channel Harbour at Kitimat. There has been very little talk recently about there gas extraction “Fracking” plans in the Klappan Region of the Northwest. They may be suggesting they are building the infrastructure for gas derived in Northeast BC or Alberta. It will however, if constructed, highlight their intentions in the Sacred Headwaters, the Klappan Region next to the Spatzizi Wilderness Plateau.

Two previous writings on Shell’s plans include;
A calm report on those gathered to protest Shell’s plans in the Northwest from May 2008

A very provocative writing just prior to Shell Canada’s last visit to the RDKS in April, 2008


Regional Board
Director Dave Brocklebank
Date: August 20, 2012
Re: RDKS Position on Northern Gateway

I would like to state the reason for my motion; I would also like this included in the agenda for the September meeting and as the motion has been made and tabled I see no reason to now give a "Notice of Motion".

Back in April 2012 we had a letter from the Wet'suwet'en Nation more or less requesting us to endorse their opposition to Northern Gateway (NGP). I was tempted at the time to respond but left it alone as I felt the letter was directing us, on behalf of our Wet'suwet'en constituents and ultimately all our constituents, to oppose N(5P.

If the letter had of asked us to take a position I would have made the following motion "The RDK5 Board members consult their constituents and formulate a position at the June 2012meeting." This could have been against, in support or remain neutral. I then intended to bring the subject up with the same intent at our May and/or June meeting. Somewhere I got sidetracked with the other issues we were dealing with. After the June meeting I did intend to give a "Notice of Motion" regarding the matter but again with the number of things happening in both my personal and community life it slipped away.

Many years ago, on behalf of some of my constituents, I requested a meeting with Roger Harris, Liberal MLA for Skeena as a Liberal MLA, Dennis McKay, my constituent's ML/A, did not seem at all interested in the issue. While Roger did listen to the concerns the main point he wanted to get across in my meeting with him was that the RDKS Board was a useless body as we never seemed to take a Stand or position on issues. I pointed out that with the scattered and diverse area we represent collectively, we try to find compromise and that sometimes means staying neutral. In some ways though he was right. At times there are broader issues that may divide us as a Board on positions relative to our representation but stands have to be made.

I would like to give a little history that reflects what our Chairperson related on in the discussion of my motion.

For two years I was the engineer on the Nechako II, A lean's crew boat running 4 trips a week (two each way), 52 weeks a year with 42 passengers, men, women and children from Kemano to Kitimat and return.

I have sailed oceans and seas around the world. North and South Atlantic, Baltic, Arctic Ocean, Mediterranean, Caribbean and the north Pacific and have been through many storms and 2 hurricanes. What happens in the Douglas Channel almost equals the worst I have experienced, sometimes without any weather warnings. It is a constricted narrow channel in places (forget Enbridge's omission of islands in their latest ads) and the surge and wind gets funneled up it. Sometimes in winter the ice build-up required us to go out and chop ice as we were getting top heavy. The Captain during my time on the Nechako Il was a very capable ex-fisherman from Nova Scotia and he had some heart stopping trips in the Douglas Channel.

The Nechako II was a very sea worthy boat and had adequate power. I left my position with Alcan, (walked off the job), due to safety concerns. Despite raising continual concerns about over heating in one of the 2 engine's main bearings I was given the answer - it'll be expensive to charter a replacement boat and put ours in for the engine to be pulled in Prince Rupert, (charter boat, engine repairs, crew accommodation, meals etc).

When my concerns where brushed aside on numerous occasions I had enough and walked off the job and quit. I realized all they wanted was my engineer's ticket to meet Transport Canada's requirements. It didn't seem to matter about women and children's safety - money was the priority.

I left there to work for Rivtow Straits out of Vancouver and when I applied the Engineering Superintendent asked why I left /Mean. I told him safety issues and gave him the history. A few months later while at sea I had a call from him telling me the starboard engine on Nechako II had a crankcase explosion but there were no injuries and that weather was not a problem.

The point of this long tirade - Enbridge - in their presentations to us have more or less stated that once the bitumen leaves the end of the hose into the tanker their responsibility finishes. It has never been stated who is responsible for it from there on. Foreign owned tankers registered in Liberia or elsewhere?

No matter who it is money will always be the governing concern, not the environment or safety. With winter weather in the Douglas Channel delaying arrival and/or departure of tankers and the number of proposed tankers hauling bitumen, plus the LNG tankers the channel is going to become like the Port Mann Bridge at rush hour and the inevitable accidents will happen. Without a bitumen pipeline there would be no bitumen tankers.

