Saturday, August 12, 2017

B.C.’s NDP has long opposed Kinder Morgan’s expansion plans over concerns with potential pipeline spills, increased tanker traffic on the coast and Indigenous consultation. After forming government in B.C., Premier John Horgan vowed to use “every tool in the tool box” to block the massive pipeline expansion, which faces environmental and Indigenous opposition but offers Alberta oil producers access to new markets.

No coincidences, no conspiracy, no problems as gov is owned by big oil
It's ridiculous reading the media circus about the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
What is going on in BC and Alberta as well as at the federal level is spin.
The BC NDP folks are protesting possibly in court about the expansion.
The AB NDP folks are politely insisting possibly in court about the expansion.
The UCP leadership candidates are scoring political points hoping to convince UCP members to make one of them the leader of the UCP and thereby in charge of the bitumen bank in the next election.
Under all this spin is the oil and gas industry money and lobbying.
In the USA folks there already know that the majority has no influence on decisions that impact big oil.
In Canada we should understand this matter as well.
Citizens don't count.
We have no influence on the decisions about pipelines or really any other decisions made by government at all levels because our elected officials are lobbied into compliance of the wishes of big oil
Really the only thing we can do is to document the web of lobbying and thereby inform other citizens so we don't bother about these media circuses that simply mean political games that will cost taxpayers in BC and Alberta more cash. If the federal government starts its spin then we will all lose taxpayer cash.
The only sector that will win is big oil.
Did you think any different?

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Registration - In-house Organization

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers / Association Canadienne des Producteurs Pétroliers / Tim McMillan, President and CEO

Registration Information

In-house Organization name: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers / Association Canadienne des Producteurs Pétroliers
Responsible Officer Name: Tim McMillan, President and CEO  ? 
Initial registration start date: 2008-09-15
Registration status: Active
Registration Number: 906514-226641

Associated Communications

Total Number of Communication Reports: 1001
Monthly communication reports in the last 6 months: 39

Version 119 of 119 ( to present)


I doubt anything will get ugly between the BC NDP folks and the Alberta NDP folks.

The BC NDP folks have to pretend that they are keeping promises.
The Alberta NDP folks have to pretend that they are keeping promises.

The promises may be different but the entire business currently unfolding about the Trans Mountain pipeline is so much spin.

In other words, people will think Mr. Horgan is all for stopping the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. My feeling is that none of the politicians give a hoot and will simply waste taxpayer dollars in BC and Alberta fighting it out in the courts when the writing is already on the wall.
The federal government which is bought and sold like the provincial governments will eventually pretend to enforce its federal powers.
They are all oil puppets but everyone and their dog thinks these politicians represent the people.

Well maybe they do represent the people.
The oil and gas people.

The chatter here is so much hogwash:
B.C.’s NDP has long opposed Kinder Morgan’s expansion plans over concerns with potential pipeline spills, increased tanker traffic on the coast and Indigenous consultation.
After forming government in B.C., Premier John Horgan vowed to use “every tool in the tool box” to block the massive pipeline expansion, which faces environmental and Indigenous opposition but offers Alberta oil producers access to new markets.
We heard similar anti-fracking chatter from the Alberta NDP before they got elected and now we have a group of folks more interested in big oil's concerns than in the environment or health side effects of oil and gas development. How soon power changes people

If you want the truth about the set up of big oil just read Diana's interesting summary of the interrelationships and insertions of the oil and gas elite into our society in Alberta. It's mind blowing.

