NEWS RELEASE · 10th October 2012
Ministry of Environment
The B.C. government is extremely concerned about the answers being given by Enbridge/Northern Gateway representatives at the hearings in Prince George.
"The responses from Enbridge/Northern Gateway to cross-examination by our legal counsel are too often incomplete and lacking in commitment," Environment Minister Terry Lake said. "Their answers suggest that the company is not taking the very real concerns of British Columbians seriously."
On Tuesday, the Province's cross-examination made it clear that the analysis of geological challenges is incomplete, and the mapping of geological hazards (such as landslide areas) that has been done lacks detail. As well, the company's geotechnical assessments use a different methodology from guidelines established specifically for British Columbia.
The Province's cross-examination continued on Wednesday, when Enbridge/Northern Gateway representatives would not commit to adopting enhanced leak detection systems. While acknowledging that they are aware of systems that could detect very small leaks, the company would only say that they will continue to study them. The company would also not commit to using automatic shut-down in the case of a leak being detected, but would instead rely on manual shut-down decisions.
"One thing that is crystal clear after the last two days is that Enbridge/Northern Gateway is putting off making commitments about including these systems in the pipeline design until after they get approval to proceed," Lake said. "We believe that the only way to protect British Columbia's interests is to ensure that these commitments are made up front, so that everyone will understand how they intend to run this project."
The Province will continue its cross-examination on operational and emergency preparedness issues later in the Prince George hearings.
Excerpt from Andrew Nikiforuk's article
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 11th October 2012
But Harper's Omnibus Bill, which declared Canada’s formal entry into the ranks of dysfunctional petro states, was but window dressing for the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA). It's the most significant trade deal since NAFTA but you won't read much about it in the national press. Given its deplorable content Harper appropriately inked the massive give-away in Vladivostok last month and then quietly tabled the deal in Ottawa without so much as a press release.
Osgoode law professor Gus Van Harten, an expert on such international doings, quickly found out why. After reading the brief document, he declared it a travesty and a formidable assault on Canada's democratic traditions. For starters the deal gives Chinese investors more rights and protections than Canadian entrepreneurs could ever win in China’s incredibly corrupt markets.
Moreover the deal "allows Chinese companies to sue Canada outside of Canadian courts. Remarkably, the lawsuits can proceed behind closed doors. This shift to secrecy reverses a longstanding policy of the Canadian government."
Appallingly, the treaty would give Sinopec, one of the big Chinese backers of the Northern Gateway pipeline, the right to sue the government of British Columbia if it blocks the project. Sinopec could also demand that only Chinese labour and materials be used on the pipeline. Moreover the treaty gives Chinese state owned companies "the right to full protection and security from public opposition."
The agreement, like all bad deals, comes wrapped in totalitarian paper. The deal does not require provincial consent. It comes without any risk-benefit analysis. And it can be ratified into law without parliamentary debate. The more Harper wants to do business with China, the more he acts like another tank in Tiananmen Square. Barring a revolt within Harper's own party, the trade deal automatically becomes law on Nov. 1.
Comment by Paul Repstock on 11th October 2012
I am "Extremely Concerned" by the entire relationship between Canada's resources and all levels of government!
I make no specific accusations against any level of government, except to say that they do not seem to understand that Canada's resources belong to all Canadians, not just to whatever government happens to control them. Our Natural Resources are being sold to foreign interests with little or no concern for the future of our people. Resources are sold raw, creating few jobs, just generating royalties which feed the government.
The latest fiasco is found here ( http://www.mining.com/up-to-2000-chinese-miners-on-their-way-to-british-columbia-to-fill-jobs-canadians-cant-do-safely-72388/?utm_source=digest-en-mining-121010&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest ). This is the thin edge of the wedge! If our governments get away with bringing in cheap foreign labour, soon we will all be on welfare! And things won't improve from there.
Andrew Nikiforuk on the Tyee.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 11th October 2012
His column at http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/11/Chairman-Harper/ is worth a read.
What Karen said!
Comment by blocky bear on 11th October 2012
What happened to Lakes` world class systems?
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 10th October 2012
Where has this government been for the past three years?