REPORTING · 14th February 2012
Watch Video of Enbridge Rejection Debate by Clicking Here.
In a move characterized by Councillor James Cordeiro as supporting the Coastal First Nations, Terrace has become one of the first non-native communities to stand opposed to accepting money at any cost to the environment. Time after time throughout the debate at Terrace City council Monday evening, February 13, 2012, statements reflecting First Nations understanding were made; the environment is worth more than any amount of money.
It was a small community on Haida Gwaii, the West Coast Island formally known as Queen Charlotte Island, which made two motions at a provincial gathering of Municipal Councils, the UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) in Whistler BC in September of 2010. The Village of Queen Charlotte, on Haida Nation Territory had their motions broadly supported. One was to rejecter tanker traffic in the waters around the Haida, Haisla and Tsimshian waters collectively referred to as; Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The other was to reject any pipeline proposition to bring tar sands crude oil to the West Coast across northern BC.
Cordeiro first introduced a motion to rescind a previous motion confirming Terrace City Council remain neutral. This was argued by Councillor Brian Downie who questioned if it was proper as those who voted to remain neutral were no longer part of Council. He argued there was a time period upon which a motion could be recalled. The acting City administrator cleared up the confusion. When this vote was called Downie and Mayor Pernarowski voted against it while all other Councillors supported Cordeiro.
Cordeiro’s main motion was to have Terrace support the two motions put forward by the Village of Queen Charlotte at the UBCM. These received overwhelming support at the UBCM according to those present and the media covering the gathering. The motions were B140 opposing the shipping of the tar sands oil in pipelines across northern BC for loading onto crude oil tankers and B139 opposing any expansion of bulk crude oil tanker traffic in Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.
Carderio read a prepared statement explaining his position, which was primarily stating he was doing what he was elected to do, follow the wishes of the vast majority of the population. He stated those who argue the City should remain neutral are actually already on record as being in favour of the project and their arguments to request the City remain neutral, until the JRP process is complete, are hollow arguments.
“If there is indeed enough information to be supportive of the project, as they are, then there also must therefore be enough information to formulate the opposite opinion.”
Cordeiro then put forward an argument on when it might be correct to vote against the publics wishes. After offering examples and details he firmly concluded how Enbridge did not fall into that position.
Councillor Bruce Bidgood also read a prepared statement but his most notable statement was when he declared his staunch opposition stance after Stephen Harper called those opposed “Enemies of Canada”.
“I no longer believe it’s a fair process. I don’t think it’s a neutral process. I’ve lost faith in the Joint Review process. I mean I sat there when they were right there,” Bidgood stated as he pointed to his right, “and I asked them ‘How many projects do you turn down?’ and they said ‘well, we don’t turn any down, we modify them.’
“To my mind, regardless of what information they’re going to produce I’m highly sceptical of the actions of the Federal Government.”
Bidgood expressed his solid opposition to the project by claiming he has been boycotting every single Enbridge sponsored event adding he wished he could amend the motion to include not expanding the tarsands in Alberta.
“Because I think Canada’s reputation as an environmental steward has been tremendously damaged by this particular operation, however that would probably be ultravires, or beyond our jurisdiction because it belongs to another Province, and I’m hoping that our neighbouring Provinces will also respect our sovereignty over Canada’s Western Coast.”
To address the concerns of those who have suggested making this move to reject Enbridge might communicate ambivalence towards business hoping to open or expand in this area, Bidgood had this to say.
“The City of Terrace is very excited to be a key part of the economic expansion of the Northwest. I believe that Terrace is open for business, it’s just not for sale at any price.”
Councillor Marylin Davies express how she found during campaigning, out of an estimated 450 people she talked to about this subject only one percent expressed support. She expressed her personal concern by referring to the Rena disaster off of the coast of New Zealand where she visits. After describing how the Tarsands crude will be sold F.O.B. the port, meaning ‘Freight On Board’, after it gets onto the tankers Enbridge will claim it no longer has any responsibility.
“When that oil leaves the port, is going to be a case of ‘oh that oil spills not ours, oh it must be yours,” gesturing another direction, “oh it must be yours over there.” Speaking to the Rena disaster she stated “They have 500 containers still floating about because they’re in court arguing about whose responsibility it is.”
Davies closed by stating, “You all know I am a free enterpriser, I think this is not a free enterprise I can support.”
