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COMMENTARY · 10th April 2011
Merv Ritchie
It is almost overwhelming attempting to keep track of all the Enbridge Northern Gateway activities. The Joint Review Panel (JRP), The Community Advisory Board (CAB), Public forums, City Council and Regional District Kitimat Stikine (RDKS) meetings, protest gatherings, individual actions to attract media attention, news releases from Enbridge and the various environmental groups, the entire affair is simply mind numbing.

We have attended almost all of it. Video taped and recorded. Written volumes of stories (our ‘Everything Enbridge’ Section) and still we find it difficult to keep track of all the mis-representations. How our elected representatives can, is a wonder.

Last month, on the day after the anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, two Enbridge representatives appeared before the RDKS and made statements that had us wonder, ‘are they blatantly lying or is this just our own forgetfulness on the issues?’

First thing that caught our attention, besides all the warm hugs and happy exchanges between our elected representatives and the Enbridge representatives, was the statement that Enbridge would be ensuring the crude oil tankers would have to meet their certain specifications, calling them “Our Tankers”. It is a curious statement as during previous forums and presentations Enbridge claimed they would only be responsible for the Pipeline and the tar sands crude bitumen tank farm on the shores of the Douglas channel at Kitimat; the tankers were not their responsibility. They even went further to claim they would be responsible and ensure all the safety measures up and through Douglas Channel, around all the Northwest Coast; it would be their duty.

No one mentioned the poor quality of the newest tankers built today. Read about that issue in an indepth expose’ HERE.

Then they made a statement about how safe everything is today in both tanker traffic and pipelines providing a chart demonstrating how much more trafficking of Crude is taking place and the associated decrease in accidents and spills. The chart highlighted that there has not been a NEB major pipeline rupture spilling oil greater than 10 barrels of any liquid constructed in the past 35 years.

Iskut, Telegraph Creek and Bob Quinn RDKS Director, Dave Brocklebank jumped on that, “What happened to Pine Pass?”

“So, ah, I don’t know what happened to the Pine Pass,” began Enbridge’s spokesman, Kevin Brown and then he went on to obfuscate on the issue talking about other pipelines.

The statement was determined to possibly be correct as the acronym NEB was put in front of the sentence. NEB stands for National Energy Board and this only then refers to pipelines that cross provincial boundaries. This could be perceived as a bit of a sneaky trick to deceive the Directors. Many might remember too the Kinder Morgan pipeline rupture in Burnaby a few years back.

No one person it seems can keep track of all the facts and misrepresentations from all sides on the issues. Enbridge however is being paid by China to promote the pipeline. Those attempting to understand it along with those who wish to oppose it are not receiving hundreds of thousands; possibly millions like China is feeding Enbridge.

Below is attached part one and part two of the Enbridge presentation to the RDKS on March 25, 2011.
Be careful what you wish for!
Comment by Don Bruce on 12th April 2011
I would like to address city councils and regional districts in the northwest. If you tick aye to pipeline(s) your name will be associated forever with the ugliness of oil spills that will most certainly occur in future!
Hats off
Comment by Cheri Reidy on 11th April 2011
Thank you Merv for reminding all of us that we live in a sacred place. Moreover, I am very grateful for all of the coverage and background on developments that threaten the sustainability of life. You are right, it is mindnumbing to keep track of it all. Hats off to all who are keeping us informed. Again, a heart felt thanks.
Pine Pass
Comment by Walter Fricke on 11th April 2011
The Pembina Pipeline rupture was the largest inland oil spill in Canadian history. I know, because I caught and released several Arctic Greyling about 2 weeks prior, about 10 miles downstream of the event. That one was said to be about 1 million litres out of a 12 inch line. According to the piR squared geometric equation, a 36 inch pipeline would have silled about 10 times the volume.
Only a troglodyte wouldn't be "familiar" with that event that shut down fishing in the Pine River for several years. Not to mention the spoiling of Chetwynd's water supply. Water was being trucked over 100km. from Dawson Creek in B-train tanker trucks to make up for that.