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COMMENTARY · 13th December 2012
Dave B
While I have serious concerns regarding the Enbridge pipeline and the eventual consequences I am getting more and more frustrated regarding the latest commercials they are airing regarding the tanker safety aspect. Who do they think they are brainwashing – the brain dead?

I wish I had pictures or video to back up what I have to say, but at the time such things were the furthest things to be considered.

I wish experiences such as this could be presented to the review panel.

I sailed the Douglas Channel for almost 2 years as an engineer on the MV Nechako between Kitimat and Kemano, twice a week.

Some of the winter storms were as serious as I experienced in the North Atlantic for 11 years, some worse because of the narrow channel and the winter winds driving the sea up to Kitimat. Besides being totally ice covered and top heavy, so much so we were out chopping ice, the waves and wind were tremendous. How much ice can a super tanker “wear”?

I also sailed the Pacific Coast and North Pacific as a tug boat engineer for 2 years.

For Enbridge to offer up that there will be one of two tugs always tethered to the tanker is meaningless in a major storm in the Douglas Channel – they’ll never keep the lines intact or else sink the tug. What use would the second tug be – can’t connect with the tanker either to push or connect a line to pull!

They also say they can clean up a spill very quickly if they react fast. How in the hell are they going to contain a spill with 15 foot and larger waves travelling at how many knots per hour towards Kitimat? Booms? – LOL!

They say they can clean up the bitumen that will sink to the bottom – how with such a deep channel?

I think the District of Kitimat and Alcan, if this ever comes about, should look at changing the name of Hospital Beach to Tar Sands Beach and MK Bay Marina – a subject to much debate - should be sold to Enbridge so they can watch their investment go up in a puff of smoke.

I would like the Review Panel to be forced to take a trip up the Douglas Channel mid January or February and maybe all the way to Queen Charlotte City and down to Klemtu.

Enbridge needs to fix stuff !
Comment by carl shalansky on 19th December 2012
THERE ARE MILLIONS OF MILES OF OIL PIPE LINES....AND MORE WILL BE BUILT. So why the big fuss about this proposed Enbridge pipeline? I suppose it’s more about who is planning to build the line—Enbridge’ ‘record’ leaves us skeptical—the old Enbridge has earned a reputation which will be difficult to FIX ! Following are some of my suggestions, can Enbridge make these changes? or do we just look for a different organization with a record and culture of operations safety?

I suggest that Enbridge, with a major commitment, might be able to gain public acceptance? Ha Ha you say - I’ve sent the note below to Enbridge and the major media—but guess what—no response. I doubt that Enbridge will be able to change, they can likely bully their way through the hearings process and public resistance while the politicians remain in hiding.

The media ‘love’ the revenue from those, ubiquitous, annoying Enbridge ads—public opinion may yet cause the politicians to lead ? Again, ha ha !

Without major media support ‘we peasants’ won’t be heard! Hopefully the community media, such as yours, will help to bring the government out of hiding and to do their job?

My Comment email follows...

Enbridge,in my opinion, have problems, still;

1. about OPERATIONS SAFETY– lingers from the NTSB report about the Kalamazoo pipeline failure fiasco-

2. IMAGE is hurt about MISLEADING ADS such as the ad which showed a wide and clear path through Douglas channel —the ads seem counter productive and certainly they are becoming ANNOYING.

3. we see little evidence about the BENEFITS for BC public, instead we still see problems.


About 1. Enbridge Board of Directors need ‘to have an OPERATIONS SAFETY EPIPHANY’ and show us in detail (new policy and organization) and explain how Enbridge will safely manage pipelines.

About 2. Move OUT OF DOUGLAS Channel to a more open port location.
Put your highly skilled people ‘on the road’ to explain at MODERATED presentations and debates how Enbridge can and will do their job. The public will then judge the quality of your team.

About 3. Let Enbridge and Governments sit down and hammer out a sensible deal. There are 4 PROFITING PARTNERS in this project—the oil producers,the pipe liner, the loading terminal and storage facilities owner and the SHIP owners ! Show us, in detail, the NET BENEFITS for B.C., ASSUMING the ‘profiting partners’ BUILD an OIL SPILL DISASTER FUND to protect BC taxpayers from the clean up cost of any minor or major shipping or pipeline spill !

The public polls show that the public are not buying your proposal, as is!

The polls are a key consideration in all politician’s survival handbook!

So Enbridge - fix stuff (‘safety’,’image’ and ‘benefits’) now or go home.

Simple as that!

Carl Shalansky, P. Eng. (retired)
3359 Redfern Place,
North Vancouver, BC, v7n3w2
604 986 4657
Quick response
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 14th December 2012
Was listening to Janet Holder on the radio insinuate that a quick clean-up response would keep damage to a minimum in the event of a spill and almost choked. Given where these VLCCs would traverse I can only assume that Ms. Holder's definition of a 'quick response' would be more in tune with their quick response on the Kalamazoo spill.

I am sure Enbridge is totally aware of the dangers the Douglas Channel and the Hecate Strait pose to tankers but they consider the risk just the cost of doing business, and they would not be responsible for any catastrophe on the water anyway. The false propoganda is meant for those who have nothing to lose and who have little initiative to learn the truth - just more uninformed mouthpieces for Enbridges' pet project.