Yesterday I spent some time bemoaning the advertising campaign about the tar sands and the northern gateway pipeline to the BC coast. And these campaigns are deserving of criticism, so lacking in fact that one wonders what world these people live in.

This is the world the live in. Recently, the Vancouver Sun, June 20, reported internal federal discrepancies concerning the environmental impact of the twin pipelines:

Internal correspondence between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada warned the project could affect the populations (of woodland caribou, along with rare types of birds and frogs among others), listed under schedule one of Canada's Species at Risk Act.

Schedule one is considered to be the most serious of three categories under the federal legislation. The designation is issued for species following a scientific evaluation by a committee of government and non-government experts.

The Pembina Institute, a well respected oil patch think tank concerned with sustainable energy, says this in a report called ‘In the Shadow of the the Boom’ released in May 2012.

This rapid and unprecedented expansion of Canada’s oilsands has come at a time when the
negative environmental and climate impacts of oil and gas production and use are under intense
global scrutiny. The federal government has indicated it sees promoting the ongoing expansion
and export of Canadian oil and gas as a top priority, and has taken steps to fundamentally weaken environmental oversight and protection to fast-track industry projects.

The report suggests relatively little attention has been paid to the downsides. Analysis indicates that failing to consider both the positive and negative impacts of oilsands development could have serious economic implications both now and in the future.

And finally, this from the New York Times, June 13, concerning the Enbridge’s pipeline and the federal government’ desparate interest in the project.

To hasten development of new export routes, the Conservative government is streamlining permit processes by accelerating scheduled hearings and limiting public comment. The government has also threatened to revoke the charitable status of environmental groups that are challenging the projects. And Public Safety Canada, the equivalent of the United States Department of Homeland Security, has classified environmentalists as a potential source of domestic terrorism, adding them to a list that includes white supremacists.            

Is this how you want your country to be treated? Is this how you want Canada to viewed internationally?


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