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COMMENTARY · 20th June 2013
Merv Ritchie
Exactly What I Argued On November, 17 2011, To The Chamber Of Commerce

Maybe It Is True, ‘You Can’t Handle The Truth’. And Speaking Of Truth, I Do Not Hate To Tell You I Told You So.

This morning the breaking news is the collapse, once again, of the markets. The specific concern for residents and investors in the Northwest corner of BC, the Sacred Circle, is the dramatic drop in the price of gold. This morning it dropped below $1300 an ounce.

This due to the cause and effect of just one man opening his mouth. Ben Bernanke of the US Federal Reserve stated yesterday the US market was improving, but in the same breath basically stated all the financial assistance, the billions being poured into recovery efforts would stop. The capital markets across the globe went crazy when they heard this, their ‘welfare cheques from the Feds would be stopping!’ All the leading stock market indicators dropped and remain in substantial negative territory.

The Canadian dollar dropped, the price of oil dropped and gold dropped so much it fell below the mark we have been told by the mine executives was the bench mark for viability. The new forecast, not that economists have any real clue, is gold will remain at these low prices into 2015.

Further news was the Chinese economy is slowing at a faster rate than expected and continues on a downward spiral. In fact the Chinese Communist government has consistently been exposed for fudging their numbers anyways refusing to provide any data for serious investigation of the facts as they consider this a national secrecy matter.

All this really proves is I was right and am right, we are not in control of our economy.

At the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce on November 17, 2011, during a campaign forum, I told the business elite of Terrace I wanted to put them back in control of their economy. They did not like the truth I told, that they were not in control.

I referenced some serious hurt in many of their lives. On November 26, 2007, the Galore Creek mine was closed unexpectedly on a Sunday afternoon. The following week the proposed (now being built) Northwest Transmission line was shelved by, then Premier, Gordon Campbell. Many local people had invested millions preparing to serve the mine project. Hardship endured but there was absolutely nothing they could do.

On October 15, 2008, Rio Tinto issued their third quarter report stating the Chinese economy was going “into a pause”. Immediately following this report the commodities market collapsed and the entire world economy went into the worst crash since the depression. Banks didn’t trust each other and letters of credit, the internationally accepted method of guaranteeing payments, were refused. Freighters stopped sailing the oceans.

Today in Terrace the Enbridge Northern Gateway final arguments are continuing. They began Monday morning, June 17, and the main media present with their large film camera, CBC, recorded and reported only on the opening 2 hour presentation by the lawyer for Northern Gateway, Richard Neufeld. CBC reported he proved all the claims by the opponents were wrong, not just wrong but patently false. Since then 17 groups, most represented by lawyers as well provided their evidence and counterclaims. If CBC (cash buys coverage) had stuck around they would have learned the story they reported was “not just wrong but patently false.” The distortion of facts and misrepresentations by Enbridge are overwhelming. These are details the Panel cannot ignore. Harper can, but at the peril of a civil war.

A number of things are happening here that put the entire economic future of this region in peril. First is the BC Governments whole hearted reliance on China and other international markets. The LNG market is almost a non-starter due to the over abundance of world supply. The new Port facilities to serve “35 Cities the size of New York” in China is in jeopardy as China is no longer reliable. The entire pipeline package concept, the “energy corridor”, is unlikely to see the light of day for the numerous reasons cited at the Northern Gateway hearings and further, the Wet’suwet’en Nation has refused a single pipeline, stating neither gas nor oil pipeline will cross their territories.

So, Port difficulties and pipeline difficulties, well what next? Mines? Well gold is the benchmark. Maybe it will rise again, maybe it won’t but as it stands we will likely see another sudden announcement like we heard from Galore in 2007. Coal? Well every group, Indian and non-Indian who enjoy the rivers of the Northwest are clamoring together to stop the intrusion of resource companies attempting to dig up the “Brita Water Filter” for the three major rivers of the Northwest, the Skeena, Stikine and the Nass. The region known as the Sacred Headwaters is also known as the Groundhog Coal Fields and is the Tahltan and Gitxsan territories called the Klappan next to the Spatzizi Wilderness Plateau.

Racism and bigotry can be heard and observed as industry and government representatives consider the claims being presented by the various groups attempting to protect these lands for the future generations. And protect it, they ensure everyone knows, they will.

And this is the point I made to the Chamber of Commerce in Terrace in 2011. They need to wake up out of their bigoted slumber and recognize the prosperous future they have staring them in the face.

They can go on in delusional blindness believing the old ways of resource plunder for international markets will keep them “in the money”, but as is obvious to anyone possessing the ability to use reason and logic their future is fragile at best.

The only answer is to consider the ways of prosperity, health and community, which survived in this very location for over 10,000 years. One could join in assisting to declare the entire Sacred Circle a World Heritage Site, and then join in the prosperity that follows. A prosperity not susceptible to one man or one company making a statement that sends the fickle stock market into turmoil.

Watch the video attached below from November 17, 2011, at the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.