Councillor Christiansen appeared pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the motion. When the vote was called at the UBCM, she was the only attending Terrace Councillor who supported these motions originally in 2010. She stated she had not changed her mind and would continue to support these resolutions, thanking Cordeiro for bringing the motion forward. Raising concerns about Enbridge’s deplorable track record on the environment and questioning the arguments on what we might loose by upgrading (refining the product) she had another message and it was for all Canadians.
“What we would loose on the other hand is just totally irreplaceable. We’ve had some foreign policies that address this and they’ve seemed to just kind of evaporated, you don’t hear too much about that anymore. Canada was, or should be, I hope is, a voice against human rights abuses in China, but that seems to have just sort of disappeared. Why should we gamble with this? At best we might get very little on very short term, on the other hand we stand to loose something that we never will be able to replace.”
Councillor Downie questioned whether the motions passed at the UBCM were even relevant. He questioned the manner in which the voting took place at the UBCM.
“They don’t reflect, it would be hard to say that the vote at the UBCM reflects the will of Councils.” He claimed there was maybe only 1 percent of the local governments in the Province that have taken a position on the Northern Gateway project. “So, it seems like this is a bit of a stretch, using UBCM as the leverage to bring this to the table.”
He made arguments for individual responsibility being separate from the responsibility of local governments. Downie then spoke about the fragile recovery the Terrace economy is presently in and expressed concerns about the impact a decision like this might have on this rebounding of the economy.
“I’m concerned about the implications to our economic reputation. Others would say taking a position on an environmental issue is laudable and important. I’m concerned how this affects investment in our community, how this effects the ability of our supply industry which is the life blood of our economy when we are competing with other neighbouring municipalities for economic value, I think its, ah, interesting.”
He then referred to the positions taken by Smithers and Kitimat to defer making any decision until after the JRP issues its final report. “I believe that our best position as a City is to take a position of deferring until the Joint Review Panel makes its report and at that time take the political positions that we must take as a result of that report. Right now we’re speculating what that, what those positions are going to be. That’s not in the City’s best interest.”
Councillor Stacey Tyers countered Downies statements immediately.
“”With all due respect to Councillor Downies thoughts on that matter, what we are saying is that the Judicial Review process, we don’t trust it, we do need to take a position. It went from an environmental review to an environmental and economic review.” Tapping the table with her pen she accentuated, “This project is very good for Ottawa. It’s very good for Alberta. It’s not very good for our community. We reap very few benefits and do shoulder a huge portion of the risks.
“It’s important as leaders of our community that we take a stand one way or the other. Continuing to sit on the fence when the community has asked repeatedly that we stop sitting on the fence, I think it’s imperative that we make that decision and that we take a stand, one way or the other, but get off the fence and actually look at what the community is asking us to do.
“Just because one percent of the City Councils in the province have not taken a stand doesn’t mean that we cease to take leadership here, and be a progressive voice here and take that stand now and join the Coastal First Nations down the entire Province in taking this stand and opposing what isn’t good for our community. If it’s good for Kitimat, let them vote to approve it.”
With that Mayor Pernarowski stated, “Well I’ve done the math,” referring to the four councillors who had now expressed their support for the motion made by councillor Cordeiro, making the eventual outcome at least a five vote success.
He went on a lengthy impassioned plea to remain neutral stating that his personal opinion was opposed to the project but like Downie felt remaining neutral was the best position. He reiterated his statement made during the election campaign that he would stand arm in arm with the citizens of Terrace if they wanted him to stand opposed to Enbridge.
“But that’s my personal opinion. I’ve always maintained as a City that as elected by the citizens of the community that we must continue to show courage and commitment to remain open to hearing all facts on industrial development projects and to really understand what the majority of our community is saying. I would agree with Councillor Cordeiro that the majority of the people that I’ve heard from have been opposed, there’s no denying that, but I’m also hearing from individuals […] and certainly recently from our own economic development authority that remaining neutral on this project makes sense to allow us to continue to hear from people.
“I worry that prematurely opposing any industrial development project before allowing the environmental and federal review processes […] puts us in a bit of a precarious position.”
Pernarowski concluded by suggesting the recent announcement by the Premier of Alberta that they might throw money at BC to encourage acceptance of the project might be a reason they should hold off making a decision to oppose. This sparked a response by Cordeiro.