Diana Daunheimer | 5 days ago
This the way. Lobby, lobby, lobby.
All industry interests, which do not include protecting the environment or public health.
Landon | 5 days ago
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really
something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I'll try to
get the hang of it!
Diana Daunheimer | 5 days ago
It is complicated and broad, much broader than what I posted. I'll take a moment to cut through the convolution, so you can appreciate it, as I have experienced and researched.
Industry has numerous routes of lobbying and influence, reaching into every corner of our lives, from our education system, community engagement, to every level of government.
Registered lobbying is the easiest to see on paper. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is the largest and most active lobby organization in Canada. Almost immediately, perhaps preceding any new environmental policies, CAPP is there to squash it. The reasons tend to repeat infinitely; too costly for industry and any increased environmental measures will hamper competitiveness. In other words, greed. Why our governments fail to protect the public interest, instead, caving to corporate manipulation, amounts to the same answer, greed, perhaps a healthy dose of corruption to boot.
Here is a link to the most recent registration by Tim McMillan of CAPP, from the Office of the Commissioner. Please take a look, not only at how many issues they are lobbying, but also how many departments they contact. Staggering.…...
The other slew of acronyms I posted above, are the myriad of additional industry funded or friendly organizations, for pipelines, upstream services, etc, all of which lobby or exert influence on municipal, provincial and federal governments. There are over 200 such organizations across Canada, all using industry funding for the most part.
Additionally, most major oil and gas company executives and VP's serve as registered lobbyists, such as Russ Girling with TransCanada.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though, the lobbying and corporate pressures that are visible above the surface. What lies beneath?
At the community level in Alberta, we have this slimy system of lobbying, referred to as "synergy”. Synergy Alberta is partnered with, and partially fiscally supported by CAPP and the AER. In the past, the Government of Alberta also contributed, but recently have pulled funding. The rest of money for operations of these synergy groups, comes from invoicing industry.
Here is a list of Synergy Alberta groups:
Alberta Energy Corridor, BalCAP, Battle Lake Synergy, Battle Action Committee, Regional air-sheds such as PAMZ and the Peace, Calumet Synergy, CMAG, Clearwater synergy, Cochrane Pipeline Operators Assc, Crossfield District Synergy, FAAMA, Fox Creek Synergy, Genessee Synergy, LICA, Life in the Heartland, FAO, PAG, Peace Regional Synergy, Pembina Synergy, Rimbey Synergy, SPOG, VAPPA, WASP, Waterton Advisory, West Central Stakeholders, Wetaskiwin Synergy and Yellowhead Synergy.
I have participated in many meetings and interactions with SPOG and CMAG and they way they operate is disturbing, to say the least.
For instance, with CMAG, industry and AER reps, community members, perhaps a municipal councillor will generally meet at the local Smitty's for breakfast, hosted by an “impartial facilitator” (who happens to be paid by industry and gets her breakfast paid for nearly every time by TransCanada, hardly impartial). Since witnessing several misleading and fabricated statements regarding local operations, such as Julia Fulford with the AER, stating that the well sites by our home have “no emissions”, I took to recording the meetings. Present after all, are elected officials and government employees. It outraged the group, and they kicked me out, while passing a Terms of Reference that states that no recording, visual or audio, can be taken at meetings and that meeting minutes can not be used in legal proceedings. All this information is accessible on the CMAG website in the TOR and meeting minutes.
The evolution of Synergy groups, generally follows the same path. It begins with local community concerns regarding industry activity or a serious incident. The Pembina Institute would be the most famous example of this, borne of the Lodgepole Pine sour gas blowout. CMAG came about because of CBM activity. The origins of these groups are respectable enough, however, the progression from community led, to industry controlled and colluded, is what is so disgraceful, and it happens every time.
Just look at what Pembina has become, a national eNGO, hosting galas in Toronto, with industry money. They don’t assist impacted residents at all, neither does any synergy group. In reality, this system operates more on the basis of discrediting harmed landowners and endorsing industry regardless of impacts. Industry moves in on these groups and uses money and power to change the dynamic and messaging, until they are nothing more than a subset of stakeholder relations departments pushing corporate interests. Controlled opposition at it's finest. Community level lobbying.
Aside from industry infiltrating communities via synergy and four stacks with a side of sausage, industry also funds the air-shed groups in Alberta.
When we had a PAMZ air quality trailer on our land, the company shut in all their operations near our home, for the duration of testing. PAMZ, the AER and the company, then used this manipulated data set, that had no resemblance to air quality during full production, as a means to discredit our concerns over sour gas emissions. When industry pays for the operations of air-sheds doing community testing, they have ways to ensure they are not implicated in any non-compliances. Air quality lobbying.
More industry money is directed at influencing education. Major oil and gas operators are currently partners in the Alberta K-12 curriculum. They also sponsor industry propaganda at the Telus Science Centre, Glenbow Museum and promotion at Heritage Park. Industry funds numerous organizations that come to schools with corporate messaging guised as environmental initiatives, delivered by the likes of Earth Rangers and Inside Education.
Of course, industry has huge monetary influence in our post secondary institutions. The U of C is infamous for their oil and gas based agenda, led by the Haskayne School of Business and the School of Public Policy. Academic lobbying.
In fact, in Alberta, you will be hard pressed to find any eNGO that does not have industry money behind them. The Alberta Ecotrust is a prime example. Environmental lobbying.
Then you have your “charities” which are pro-industry, the most renowned is the Fraser Institute. Charitable lobbying.
Then you have industry in the communities, donating money to local schools, bonspiels, beer gardens and the other events and projects, yet, implementing proper emission reductions for priority pollutants, inspecting and maintaining pipelines and facilities or implementing and installing proper air and water quality monitoring to protect the public, is all too costly and lobbied against. Buy-off lobbying.
Finally, you have all the money industry spends on private meetings, the ones not on anyone’s books. Like how TransCanada met privately with members of AAMDC, which resulted in their resolution to endorse Energy East. Those AAMDC members had no knowledge of the tolls ($4.6 billion, at minimum) to Albertan’s, and had not read the take-or-pay contract for the project, nor seen an economic benefit analysis for our province. Must have been some meeting. Private lobbying.
These are all forms of how the industry petitions for and acquires support from the community, up to the federal level. Lobby, lobby, lobby.
If all this funding from synergy, lobby and enticement were re-directed, industry would easily have the financial capacity for emissions reductions, proper monitoring and enforcement, meant to protect public health and environmental sustainability.
What serves a community better, money put towards beer gardens, golf tournaments and awards shows (PTAC, EPAC, CAPP) or reducing hazardous pollutants and ensuring high pressure sour gas lines are properly maintained and inspected? Priorities are extremely out of place here.
There are billions being wasted on lobbying, propaganda, partisan alignments and Pete Club perks, and hearing industry complain about costs related to protecting public health is revolting. The fact that the federal government accepts this bullsh*t as means to delay policies in which they made a commitment, is worse.
Did you follow all that? 
All the best, Diana
Public Interest | 4 days ago
Your detailed posts are appreciated.
The industry spends hundreds of thousands, even millions, rigging studies and results in their favour, rather than pay landowners their rightful compensation in damages caused by the industry. Government and regulators back them. Landowner property rights are fiction.
Diana Daunheimer | 4 days ago
Thanks, and I like your short and sage comments:)
Property rights do not exist. Right of Entry in Alberta legislates you can not refuse exploration and production for resources on your land. Expropriation is the means for federal projects.
Agreed, industry spends millions on agreeable scientists, academics, biologists, engineers, geos, even doctors. APEGA is a sullied example of a captured professional organization, which is mandated to hold the health and wellness of the public and environment paramount, but never do.
Far from rightful compensation, industry and regulators still insist there are no harms incurred to public health. You can't get a single doctor in this province to discuss the effects of industrial emissions on health. The Chair of the Maternal and Child Health program at the Alberta's Children Hospital, is from Husky Energy.
The AER has no public health mandate. Certainly by intention, there has not been one comprehensive epidemiological study done in Canada to date, on the public health impacts of the oil and gas industry. The medical community has failed the public in this regard.
Rightful compensation will also remain fiction, until damages are duly acknowledged, and not paid to be obfuscated.