Enbridge has proven that they would rather spend $800,000,000 to clean up a single spill, which they still haven't finished, and will never restore the environment or affected people's lives than spend that money on safety and monitoring and upgrading -it's all a roll of the dice whether they can make more money to keep things pumping versus a clean up and associated fines will cost. How much have they had to spend on al their spills.

I for one and the vast majority of my constituents do not want to gamble the future of a beautiful and life giving ecosystem on a maybe.

We also do not agree with our Premier's position of give us enough revenue and we'll accept it (for the benefit of the majority in the south).
The writing is on the wall - even though there is the Review Board and the National Energy Board - the decision will be made politically in Ottawa and in China. We should be promoting refined products at the very least, product moving through the pipes, providing investment and jobs in this country. We have been the raw resource providers to the world for too long and have sat back and watched our manufacturing jobs move overseas while the working people of this country continue to slide backwards.
The Terrace Daily's idea of double walled "containers" moving the finished products should bear further investigation.

Enbridge could still be part of that scenario or have "their" pipeline moving the finished product at much less environmental risk.

Director Pierre made a very valid and good point when she said the Electoral Areas do not have the luxury that Municipalities have of taking a position without involving everyone.

Is there a solution? Can the Electoral Areas only pass a resolution?

I am prepared to make an amendment to my motion, which I will say the original was not thought out enough, to:

The RDKS is opposed the Northern Gateway Project in its proposed format and that they should be encouraged to find an alternate means of shipping refined product to the Asian market.

Since I wrote this Thursday evening I had a call from the Terrace Standard informing me David Black had proposed a refinery in the Terrace/Kitimat corridor and then the emails arrived of the announcement. I do not see this changes the point or intent of my motion - even though I fully feel no one in the decision making world gives a damn what we feel.

While this is a different perspective on the issue - I do not see any alteration of my motion to - that the JRP and NEB encourage Enbridge to find alternate means to move crude oil in any form to new markets.

A pipeline is a pipeline and as the more I read on the subject of dilbit (diluted bitumen) the more I see it as a "sandblasting agent" that will sooner than later wear through the steel walls of any constraining thing you put it into particularly under pressure. In my personal opinion - if there is a means of providing benefit from the resources and benefiting this country's social structure and keeping our environment as safe as possible - build a refinery east of the Rocky Mountains, move the refined product by train to Rupert in double walled containers and ship it on container ships - leaving tankers (big ones) off our coast and moving the finished product contained as it passes through a unique part of the world.

Director Dave Brocklebank

Monday, August 27, 2012
Regional District Kitimat Stikine Board of Directors
Bob Marcellin, Manager
Corinne Scott

SUBJECT: Proposed Motion Opposing Enbridge - September 14, 2012

Further to Director Brocklebank's e-mail regarding his views of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline and large oil tankers plying the waters off the northwest coast and through the Douglas Channel, and various opposing views to Director Brocklebank, IS the reason why the RDKS Board of Directors should maintain a neutral position with regards to the NGP.

Citizens across the north and throughout the province have expressed varied views regarding Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project, and the Joint Review Panel has listened to hundreds of witnesses and received thousands of pages of written transcripts. As various concerns and issues have come forward, Enbridge is modifying the project and materials accordingly.

I'm pleased that so many people are voicing their concerns, as well as hearing from those individuals that are looking forward to the increased development that could happen in northern BC.

The Federal Government is not fast forwarding the JRP's decision, as some people mistakenly think, the new legislation changes only that the JRP can now produce one report that contains all the information that previously would have been in two reports - the Environmental Assessment Report and Reasons for Decision Report. The Panel remains independent from government, industry, and individuals or groups.

I feel strongly that we MUST allow the JRP to complete their findings and not jump 'on the band wagon' either for or against the project. This is not 'fence sitting' it is allowing the process to work.

The draft Environmental Assessment Report will be circulated to First Nations and commum^ prior to its finalization. Once everyone has carefully considered and reflect on the findings, then we would be able to make a declaration of whether we're for or against the project.

Meanwhile, I recommend that the RDKS Board of Directors, remain neutral, and NOT vote in favor of the proposed motion.

Respectfully submitted,
Corinne Scott, Councillor District of Kitimat