“The idea that we have to wait until Alberta sweetens the deal, as Councillor Bidgood said it’s not a matter of us being open for business it’s just we’re not for sale at any price.”
Councillor Tyers also rebuked the previous comments, “We’re a municipal council, we’re not a Provincial council. I don’t need to wait for people in Kelowna or Calgary. I need to listen to people in this community and they have spoken time and time again. They want opposition to this. The people who came out and asked us to stay neutral, like Councillor Cordeiro has pointed out, primarily are people who are actually publically for the project and are asking us to remain neutral because we don’t have enough information. It’s time we stood by our community. Not the provincial government, not the federal government, not what people in Kelowna have to say.
Pernarowski again suggested waiting would not be letting people down but agreed they had all had their say and stated once again he had done the math.
“And I don’t know that my impassioned plea has changed any of the minds at this council table.” And he then called for a show of hands on the final vote. Five hands went up in favour of the motion to support the rejection of Enbridge and tanker traffic. Then as he called for those opposed, he raised his hand along with Councillor Downie.
James Cordeiro asked terrace city Council to Support the Coastal First Nations
Councillor Brian Downie argues the City should remain neutral
Bidgood demonstrates where the JRP representatives were when he asked them how many projects had they rejected, when they replied, "None"
Councillor Stacey Tyers challenges Council to be leaders and to stand up for the communities wishes
United Sport Action Games:
Comment by Terrace Tsimshian Citizen on 17th February 2012
CC: TERRACE BC
CC: NORTH WEST BC
MESSAGE: A UNITED SPORTS ACTION GAME
PROPOSAL: PAINTBALL GAMES + OTHERS
We need independent revenue enter Terrace BC. We are gaming community. Risk is what we know.
There are 24, 000 residence in Terrace BC Region Market. We have massive investment of best (minds think tanks education).
We work together as frontiers, we can change the world.
Lets create our own independent currency, by fundraising for independent solar technology. Investing in housing. Reduce the cost of energy supplies in our local housing as non profit society.
Transform Terrace BC - Thronhill into 21st century Solar Tech Housing system.
Use the Action Games to create a financial cash flow monthly into the system.
Use global advertisement for the games. By internet since were in the spotlight.
More independent we show our democracy. Were the model of the world.
Thank you to our City Councilor the Mayor and his team. You did what is great, the courage of Grizzly Bear, Kermodie Spirit is with everyone one of you.
God bless all of you.
From here on in. We are the Frontiers of tomorrow. Fear nothing, for you have nothing to fear.
We are Terrace BC OOH YEAH.
Terrace BC Tsimshian Citizen.
Comment by Elaine Hughes on 16th February 2012
SHORT . . .
How absolutely refreshing!
This note is to all the citizen of Terrace. ..
Comment by Christoper Massop on 16th February 2012
I applaud you and your city council for doing the right thing for BC . I am just an average joe living in Port Alberni , I am not a so-called radical environmental terrorist hellbent on the destruction of everything industrial . I am just a appreciative British Columbian '' Thank You " . You all should be proud you have a city council with integrity and the fore-site to take a stand now . The old saying hind-site is 20/20 won't help much after a tanker has run a ground . Thank You again ...Christoper Massop
The Real Issues, the real threat and the Perfect Solution
Comment by Chief Kitsilano on 15th February 2012
This Project isn't the real issue before you but more of a power play by governments. The planned Pipeline and those lurking Tankers are mere symbols of the more imminent threat presented by the deleterious economic system imposed on us by these kinds of governments under which we constantly struggle to exist without any real power to resist. While so many groups and individuals have become emotionally engaged against Enbridge, the real villain here is the greater Corporate giant, Canada. While Enbridge merely hopes to make money, the Canadian Governments want to increase the already excessive damage being done to the world's climate by these kinds of processes.
These hearings and the unfolding political process are signals that the time is coming when we must rise up and revolt against the very concept of 'Canadian Parliamentary Supremacy' by either breaking away from Canada, or imposing our own rights on the rest of the country within an as yet undefined Social Movement akin to the Occupy Movement. We will be better off or better served if we put the world on notice that the industrial growth model is out of service anymore and must be revised. The debris from the recent Japanese tragedy has not even arrived on our shore yet and they want to install another dangerous industry that is by design inherently bound to permanently cripple the ecology of this Province after any major earthquake.