It’s a stunning retreat from key promises and statements made by the government since its election in 2015.

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Kath Loften Just like BC Lieberals corrupt for their Corporate masters. END LOBBYING IN CANADA!

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July 31 at 2:47pm
Diana Daunheimer Agreed! End lobbying in Canada.

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ReplyJuly 31 at 7:52pm
Julie Ali This is a mindboggling post Diana. I will be posting these on my blog as teaching tools.

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August 8 at 10:37pm

Mind boggling isn't it? And this is what we know about. What happens behind closed doors?
The lobbying of all our elected officials by big oil results in decisions that are in their interest. But are these decisions in the public interest? I guess if you think the way Albertans do that some tiny sliver of the bitumen profit pie is better than nothing --well I guess maybe a tiny sliver of these decisions are in the public interest just to keep us amenable to this junk.

And don't think this junk is limited to Alberta. It's the same lobbying web in BC if not worse.
If you look at the situation in BC you can see there is no way in hell the pipelines won't go through. The lobbying of big oil is major:

Energy Industry Uses Money, Army of Lobbyists to Influence BC Government

Study finds sector reported almost 20,000 lobbying contacts in just six years.

By Andrew Nikiforuk 8 Mar 2017 |
Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about the energy industry for two decades and is a contributing editor to The Tyee. Find his previous stories here.
Christy-Clark-LNG.jpgWoodfibre LNG’s top in-house lobbyist, Byng Giraud, gave $47,149 to Christy Clark’s BC Liberals over the last three years. The Indonesian-owned project received provincial approval despite strong opposition from local residents. Photo: BC Gov’t Flickr.

