Pipeline proposal too risky

The risks outweigh the benefits for B.C. if a proposed oil pipeline gets the go-ahead

Dear editor,

There’s been another pipeline leak in Alberta. About 230,000 litres of black gold has spilled all over farmland near Elk Point, northeast of Edmonton.

It’s the third dystopic gusher in a month. Crews are still working to clean up an 800,000 litre spill from a well owned by Pace Oil & Gas Ltd close to the Northwest Territories border, and a spill of up to 480,000 litres from a Plains Midstream Canada pipeline into the Red Deer River.

The pipeline involved in the most recent spill belongs to Enbridge. That company is currently undergoing community hearings in anticipation of building the Northern Gateway Pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. that’s set to traverse rugged mountains, pristine wilderness and areas of high geotechnical risk, including avalanches, slides and seismic activity.

The bitumin will then be loaded onto supertankers bound for Asia that really have no hope of safely navigating the notoriously treacherous waters of the Inside Passage.

In April, NDP leader Adrian Dix said that “under the Enbridge proposal, British Columbia would assume almost all the project’s risk, yet would see only a fraction of the benefits. By any measure, such a high-risk, low-return approach simply isn’t in B.C.’s interests.”

In May, Premier Christy Clark described the Northern Gateway project as “a balance of risk and benefit.” She admitted that the project would create almost no jobs in B.C. “It creates some jobs in the construction phase but there are very few long-term jobs that would be left in the province after that.” Like Dix, she concluded that it’s a high-risk, low-return game. “B.C. is taking 100 per cent of the risk. But at the moment B.C. gets about the same benefit as Nova Scotia.”

The risk-benefit ratio could improve, of course, if Alberta offers B.C. access fees or a share of royalties. But it’s still a no-win proposition when one calculates the profound costs of the inevitable spills and the loss of the coastline, the fisheries, and the ancestral grounds of First Nations livelihood and culture.

Just last week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report, A Green Industrial Revolution, showing that carbon-intensive industrial policies can be overcome and a transition made to a sustainable economy and a zero carbon Canada.

It’s scarcely the first report of its kind. Such possibilities are anything but new news. There’s actually no reason for Canadians to be browbeaten into embracing fossil fuel development as a divine order and oil spills as the status quo by politicians who are acting on behalf of their corporate sponsors, the oil and gas industry, rather than their constituents.

Dianne Varga

Kelowna, BC

 

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read