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COMMENTARY · 10th July 2010
Merv Ritchie
End Note edited September 9, 2010

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project is being proposed to carry raw crude bitumen (Oil) from the Tar Sands of Alberta to Asian destinations. It is not a secret that China is the major potential consumer of this tar sands product. It is also rumoured Chinese interests in this product have provided funds for Enbridge, in the tune of $300 million, to fund their public relations and regulatory approval program.

On June 22, 2010, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director, Richard Fadden, appeared on CBC TV. CSIS’s role is to catch spies and stop inappropriate foreign infiltration of Canadian interests. Fadden singled out China and revealed, during this appearance and in a previous speech, some very startling information that might be of interest to those concerned on the stance taken by the North West BC Municipal Councils regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal and other projects.

“There are several municipal politicians in British Columbia and in at least two Provinces there are ministers of the crown, we think are under at least the general influence of a foreign government. They have no idea. It’s just a long standing relationship; you develop friendships.” stated Fadden.

Several municipal politicians in British Columbia and at least one Cabinet Minister seem to be the direction Northwest British Columbians should be looking. In reference to the public and the citizenry Fadden spoke about local community awareness.

“I’m making this comment because I think it’s a real danger that people are totally oblivious to this kind of issue.”

This would be the second point to take into consideration. First there are several of our local municipal leaders who may have been compromised and second most of them, including the population of the region are completely ignorant of the potential of external/foreign infiltration of our free political process. Fadden described how insidious it is and how subtle this potential infiltration of political system happens.

“They haven’t hidden their associations but what’s surprised us is it’s been so extensive over the years and we’re now seeing, in a couple of cases, indication that they are in fact shifting their public policies as a reflection of that involvement in that Country.”

These are not small, insignificant allegations. They are important and extremely relevant to what has been happening regarding the promotion of all types of trade activity in the Northwest. Enbridge and the associated Alberta Tar Sands Oil is not the only export commodity to China. Raw logs are also one of the top items affecting this region.

It has been stated by various politicians, Premier Gordon Campbell being one of them, that these allegations are reckless and paint everyone with the same brush. He is right as, in the case of the Northwest, it is not difficult to narrow down a potential list of suspects.

Cabinet Minister Pat Bell is frequently speaking about his Chinese contacts having made various trade journeys to Asia encouraging raw log exports stating that at least the fallers and truckers have work. Former Politician and Cabinet Minister, Roger Harris, has been seen frequently with a local Chinese (national?), Adam Tang and Harris now works for Enbridge Northern Gateway. Tang has developed many serious long term friendships in the area and has worked to encourage more raw log exports to China (Coast Tsimshian). Does Fadden exclude Tang? No, everyone is now implicated. Minister Bill Bennett from the Kootenays has also spoken favourably about the Chinese markets. Is he also suspect?

As for our municipal leaders, Kitimat Mayor, Joanne Monaghan, has compromised her independence on the Northern Gateway Proposal by accepting to have her picture with her Mayoral regalia accompany a statement written by Enbridge purporting to support the project. On November 20, 2009 a Chinese delegation visited Kitimat after a provincial government promotional tour in China purporting to look at the Eurocan site. Monaghan has endured significant criticism from the community and her council yet she maintains her right to appear in Enbridge promotional material.

Terrace Mayor David Pernarowski along with Councillor Brian Downie have both accepted money from Enbridge to appear at their meetings. These two have been conspicuously absent from meetings by groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline even though many gatherings were in Terrace, travel not being an issue, however they accepted money to travel to pro Enbridge forums.

Colin Kinsley, the former Mayor of Prince George and now chairman of the pro Enbridge Northern Gateway Alliance expressed outrage in a news release after Liberal Party of Canada Leader Ignatieff stated oil tankers should be prohibited from BC coastal waters. Is Kinsley compromised?

The various refusals or obstacles put in front of invitations to attend gatherings by First Nations, Union and Environmental forums opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal by Enbridge, which is purported to feed the Chinese appetite, along with the blatant willingness to join and attend all the pro Enbridge political events demonstrates there is a serious problem and concern we should all be contemplating.

There has been no naming of those individuals CSIS director Fadden referred to when speaking about our local BC leaders however we need to be aware of the reality. CSIS director Fadden is speaking from a foundation of knowledge that, in his own words, we are generally oblivious to.

In the two councils we report on regularly, Terrace and the District of Kitimat, we find from Terrace; Mayor Pernarowski with Councillors Carol Leclerc and Brian Downie and from Kitimat; Mayor Joanne Monaghan with Councillors Richard McLaren and Mario Feldhoff, continually taking positions favouring Enbridge along with participation in pro Enbridge forums.

If we were to be concerned with, or suspect of, our municipal leaders, as has been suggested by the CSIS director, then it is these individuals along with their associates and administrative officials on whom we should we should focus our attention. If they are beyond reproach then we should demand Fadden come clean and tell us if our region, the Sacred Circle, is being compromised. We need to demand it and not be oblivious to a reality. All these formerly mentioned individuals deserve this vindication and name clearing. Without it there will always be suspicion.