‘BC In The Balance’: The Tyee’s 2017 Election Reporting

In the “wild west” of B.C. democracy, the fossil fuel industry not only donates millions of dollars to the BC Liberal Party, but doubles down with intensive lobbying to influence public policy.
And that’s just one of the revelations of a new study on lobbying in the province by the left-of-centre Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
The study found, for example, that the province’s top 10 fossil fuel firms, which are largely active in northeastern B.C., reported 19,517 lobbying contacts with public office holders between April 2010 and October 2016 — “an average of 14 lobbying contacts per business day.”
During a similar period (2008 to 2015) that same powerful industry also poured more than $5 million into the coffers of the BC Liberals. Only the real estate industry gave more money than Big Oil, with $9 million in donations.
Unlike most governments in North America, British Columbia has no limits on how much corporations can donate to political parties or candidates. Nor does B.C. limit either foreign political donations or donations from outside the province.

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

The study also found that “there is substantial overlap between giving and lobbying, with seven of the top 10 political donors also ranking among the top 10 most active lobbyists.”
Both Spectra Energy, a large U.S.-owned gas pipeline firm, and Encana, a shale gas extractor, count as key BC Liberal donors and registered lobbyists.
“We were trying to show that the level of political influence is really strategic, ongoing and occurring with both donations and lobbying,” explained Nicholas Graham, the paper’s lead author. “I really was really taken back by the sheer volume of lobbying.”
In contrast to the almost 20,000 lobbying contacts made by just 10 fossil fuel firms, fewer than 10 environmental groups reported a total of 1,324 contacts with government over the same period.
The firms that made the most lobbying contacts with government included Spectra (4,342), Enbridge (2,510), FortisBC (2,377), Encana (2,265) and Chevron Canada (2,256).
Other active fossil fuel lobbyists in B.C. include Talisman Energy (515), Kinder Morgan Canada (462), Pacific NorthWest LNG (417), Canadian Natural Resources (399), Shell Canada (298), Imperial Oil (282), Penn West Exploration (252), Husky Energy (215), Suncor Energy (148) and AltaGas (106).
Although the report doesn’t document which policies the fossil fuel industry successfully influenced, the public record provides some examples.
During the same period, the Liberal government lowered the tax for LNG projects and granted an extraordinary electricity subsidy to Woodfibre LNG, which hopes to develop a project near Squamish, and any future projects.
And according to the B.C. auditor general’s 2014 summary financial statements, the province extended more than $1 billion in tax credits to largely foreign-owned oil and gas companies fracking vast expanses of northern B.C. over a five-year period.
A recent Globe and Mail investigation found that the pro-business BC Liberal Party raised $12 million last year, more than any other governing provincial party in Canada.
Lobbyists were part of the giving and often gave tens of thousands in their own names.
Frequent donors include Byng Giraud, the top in-house lobbyist for Woodfibre LNG, who gave $47,149 to the BC Liberals over the last three years. The Indonesian-owned project received provincial approval despite strong opposition from local residents.
The number of in-house and consultant lobbyists registered in the province almost doubled to more than 2,500 between 2012 and 2015. That makes about 30 lobbyists for every MLA.
So who have the fossil fuel lobbyists been meeting with?
About 28 per cent of the lobbying contacts targeted cabinet ministers, providing, the CCPA report notes, “a level of contact that provides companies an unrivaled opportunity to shape policy outcomes.”
Another 48 per cent of contacts targeted ministries (the most lobbied being energy and mines) and agencies such as the BC Oil and Gas Commission. The remaining 24 per cent of lobbying efforts were aimed at MLAs.
Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman was the most heavily lobbied minister by the industry with 733 lobbying contacts, while Premier Christy Clark, a tireless LNG advocate, came in a close second with 618.
Spectra Energy, which operates extensive gas pipelines, and mining giant Teck spent the most time lobbying MLAs.
The most lobbied MLAs were current and past NDP leaders John Horgan and Adrian Dix and Liberal-turned-independent Pat Pimm, whose Peace River North riding is a centre of the natural gas industry.
851px version of BC-Top-Lobbied.jpgCredit: CCPA.851px version of BC-Top-Lobbied-2.jpgCredit: CCPA.
The report noted some interesting connections among former government employees and lobbyists.
One of most active lobbyists for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers was Alex Ferguson. He served as commissioner and CEO of the BC Oil and Gas Commission between 2006 to 2011. “Mr. Ferguson reported lobbying his former organization 19 times,” said the report.
“CAPP also employs the largest number of lobbyists among all organizations in the sample, listing a total of 29 in-house active lobbyists.”
The report recommends banning corporate and union political donations and strengthening the Lobbyists Registration Act so it operates with greater transparency along the lines of the federal system.
Premier Rejects Political Donation Ban, Says She Represents Everyone
The study confirms disturbing political trends across North America. In 2014 a Princeton University study by two political scientists used a statistical model to determine what variables actually influenced 1,799 government policy decisions. They also checked opinion surveys to determine what ordinary people favoured in terms of public policy versus what “economic elites” wanted. The findings probably wouldn’t surprise many citizens in Canada or the U.S. “Our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes,” concluded the political scientists.
“When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it... if policy-making is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”
In an interview, Martin Gilens, one of the study’s authors, explained “that contrary to what decades of political science research might lead you to believe, ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States.”

