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CONTRIBUTION · 12th January 2012
Shane McLaren
I'm from Rupert and now live in Alberta. Not in Ft. Mac but in the center of oil and gas country. We have TONS of jobs, pay no sales tax and we have even received a share of the revenues in the form of a cheque for $400 to each living Albertan who filed taxes and their kids.

We have nice double laned divided highways, free parks with free waterslides, it's AWESOME and it's all thanks to the oil and gas industries.

BUT drive through the countryside and you'll see miles of rolling farmlan glowing bright yellow with canola flowers or blowing grain crops that look like a fawn coloured ocean...that is blanketed by a brownish haze.

The haze that smog from a zillion flarestacks with their awesome pyrotechnical glows that dot the countryside like stars in a clear night sky.

It's all good until you want to eat a FISH from the (once) mighty Athabasca River. I mean you are ALLOWED to eat ONE...unless you're pregnant, elderly or very young. THOSE frail bodies can't handle the levels of heavy metals and other toxins that pollute the rivers. Don't even MENTION ground water contaminants.

Big business has govermnet so far up it's ass that companies like the ones who do Frac-ing don't even have to TELL us what they pump into the ground to fracture the underground rock to "release" the valuable fluids and gasses that have been trapped there for 100 million years.

Here in Alberta it is ALL about the Shareholders, as it is supposed to be in a properly functioning capitalistic society. Say a pipeline springs a small leak. If it is costing the "company"..let's say...$200/day...well (no pun intended)..if it is gonna cost more than that to FIX the leak...well...if it is going to cost the SHAREHOLDERS more MONEY to fix it than to let it leak...guess WHAT!

It's very easy for me to sit here and enjoy the benefits (?) that oil and gas bring to my new home province while telling my brothers and sisters in BC to say NO to prosperity and jobs and everything GOOD that this industry brings.

But everytime I hear about people in BC blocking a new damaging industry from taking hold I stand up applaud and say YES!
When I hear about the pipeline from Ft. Mac to Texas I think..NO..but it isnt because of the environmental impact, it's because.

WHY should we ship our raw materials (=JOBS) to the US?? Why dont we refine it here?

But when I hear about a pipeline through my former "yard" I think...NO! It isn't WORTH it. When I think of the jobs Albertans would lose because of it ...well..there aren't really any.

A handful of local welders may get hired temporarily for the initial fabrication of the pipeline but once it's in place...and I have NO idea...just how many jobs are they talking about creating? I don't imagine it's a substantial number.

So..no one expects BC to keep saying NO. Eventually you'll probably have to crumble and bend. If you have OIL....it WILL be extracted eventually. Whether it's in Hecate Straight or the middle of the Kootenays, salmon and watersheds will not be able to keep big business at bay. Once they are IN...you're hooped!

For an example of how that business/industry is run, just try for yourself to find out what frac-ing fluid is made up of. Find some water quality tests from Alberta. There are farmers living beside oilfields..or on top of oilfields..whos TAP water is FLAMMABLE! I am NOT even KIDDING!

Those people say to the government...we have found this list of toxic substances in our groundwater...it has to be from the frac-ing.

We BET that you will find these non-naturally occuring substances in the frac chemical soup they use. Well...the gov says..nope..that must have already been there because the Frac guys said it wasnt them.

BUT...we can't tell you what chemicals they use because that is copyrighted information. A trade secret. But they assure us it wasnt caused by them so...nope.

That's one example. Go ahead and TRY to find out wbout environmental damage in Alberta. Officially, everything is fine. Justy don't eat the fish from the rivers. They can KILL YOU!

PLEASE stand strong BC. Hold out as long as you can. Don't worry...you will make plenty of revenue from sales of drinkable water and edible FOOD to Alberta!

Even though I left...I really had no choice..I had to provide for my family..and you HAVE to provide for yours so I can't tell YOU to just say NO all the time but..BC is my HOME. My kids were born there. I HOPE that we can all do something to preserve nature (=humanity) on that side of the hill.

It isnt a winnable battle but ......well maybe it IS?

Signed, a two-faced hypocrate who picked up and left BC to seek fortune in AB :(
Sorry all.
Thank you for the Alberta update
Comment by blocky bear on 13th January 2012
In your closing comments you suggest we can market clean water and un c0ntaminated susetenance to Alberta. It occurs to me that you mean this is only if we (B.C.ers) don`t cave to the pipeline. If the fish and good water are gone through oil spills and Fracking where do any of us get the neccessities from? Start a Revolution! d.b.
You're a bit out of date
Comment by Roy Harding on 12th January 2012
I moved here to BC from Alberta in 2006 - you're reference to $400.00 cheques is somewhat out of date. I received mine in 2005 (perhaps 2004 - my memory may be somewhat off). Since then, the government of Alberta has been running deficits - and no more cheques.

As for the rest of your post - I find myself somewhat in agreement - if you've got a family to feed, you move to where the jobs are.

Agree
Comment by Mike on 12th January 2012
Thanks Shane, I agree that its ridiculous to send our raw materials overseas. It burns me when people constantly complain about raw log exports because it sends jobs overseas, yet we mindlessly send our oil, shiploads of raw ore, and other raw materials overseas. Why don't we have refineries and steel/copper mills? Why only value added for wood?
As for jobs from water and food....its going to be tough watching you oil patch guys driving your $75,000 trucks with two brand new sleds on it leaving your 3500 square foot house as I fill water bottles and pick veggies for ten bucks and hour. I know that yes you can't put a price on this great province and beautiful hometown we have, but I too have people to provide for, so sorry if the temptation is there.
thank you
Comment by Matthew Daratha on 12th January 2012
listen, learn, live
Check this out.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 12th January 2012
"The Expert's Report that Damns the Northern Gateway Pipeline" in which Veteran energy analyst David Hughes calculates three reasons the project is bad for Canada.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, in today's TheTyee.ca