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COMMENTARY · 14th February 2012
Walter McFarlane
My biggest concern about the Enbridge Pipeline Project is the wedge which it is driving into our country. There are two types of people in Canada, those who support the project and those who oppose the project. There are also people who haven’t decided either way but they do not count because no one has bothered to ask them what they think, everyone is too willing to speak for them.

Both of these groups claim to have a majority and there is no evidence backing either claim.

What is demeaning, as a Canadian Citizen, about the Enbridge Project is the childish behaviour it brings out in “so called” adults. You know who you are.

Rather then compare facts and evidence, it comes down to a matter of “I’m right, you’re wrong, and if you don’t believe what I think, I’m going to insult you until you go away or stop talking.”

The issue I am writing about here is not a issue of money vs. the environment, it is a matter of division. Like a civil war brewing in the backwoods of Canada; lines are being drawn, sides are being taken.

Why?

Because you can’t fit a round peg into a square hole.

Consider a child sitting down and playing with blocks. There are three holes in the toy box where the child can put the blocks. However, few of the blocks, if any, fit the holes. The child takes tools and begins to alter the blocks. A triangle becomes a hexagon. A square which was too big is resized to fit the hole. The odd shaped one can be altered to suit the need of the hole. Too small? Not a problem, they already fit.

If the question on your mind is: “Why is a child using power tools?” you’ve missed the point.

There are more colours then black and white in the world and you can not alter people to suit your needs like the boy can change the shape of his building blocks. Just because a group of people form an opinion does not mean they all arrive at their conclusion via the same destination.

However, in the case of this project, name calling, insults and personal attacks are being used to intimidate people into backing down on an important issue, preventing people from learning all the facts of what this project could mean to the Northwest and discouraging others from taking a side.

Prosperity vs. devastation. That is the promise written on both sides of this project. There is a lot at stake, whether you are in favour of the project or are opposed to it.
Why Not Rebel?
Comment by Chief Kitsilano on 16th February 2012
See "The real Issues ... " in this paper

great comment
Comment by ian on 15th February 2012
Really liked it, but it doesn't go far enough.
We have alternate energy resources here in the Northwest that no one wants to tap into.

But first if your against the pipeline, that fine. But what the alternative. the world runs on oil and related products, thousands of them.
If your going to complain and be neagative then come up with an alternative to fossil fuel.
Electric cars seem to be making there way to the market place in North America and yet, places like Australia have had them for over a decade.
The Japanese have an eight wheel elctric car that accelerates faster than a Porchse 911 turbo in the 1/4 mile.
We have a geothermal location near laklese lake that can generate continuos power 24/7 and we do not take the advantage and lead.
Why? industry doesn't want it.

i believe in our childrens future but we have to set the standard for them to survive in an eco-friendly enviroment.
a very loud "no" side
Comment by Bryan N on 15th February 2012
great commentary Walter (and Paul). I have found that if one voices anything other than a resounding "no" when commenting on this story there are always people willing to "correct" your opinion.
I am neither strongly no or strongly yes. And my opinion won't be swayed either way by someone attempting to yell me into their camp.
Canadian
Comment by Paul Repstock on 14th February 2012
"Prosperity vs Devastation". Again the polarizing and divisive language of extremism. Neither side true and both used as propaganda.
The Prosperity aspect is only incremental and does not extend to all people. Some will get jobs and quite a few will probably gain from services and spin-offs. But, very few will "Get rich", from the building of the Northern Gateway.
Somewhat the same is true of the "Devastation". Even the construction of the pipeline will have some environmental costs, perhaps not too bad if proper procedures are followed. In the case where the pipeline may fail or leak, which is by no means the certainty that the no side alludes, then there will be serious environmental risks. The sad part is that all of the risks are borne by the people living along the pipeline and they have little voice in government.
Personally, I would like to see Canada selling oil to Asia. But, it should be done as safely as possible and should only be done if Canadians can get a substantial "Longterm Benifit" from doing so. I think these conditions require that the oil must be refined in Alberta, before it ever enters the transportation system.
There are too many people in this discussion who are only seeking their own short-term advantage, rather than looking at the future of our country and our children.