Meanwhile in Alberta we have the same sort of baloney in the newspapers-- as is present in BC where there is chatter that the government is doing something to defend the province. In the case of the Alberta newspapers it's not about preventing a pipeline but forcing one through. In Alberta we have the newspapers tell us that there is a conspiracy or a coincidence between the NDP press spin in Alberta and the NDP press spin in BC. This is rubbish. Neither political party has any sort of power to do anything about the Trans Mountain Pipeline because guess what? The government folks at all levels --in BC and Alberta---are owned by big oil. They are puppets. They are doing whatever big oil tells them to do.

The only folks with influence in the Trans Mountain pipeline approval is big oil.

Graham Thomson: When is a political coincidence a conspiracy? Brian Jean would probably like to know

Published on: August 11, 2017 | Last Updated: August 11, 2017 6:42 PM MDT
Graham Thomson: Busy week in Alberta politics
Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence.
Unless it’s a political coincidence, that is. Then it can easily smell like a conspiracy.
Just look at the political coincidences last Thursday.
First, there was the suspicious timing of an anti-pipeline news conference held by the British Columbia government Thursday morning just as Premier Rachel Notley was about to hold her own pro-pipeline news conference in Alberta.
It sure seemed like the B.C. government was trying to pour cold water on Notley’s good-news event.
Then there was the announcement Thursday afternoon involving the leadership race for the United Conservative Party.
Callaway was president of the Wildrose Party before its members voted three weeks ago to join the Progressive Conservatives to form the United Conservative Party.
Callaway was all in favour of unification but he was never touted as a possible leadership candidate of the new party.
And then suddenly on Thursday he announced he’s in the race. At his campaign launch in Calgary — attended by 20 people, half of them media — he took some obligatory swipes at the Notley government but added some non-obligatory swipes at leadership candidate Brian Jean.
The timing of Callaway’s announcement has struck some officials in the Jean camp as suspicious. And I can’t blame them.
Here is someone with a history of publicly bashing Jean entering the leadership race just as someone else with a history of bashing Jean, MLA Derek Fildebrandt, had been forced to bow out of any involvement in the race.
It was like tag team wrestling — with Fildebrandt and Callaway in one corner and a perplexed Jean in the other. What had he done to deserve this?
Consider this.
Both Callaway and Fildebrandt are friends of leadership candidate Jason Kenney and not-so-much friends of Jean.
In June, Callaway accused Jean of trying to game the UCP leadership rules for his own benefit. “We are more than just the Brian Jean party,” said Callaway.
Kenney, in turn, called Fildebrandt a “principled voice.”
You got the impression Fildebrandt was getting ready to spend the leadership race on the sidelines throwing mud at Jean. Jean would be under attack but Kenney could float cleanly above the fray.
But through his own bad judgment, some might say hubris, Fildebrandt took himself out of the fight.
He has been forced to temporarily flee the province on vacation after getting embroiled in a self-generated scandal where he was renting out his taxpayer-funded Edmonton apartment on Airbnb. And pocketing about $2,500.
He did not apparently break any rules. But the outcry of a perceived ethical lapse was especially loud because of his background as a champion of taxpayer’s money, first with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and then as finance critic for the official Opposition.
In the 24 hours after the story broke Wednesday night, Fildebrandt went through the seven stages of a politician hoisted on his own petard — anger at the story; denial he did anything wrong; accusing others of a “smear” campaign; petulantly offering to pay the money back; self-righteously paying the money back; grumpily providing a quasi-apology; and quickly disappearing until things cool down.
He was suddenly out. Callaway was suddenly in. And the Jean campaign smelled a rat.
Or rather a pit bull.
Say hello to the new attack dog much like the old attack dog?
In an interview Friday, Callaway denied he was Kenney’s puppet or proxy.
Callaway said he had been thinking about entering the race for weeks because he wants to “get Alberta back on track.”
He said we’ll see how he plans to do that just as soon as he’s ready to release some policy platforms.

