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Paul Stanway taking a picture of the Enbridge table at the Prince Rupert JRP hearings
COMMENTARY · 26th February 2012
Merv Ritchie
New Video of Pipeline route graphics used by CTV and Sun Media attached below.

It was a stunning display of a media guru losing his ability to understand his trade and the impacts of words. Why a guy, who is attempting to encourage the transport of crude oil would even mention the Shetland Islands is beyond comprehension.

On Friday the Sun News Network (some refer to it as Fox News North) Paul Stanway, the media spokesman for the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal, was gleefully speaking about the just released Transport Canada report. This report suggested VLCC (Very Large Crude Carriers) could safely ply the waters up Douglas Channel into Kitimat. The interviewer began by interjecting that tankers already sail into Kitimat. He didn’t clarify the tankers are small and don’t carry bulk crude.

The report stated as long as the 15 recommendations put forward by the organization Enbridge selected to study the route were put in place the risks would be acceptable. What this study wrote however was only that Enbridge “should” carry out these risk mitigation measures. Every one of the 15 recommendations began with the words “The proponent should” ‘advise’, provide’, ‘ensure’, ‘consult’, no where did Transport Canada state the proponent ‘Must’. This report may have been the cause for Stanway’s foolishness, a kind of teenage excitement that had him loose his head.

He began this interview discounting the opposition to the proposal by stating it was emotional arguments.

“It’s good to have some common sense for once injected into the debates. Hopefully it’ll bring things down to earth a little more.” Stanway added it was “very heartening” to have Transport Canada “give us the green light.”

But then he went and spoke about how Kitimat is no different than other oil terminals referring to two in specific, Monkstab, Norway and Sollom Vue on the Shetland Islands. He stated they have the same topography and weather conditions.

Either Stanway is stunningly stupid or it is his job to ensure the opposition is whipped into a frenzy. On January 5, 1993, the Braer, a crude oil carrier was sailing from Monkstab, Norway to Canada. It lost power and drifted for approximately 6 hours in high seas and was dashed onto the rocks on the south shores of the Shetland Islands while staff and emergency personnel from Sollum Vue were attempting to restart the engines. Using official accepted numbers, the Braer spilled twice as much crude as the Exxon Valdez did in Alaska.

Stanway even brought up the Exxon disaster himself attempting to suggest things are better, we haven’t had another disaster in Alaska.

But it isn’t only this wildly, freakish example he used bringing up the worst environmental disaster ever to hit the Shetlands or the North Atlantic waters, it is also his comparison of these locations to Kitimat. There is nothing even remotely similar, no long narrow channels, no 90 degree turns, nothing that could cause a right thinking person to use these oil terminals as something to compare with Kitimat, Douglas Channel and turns to navigate around Gill Island.

And then there is the report itself. Transport Canada used the report prepared by Det Norske Veritas for Enbridge. Transport Canada states this organization was selected by a round table group of community stakeholders, interested parties and Aboriginal groups. They refer to the CAB (Community Advisory Board) sessions organized by Enbridge and boycotted by many shortly after they began as they discovered it appeared to be a ruse to allow Enbridge to claim they had support. And this is exactly how it was presented to the JRP and used by Transport Canada in the beginning of Volume 8C of Enbridge Northern Gateways application documents, the preface. Found here.

“Based on the importance of understanding how the risk of spills is determined quantitatively, Northern Gateway initiated a round-table process involving stakeholders and participating Aboriginal groups to identify issues of concern. Participants, called the Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) Working Group, contributed to the scoping, terms of reference, and selection of a consultant who would complete the QRA. Det Norske Veritas (DNV), an organization independent of Northern Gateway that specializes in marine risk assessment, was selected by the QRA Working Group to conduct the QRA for the marine terminal and tanker movements in the CCAA and the Territorial Sea of Canada.”

One would be hard pressed to imagine any aboriginal group or either the mayors or councillors of Terrace, Kitimat and Prince George to even know any organization of such skill. The selection of this group, DNV, would need to have been at least suggested. And DNV specializes in assisting the oil transport industry. It could hardly be considered impartial as the increased usage of tankers and the movement of tankers is their business. An impartial group might have been considered if those who withdrew from participating in the CAB had maintained their roles, but as it turned out, they were correct; Enbridge used the participants for their own advantage.

And then of course one must consider the competency and skill level of the Transport Canada officials reviewing these reports. One might consider they are as competent as Allan Greenspan and the other financial wizards of the USA and Wall Street who couldn’t conceive of the imminent financial disaster that many others forewarned of.

We have put out a challenge and a reward, a return flight for two to Vancouver.

The first person to produce a detailed map that presents a VLCC shipping terminal with conditions more challenging than the one at Kitimat proposed by Enbridge; engaging in the same volume of VLCC traffic, will be presented with a free flight for two return, Terrace Vancouver. See the challenge here.

And for more detailed maps of Douglas Channel follow this link.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Sun Media Interview is the graphics they used in the background to show the pipeline route along with Kitimat and Douglas Channel. It is identical to the graphics being used by CTV. It displays Douglas Channel as an ever widening inlet from Kitimat with an clear unobstructed path to the open waters. This is deceptive and wrong. One can only wonder what the majority of Canadians are thinking when they see such misleading information. A simple google image, that which they use frequently with most other stories requiring perspective, was in this case avoided.

The obvious question is; if both of these media organizations are using the same deceptive graphics, who produced it and when?

Not that we want to direct anyone to Sun Media's unfair and unbalanced propaganda but
[Click here to watch this idiocy].

Paul Stanway does not win the free flight but he does win something, an award for being the most foolhardy media spokesman in recent memory. The only comparable faux pas is when the Reform Party was joining with the Progressive Conservative Party after bouncing the term Alliance around. Steven Harper and his gang came up with their new title and announced it proudly. The Conservative Reform Alliance Party (CRAP). These are the brains we have entrusted Canada with.
The routes the tankers are expecting to use
The routes the tankers are expecting to use
The Shetland Islands oil terminal access
The Shetland Islands oil terminal access
The terminal in Norway Paul Stanwat stated was similar.
The terminal in Norway Paul Stanwat stated was similar.
CTV's and now Sun Media's graphic representation of Douglas Channel for the unsuspecting public
CTV's and now Sun Media's graphic representation of Douglas Channel for the unsuspecting public
They don't alter their views to fit the facts
Comment by Malcolm Dunderdale on 27th February 2012
They alter the facts to fit their views.

1977: Kitimat and Prince Rupert considered as
potential oil tanker ports. Hearings held in
coastal communities and scientific analysis
conducted by Transport Canada conclude that
oil spills would be inevitable and that the
effects of such spills on the ecology and
socio-economic stability of coastal
communities could be serious.
The wait for the JRP Announcement
Comment by Johnny DeMedeiros Cabral on 27th February 2012
People of this region are being called radicalists and anti sands people.Its not only about tankers. Its also about pipes going through the land of the people in the Province of B.C!Lets talk about the pipes traveling through the vigorous land of British Columbia!Lets talk about the money being splashed around for support!Lets talk about the common sense.The majority of the people wont allow for this to happen.How is Enbridge gonna spin it,when the people who are against this project are standing hand in hand making a human chain and having it broadcast on our news here in Canada.Our Mp Nathan Cullen said its around 80 percent.That would be quite the chain ...1 mile long ..2 miles long.Now that would be a message sent to Enbridge and the World.Maybe i am just dreaming or maybe ...just maybe.It will be reality.