The threat to our existence is so real that we cannot merely go through the hoops held out by Ottawa as if this project is not potentially cataclysmic. We must lay a deep plan for revolution exactly as did our friends to the south when equivalent arrogance became unbearable to them and they raised their revolutionary armies. We have no need to be secretive about this nor should anyone weep for Canada as if the Nation-State were our friend or our servant. That model has become passe' with the Banking system collapsing all around the world; we do well to establish a new institutional structure that can be properly designed for the new world now dawning.
Happily the law allows us to choose to 'self-govern' under our Indian rights and Titles and nothing stands in the way of separating ourselves from the Rockies to the coast and thereby joining the world. And then we can remodel that world. But the Indians must join everyone else and can't remain dependencies.
There has been an operating assumption in play under which the so-called Indian Nations each form little 'petty' governments funded by Ottawa. Those regimes must all conform to the ruling class in the Capital and in fact are often mere tyrannies, like their masters are. The notion of each family or tribal group qualifying as a nation within Canada is a soporific designed to create dependency on Canada and that only empowers guys like Harper. That archaic model is not working and never will. The incident in Hazelton, with Indians against Indians, shows that many Indians are misled by their legal and economic counsels into undervaluing our Title to the land and allowing Canada, and the Provincial government under Canada, to presume a form of sovereignty inherent in Ottawa (and Victoria) which cannot ever be over ruled by a higher claim of authority.
In fact the courts have demonstrated that Indian Title and our Government model legally remains to be completely defined so nothing stands in the way of establishing a new legal land tenure in which Indian Title is applied to all land and all taxpayers are brought within a single non-racial administration.
This perfect solution provides a single monistic social community based on a single class of land. Nothing will create more certainty than such a land reform and there would be a new economic factor available on which to bank.
No real ideological distinction exists anymore between Indian children and all other children so why maintain this artificial divide? We do warn that the world economic system is about to falter and may well collapse completely with no alternative system available.
The concept set out here is already being developed under the name of the Kitsilano Indian Band. We call this a Provincial Indian Band, not Federal, and are forming it ourselves. It is open to all. By 'Indian' we mean this "Band" holds Indian Title to the entire Province and has the right, and the ability to 'recognize and affirm' all land holdings according to who the Hereditary Chief(s) may be in each territory. Those who hold land now under the province merely need to endorse their holding with the identity of the Chief or the tribe in their respective areas.
Chief Kitsilano and this Band believe this action is necessary and vital to survival of people in this country and around the world. Those wishing to stop the Pipeline Project should continue as they are and may slow it up but to stop it for sure, means taking full responsibility for our own power in this Province by convening this new world order.
Comment by email@example.com on 15th February 2012
Yahoo! Yay! Thank you!
It's the right thing to do, so I'm doing it!
Comment by John J Friesen on 14th February 2012
Do you remember the movie 'City Hall' starring Al Pacino? While walking along a crime infested street, a laughing African American boy and his jovial grandfather get caught in a mob cross-fire. An errant bullet snuffs out his life.
In a follow-up scene, Al Pacino, the Mayor of this city, has a staff meeting in which he says he is going to the funeral of this little boy. His aides discourage this, citing an all black church is in no mood to have the one who they hold responsible for the crime in their midst.
'I don't care,' he said, 'it's the right thing to do, so I'm doing it!'
The issue you have before you in the subject line, Enbridge ... , is incendiary. In Vancouver, I don't understand the emotions and 'on the street' sweat. I, too, am trying to sort out what is 'the right thing' to do. We're a long way from coming to a full understanding of this issue. This much I do know and applaud.
In spite of withering pressure from I don't know where, you are firm: The will of the people is: No!
I encourage you to continue to listen to each other, exhaustively examine both sides. Tell the people you represent - the truth; they're not mental midgets. Their instinct will guide you. In the end, if you do the right thing as determined by an informed and calm people, you will have done the right thing.
I am most encouraged by your conduct. I wish I was there to hold you in this moment of strain.
Kudos To Terrace Council
Comment by Eileen Hutson on 14th February 2012
You've shown insight and integrity with your decision to officially oppose the Enbridge pipeline. It would be disasterous for our regional economy and ultimately I suspect, in future, for Canada; we could throw out the word 'environment' and argue on an economic basis alone.