This  part of the column is ridiculous.

First, there was the suspicious timing of an anti-pipeline news conference held by the British Columbia government Thursday morning just as Premier Rachel Notley was about to hold her own pro-pipeline news conference in Alberta.
It sure seemed like the B.C. government was trying to pour cold water on Notley’s good-news event.

The NDP folks  in both provinces are simply trying to keep their heads above water and won't be rehired in either province in the next elections. The NDP folks in Alberta are sinking faster than a stone thrown into a tailings pond.  It will take all their efforts to retain even a few members in the next election. They aren't going to be useful with reference to the pipelines and in any case they know the pipelines will go through. The only problem for the Alberta NDP folks-- is that it may not go through in time to save them from total collapse as a political party in Alberta.

Meanwhile the BC NDP folks are barely a government and have to keep the Green Party folks happy. This is their effort to keep the Green Party folks happy. The main goal of the BC NDP folks-- is to do their best to delay pipelines, waste public cash to do this and then when defeated point fingers at the federal government. It's brilliant how we are played by the politicians.

This is just my take on the entire media circus about the pipelines.

Now on to read Diana's take on the Supreme Court and the NEB. As is the case in the USA, in Alberta the majority does not rule. But certainly in Alberta, the AER and CAPP have the GOA by the balls.

Diana Daunheimer commented on an article.
The rulings released yesterday demonstrate what happens to our Supreme Court, when fossil fuel interests are yanking puppet strings in the hallowed halls of justice.
The SCC ruled the NEB can consult for the Crown in both rulings, but clearly didn't in one. A 50% failure rate, yet, our top justices are confident the NEB is capable of handling their responsibilities to consult.
Was it not scripted and predetermined that these rulings were chosen for appeal, ruled on unanimously and released on the same day, with such media attention? These represent two distinct cases of consultation by the NEB, however, the outcome for both remains the same, the SCC has set precedent for the right of the NEB to consult for the Crown. This was no victory for anyone but oil and gas interests and colluded regulators, across the nation.
It is plain and obvious that the NEB failed in Clyde, so the SCC killed the approval for an obscure Norwegian consortium for seismic testing, that was not going to occur anyway. In December of 2016, the Feds implemented a 5 year ban on oil and gas operations in the Arctic, and depressed commodity pricing have ensured Arctic operations remain fiscally impossible. This token ruling served only one purpose, to make the SCC look balanced and fair in their approach to First Nations concerns regarding consultation by the NEB, while not stepping on any Big Oil toes.
Of course, with the other ruling, Enbridge and the NEB, changed their spots, (it is Southern Ontario after all and not the far, excluded North) consulted appropriately and this approval holds, for a project that will indeed proceed. And it's a wash for our soiled SCC. I see intention and playing favourites, anyone else?
If you have ever had the harrowing and humiliating experience of dealing with the NEB or the AER for oil and gas applications and approvals, there is one key element that has been missing from all the reporting and rulings, the term and notion of "directly affected." Both regulators use this elusive and undefined term to categorize those that can file statements of concern or intervene in projects, yet, there is no definition or parameters for those that are directly affected. It's completely arbitrary and in the case of the AER, you will be hard pressed to find any person in Alberta in which the AER deems directly affected, by any oil and gas operation.
In the event that regulators, more so the NEB, confer that a party is affected, they then revert to a risk based system of rationalizing approvals. You may be affected, but according to the regulators, only to a small degree or within an acceptable level of risk, therefore, you are not entitled to be an obstacle to approval. And to be candid, that is all that you are, a snag in the seamless art of rubber-stamping.
It's nauseating that our Supreme Court lacks the intelligence and integrity to hold the NEB to account and has failed Canadians by armouring the NEB with these optical illusion rulings. Justice has been bought and paid for again. In light of this masquerade, one should be concerned for the litany of other cases regarding NEB approvals before the SCC.