Link to full CBC explanation along with story and videos HERE

End Note: A conspiracy theorist might ponder about the recent resignations of the top Executive Directors of the Terrace Economic Development Organizations. Were they too uncomfortable with the knowledge of interference of the political leaders by outsiders? The range of possibilities is endless.

As for Chinese insiders, Pat Bell has a number of Chinese personnel within his ministry executive offices. [. . .] is in the International Policy and Trade Relations section as an economist. Born in Fujian, China, she achieved her Masters Degree in Economics in BC. Bill Bennetts Ministry; Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources employs [. . .] as a Senior Policy Analyst. [. . .] attended both UBC and UVic between 2002 and 2007 achieving a Masters Degree in Economics. This is discovered with very little investigative work. Attending BC Universities, working as a public servant for BC and being a Chinese national places one at the top of Faddens suspect list.

The names have been removed as this has caused consternation to these individuals which, though implicated with many others by Fadden's blanket statement, are not necessary to make the point. We have been informed by BC Forest Ministry Staff a Google search has brought up these names causing some concerns. We apologize for this to the two previously named, no harm was meant. We were simply attempting to demonstrate the harm in Fadden's open ended claims.
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 14th July 2010
Funny, I didn't read any outright accusations in Merv's article. I do, although, view your implication, that ethnicity has anything to do with this matter, as immature and insulting.

When you climb into bed with a highly controversial organisation and actively promote controversial issues then you have to expect the public to question your actions. I do, although, assume you are being sufficiently compensated by Enbridge for the perceived degradation to your character that your employment choice has caused you.

As long as money trumps the rights of ordinary citizens in this 'free society' there will be speculation of interference in government policy. So, 'If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen'.
never again
Comment by roger harris on 12th July 2010
On the 9th of February, 1950, Joseph McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin, made a speech claiming to have a list of 205 people in the State Department that were communists. It put in motion a period in the United States history that has become one of the greatest periods of shame for that country.

McCarthyism became defined as the political action of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term is now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

Merv Ritchie's article or should I say "witch hunt" is vulgar at a base level. This type of fear mongering, guilt by association and blantant ethnic profiling was denounced in 1950 and should be equally and vigourously denounced in 2010.

We live in a free society, our troops are overseas today sacrificing their lives protecting those freedoms. Soldiers of all ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese that share the common title of "Canadian" make up that force.

Merv's attack on individuals and institutions for engaging with the one of the largest economies in the world in China, is insulting to all of us. If this goes unchallenged what race, group or oraniation will be unjustly targeted next.

I personally haven't seen or met with Adam Tang in probably 5 years or longer; and even then I may have met with him once or twice. But in true Terrace tradition, if I saw Adam on the streets today, I would say hello, wish him well and I would do it without any reservation; regardless of what Merv thinks or prints.
Just plain advice
Comment by Marylin Davies on 12th July 2010
My old Dad had lots of down home plain talking advice. One of which fits this discussion perfectly.
Start with a conclusion and you and can prove anything.
Fits the bill for both sides, don't you think?
Comment by Steve Smyth on 11th July 2010
So if someone supports a certain project, or economic association with China, that makes them a Chinese spy? If a cabinet minister hires someone with a Chinese background, does that make him or her a Chinese spy?
My father was Irish, and I was born in England, if I ran for office could I be an MI6 spy and not fit to serve public office?
Are you suggesting we should go back to only doing business with the US and suffer the ups and downs that are inevitable when you only have one customer, who happens to be one of the biggest economies in the world? Also, those US guys are not immune from meddling in foreign economies as a lot of Central America and the Middle East found out.

Also, I'd suggest Mayor Monahagn has not "has endured significant criticism from the community and her council"-in fact, she seems to have significant support within Kitimat and Councilor Gottschling is leading the "greatly offended " party with minimal support-0f course, said Councilor is greatly offended by anything, or so it it seems, that the Mayor might support.

Ill have to check out a couple of Chinese guys I know, Heck-I might even be a spy under deep cover and don't know it yet.

The biggest problem
Comment by Barry English on 11th July 2010
The biggest problem that I see with Fadden's statements, is that our BC politicians, provincially and municipally, openly flaunt their associations with the Chinese. There isn't even an attempt to be clandestine. Joanne, Dave and Brian have not come out and publically voiced their support for Enbridge, but their actions speak loud enough. Pat Bell, Bill Bennett and Campbell don't hide their Chinese contacts either while they are telling us just how great the province is doing.

Three hundred million dollars buys a lot of support.
Comment by Walter Fricke on 11th July 2010
This article is definitely food for thought. Too many people see big $$$$$ with this project, but close their eyes to the potential damage this project could cause if allowed to go ahead. All it takes is one spill.