It shouldn't appear as though anyone is anti-business. Along the proposed route (or very near) one finds the world's largest sawmill (as of 2004) in Houston, the world's largest molybdenum mine at Endako, and finally, after the smelter rebuild, an aluminum smelter that will rank in the top 15% in the world for production capacity. In addition there is the KLNG facility under construction and many, many proposed mining opperations throughout northern BC.
I think these present a fair bit of evidence that this region is embracing a lot of business.
Thank You Terrace Council for your leadership
Comment by susan hodges on 14th February 2012
Simply, Thank You Terrace Council.
Your leadership speaks volumes and the ripple effect will be powerful. You have said all I could say but better. Thank You for listening and acting on that.
Oh, to wish you were our mayor and council down here somewhere in metro van. near the Fraser River estuary. Thank You!
Congratulations for stand!
Comment by Gerry Hummel on 14th February 2012
I too would like to congratulate Terrace City Council for their stand that they have taken to oppose the Northern Gateway Pipeline! Like so many of the councilers have stated there is enough information out there to form some sort of opinion on the merits of this project! The NEB/JRP is a Big OIL sponsered group under the guise of a government organization! You just know they are going to approve this project and they will say that all care with regards to the environment should be taken when this project is approved! Big deal! Going on Enbridge's track record with regards to spills, leaks and poor maintenance of their pipelines alone should warrant a rejection of this project! Let alone that BC will wind up taking most of the risk for this project with little economic gain.
So thank you for supporting the North Coast First Nations and obviously the majority of residents of the Pacific Northwest in your decision! Even if Haper shoves this project down our throats a "NO PIPELINE" stand will be a positive bargaining chip when it comes to dealing with Harper and Big Oil! Now if only Kitimat City Council would get some backbone and make a decision with regards to this project! They are waiting for the obvious "PRO OIL" NEB/JRP decision when they know like Terrace City Council the majority of people in the community oppose this dangerous pipeline and SUPER tankers on the Douglas Channel!
Congratulations Terrace Council!
Comment by cherylb on 14th February 2012
Congratulations Terrace Council for listening to your people and demonstrating your leadership. Now all we need are a few more communities to stand up. Job well done!
Comment by richard on 14th February 2012
thankyou terrace,as now if kitimat would get off the fence.it` nice to know ,we are for bussiness but were not for sale. now all communities need to stand together.wouldn`t it be easier to follow the existing pipeline to vancouver. makes sence don`t it. i still say we should refine our resouces before selling.that`s why bc is still rich,just for how much longer.........clark is selling it faster than we know. foreign investment have the insider trading. rich getting richer. bc should be investing in bc.bc is been striped of it`s riches to line the pockets of billionairs in asian. jobs go with the resources.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Comment by Karen on 14th February 2012
Thank you Terrace City Council!!!
Anyone following this issue on more than just a surface or self-serving level will know that our Federal Government is acting impulsively and without due process in their dealings with China.
Economist Robyn Allan, "projects that the Northern Gateway pipeline, if approved, will reduce Canada's GDP, increase unemployment and put downward pressure on personal incomes because it will impose a two-to-three-dollar per-barrel increase in the price of oil - something she describes as a "price shock" that the Canadian economy can ill afford at this time."
Prime Minister Harper's intent to force higher oil prices by creating compettion between the U.S. and China supports part of Allan's fears and can lead to more small business closures in the event of increased fuel costs. Canadians are well aware, also, that jobs have been steadily eroded and shipped, with our raw resources, out of the country. Such concerns can be increased in more northerly and smaller communities that have already been impacted by unemployment and who depend heavily on energy resources to heat homes and to commute to work.
Terrace obviously has enough to worry about without concerning itself with national and international issues as we have our own, very serious, concerns that the ROC Canada does not have to consider...the protection of our environment, the industry derived from the environment and the families and extended businesses that those industries support.
I am extremelly pleased that our city council has quit waffling and taken the first step to show that they are working for the community - not kowtowing to business or falling for propoganda dished out by multi-national oil conglomerates like our provincial and federal governments have.
It's nice to see our municipal elected officials have more balls and smarts than higher level politicians.
Congrats Terrace Council
Comment by Tracy Petley on 14th February 2012
I just want to say that I am proud of you for doing what your population wants not what the big powers that be are telling you, you should do.