Dwight Newman: Despite different outcomes, in both decisions the court reaffirmed the role of good…

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I doubt it will get ugly. All huff and puff on both sides. No one will do anything other than waste time and public dollars just to pretend to defend BC's coast (on the part of Mr. Horgan) and get oil to tidewater (on the part of Ms. Notley).
These articles in BC and in Alberta where citizens are told that there is a big conflict is so much hogwash.
There is no conflict.
The politicians are doing their usual pretence at keeping promises that will eventually be broken but at least they will do the show for us and some of us will believe the show.
The rest of us know of the extent of lobbying by the oil and gas industry and know that the end result is inevitable.
After the B.C. government stepped up its fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, there were new calls for the federal and Alberta governments to consider…
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Alberta could retaliate against B.C. over Trans Mountain, but it may get ugly

Published: August 11, 2017
Updated: August 12, 2017 11:30 AM
Filed Under:
The Province > Business > Energy

A ship receives its load of oil from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock in Burnaby, British Columbia, Thursday, June 4, 2015. / CALGARY HERALD
B.C. Attorney General David Eby, left, and Environment Minister George Heyman listen during a news conference about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday August 10, 2017. DARRYL DYCK / CALGARY HERALD
Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton, Alta., Thursday, March 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward ORG XMIT: JOHV223 JONATHAN HAYWARD,JONATHAN HAYWARD / CALGARY HERALD
Kinder Morgan pipeline construction in B.C. Paul B. Connor for Kinder Morgamn, 2008 photo HANDOUT Kinder Morgan / CALGARY HERALD
B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman, left, and Attorney General David Eby leave after a news conference about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday August 10, 2017. The province's NDP government has hired former judge Thomas Berger to provide legal advice to the government as it seeks intervener status in legal challenges to the federal government's approval of the pipeline expansion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck ORG XMIT: VCRD104 DARRYL DYCK,DARRYL DYCK / CALGARY HERALD
After the B.C. government stepped up its fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, there were new calls for the federal and Alberta governments to consider retaliation over a divisive project that has cleared major regulatory hurdles.
While mechanisms are available to either override B.C. opposition or punish the province, several observers said Friday few options are palatable to federal or provincial governments.
United Conservative Party candidates Jason Kenney, Doug Schweitzer and Jeff Callaway have publicly mused about potential retaliation against B.C., with Schweitzer proposing to “kick” the province “out of the New West Partnership.”
They’re not alone in thinking B.C.’s hard line should be met with a comparably firm response, if the province is successful in blocking or significantly delaying the project.
“Both the federal government and the provincial government should look hard at levers they have because this is a serious threat to the national economy,” said Howard Anglin, who served as deputy chief of staff and as a senior adviser to former prime minister Stephen Harper.
Earlier this week, NDP cabinet ministers in B.C. revealed plans to appoint high-profile former judge Thomas Berger to review legal options to oppose Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion pipeline project. The province will also seek intervener status in a federal court challenge and ensure conditions are met for environmental approvals.
Schweitzer took to Twitter to condemn the move and seek support for his proposal to boot B.C. from the trade agreement involving the four western provinces.
To pull this off, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta would have to withdraw from the New West Partnership and form a new pact excluding B.C., according to economist Trevor Tombe, who called the proposal clever but perilous.
“While what B.C. is doing is not really in clear violation of the letter of that agreement, it’s certainly in violation of the spirit,” said Tombe, an associate professor of economics at the University of Calgary.
“But, at the end of the day, (removing B.C.) would just be bad for everyone. It’s really up to the federal government to exercise its authority to get the project done.”
B.C.’s NDP has long opposed Kinder Morgan’s expansion plans over concerns with potential pipeline spills, increased tanker traffic on the coast and Indigenous consultation.
After forming government in B.C., Premier John Horgan vowed to use “every tool in the tool box” to block the massive pipeline expansion, which faces environmental and Indigenous opposition but offers Alberta oil producers access to new markets.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s communications director said Friday “we don’t believe we’re at that point yet,” of having to consider retaliation against B.C., given their view the neighbouring province has softened its rhetoric from wanting to stop the pipeline to ensuring it meets high standards.
Ted Morton, a former energy and finance minister in Alberta, said the province has previously retaliated against policies it viewed as interfering with its economic interests. He pointed to Peter Lougheed’s decision in 1980 to cut Alberta’s oil production to about 85 per cent of its capacity in response to the National Energy Program.
Morton said curtailing production in the current case would hurt local producers while having a questionable effect on B.C.
Another proposal he’s heard bandied about involves Alberta imposing an excise tax on refined petroleum products, given that a chunk of fuels currently flowing through Trans Mountain are used in B.C.’s lower mainland.
“That would be paid for by B.C. drivers but, the catch is, it can’t be just on exports; it has to apply in Alberta as well,” Morton said, noting the Alberta government could cut corporate or personal income taxes to make the policy revenue-neutral.
Still, the move’s value “would be short-lived because there would be opportunities for British Columbia to import less-expensive gasoline from refineries in Washington state.”
The federal government could also invoke its rarely used declaratory power, which would allow it to override provincial jurisdiction and take control of the pipeline file, Morton said.
The former energy minister said this option could come with the unintended consequence of setting a precedent for future federal governments to use this power down the road and potentially “take away jurisdiction from Alberta.”
Morton said none of these retaliatory options are necessary because he believes Kinder Morgan’s project will survive any legal challenges.
While the B.C. government could stall the project, the minority government in that province is unlikely to last much longer than 18 months, based on the lifetimes of other minority legislatures.
“Both the law and time are on the side of Kinder Morgan,” Morton said.

Grant Slezak · 

OR, its all just smoke & mirrors to allow John Horgan to save face. Like any politician who is more talk than walk, he can save face by appointing all the high profile former judges he wants to and in doing so, has fulfilled his election promise of "using every tool in the tool box", knowing full well that he's treading in federal waters and in the end the pipeline will be built, oil will flow and the real losers in all this will be the taxpayers of British Columbia who get to pay the wages of the high profilers and all their staffers for as long as they can drag this out.
UnlikeReply211 hrs
Julie Ali · 

I tend to agree with you that Mr. Horgan is going through the motions of keeping the promise of no expansion of pipelines.
In reality, the pipelines will go through but citizens will believe that the waste of money that is coming up is all about the BC NDP keeping their promises. In reality it is all about spin and the appearance of representation of the sort we have in Alberta with the Alberta NDP folks.

Politicians don't keep promises to citizens for the most part. It was easy for Mr. Horgan to promise no pipeline expansion but the reality is that he will only be able to delay the pipelines.

The Alberta NDP folks know this. The UCP leadership candidates are using this issue to promote themselves. In the end, I think the pipelines will go through and hopefully there won't be problems of the sort we have in Alberta. Tailings pond moonscape that they are transforming into toxic pit lake districts. An orphan well liability that is the problem of big oil that the Alberta NDP provided a $235 million "loan" to expediate. An additional $30 million provided by the Federal government to stimulate the weak economy in Alberta is being wasted to make this loan interest free. We've had 2 spills per day in Alberta from our pipelines and I'm guessing there will be more as the aging infrastructure becomes more friable.
LikeReply6 minsEdited
Roxanne Shaddick · 

What right does Alberta try to tell Bc what we should except? It is our Province and we will take all of the risks. If there was a spill,and there will be,it would devaste the coastline. The only ones that would benefit from this project is Alberta,the Fedral government and China. I also thought that Truduea liked BC. If the Fedral government tries to force us to except this project,I hope that we will fight it evry stepof the way and even in other ways stop construction
LikeReply7 hrs
Julie Ali · 

The oil and gas industry is very good at lobbying government. Look at the efforts of CAPP lobbying the federal government:
Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying in Canada
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers / Association Canadienne des Producteurs Pétroliers / Tim McMillan, President and CEO

Then just look how much lobbying goes on in BC by the oil and gas industry:

The study found, for example, that the province’s top 10 fossil fuel firms, which are largely active in northeastern B.C., reported 19,517 lobbying contacts with public office holders between April 2010 and October 2016 — “an average of 14 lobbying contacts per business day.”

During a similar period (2008 to 2015) that same powerful industry also poured more than $5 million into the coffers of the BC Liberals. Only the real estate industry gave more money than Big Oil, with $9 million in donations.

Unfortunately, our governments at all levels are owned by big oil
All we can do as citizens is keep voting out each political party that doesn't represent us with reference to the environment at every election.
Even then I'm guessing the citizens will never be able to stop what big oil wants.
LikeReplyJust now

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