Canada urged to tap into booming green market

Visitors look at solar panels on the roof of the Palexpo Exhibition Center, the biggest solar farm in Switzerland Tuesday. A new report suggests Canada may be unprepared to benefit from economic opportunities in the clean energy sector.
Photograph by: Denis Balibouse, Reuters , Postmedia NewsThe Canadian economy will miss out on a booming market of green goods and services worth trillions of dollars if governments fail to steer away from foolish energy and climate change policies, says a new report to be released Thursday.

The analysis, the sixth and final report in a research series undertaken by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, concluded that goods and services promoting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were part of a sector that’s growing faster than the Canadian economy.

“Canada needs a low-carbon growth plan,” said the report. “This is a basic conclusion of our analysis and of the feedback received from regional stakeholders. The reality is that Canada is unprepared to compete in a carbon-constrained world.”

The research series, examining economic opportunities resulting from climate change, warned last year that the impacts of global warming would be far worse – up to $43 billion per year – than the cost of putting a price on pollution.

The Harper government responded by rejecting the advice to put a price on pollution. It later announced in the 2012 federal budget that it would shut down the advisory panel and eliminate its annual funding of $5 million.

The latest report was expected to be the final advice from the advisory panel, created more than 25 years ago by the government of former prime minister Brian Mulroney to bring together business and environmental stakeholders.

The report, with research led at the round table by John Cuddihy, estimated that global spending on low-carbon goods and services was at $339 billion in 2010, and that it could rise to between $3.9 trillion and $8.3 trillion by 2050, depending on the nature of energy and climate change policies adopted around the world.

In an interview, the panel’s vice-chairman, Robert Slater, said the report is urging governments in Canada to take action to ensure the economy benefits from the global transition to clean energy rather than taking “foolhardy” decisions that cause the economy to fall behind.

“There’s huge potential here,” said Slater, an adjunct professor of environmental policy at Carleton University in Ottawa. “There’s a very substantial business growing at a very fast rate compared to the overall economy. It’s right across the economy, it’s building on existing Canadian strengths in some instances, and innovations with high potential in others.”

Part of the report’s recommended plan included identifying skills and labour needs to ensure that the emerging sectors can find the workforce they need to thrive. Regardless of whether governments in Canada adopt more aggressive energy and climate change policies, the report said the clean energy goods and services sector would grow faster than the rest of the economy.

But governments could provide a boost by stimulating the sector’s growth with incentives or subsidies, the report recommended.

It also suggested the federal government could mobilize new investments by engaging key stakeholders in the business community, and expand opportunities for Canadian companies abroad by improving Canada’s global environmental reputation.

Ministers in the Harper government have repeatedly suggested in recent months that the round table’s prescriptions were the equivalent of a “tax” that would drive up costs for consumers, but the report suggested that the alternative is worse.

“The economic risks of inaction are too significant to ignore,” the report said. “For one, billions of dollars in Canadian exports could be subject to trade measures that penalize emissions-intensive industries and products. For another, our international reputation could suffer and with it the marketability of Canadian products and the ability of Canadian firms to invest abroad.”
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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Rotarians get earful about pipeline

Paul J. Henderson

Rotarians get earful about pipeline

By Paul J. Henderson, The TimesOctober 18, 2012 9:10 AM

Local Rotary Club members got an overview of Kinder Morgan’s planned oil pipeline twinning project at a lunch meeting in Chilliwack on Wednesday.

Trans Mountain Expansion Project director Greg Toth told Rotarians about the company’s track record, the 60-year history of the pipeline and what is planned.

The company is in the preliminary stages of consultation regarding the twinning of 900 kilometres of the 1,150-kilometre pipeline that runs from the oil sands near Edmonton through Chilliwack to the docks in Burnaby.

The $4.3 billion project would more than double the capacity from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 750,000 bpd.

In its early meetings with municipalities and other stakeholders, Toth said safety and routing were the top two concerns.

During his talk, Toth frequently spoke about myths and misconceptions he said have been reported by the media.

“One of the things, again, that you’ll read about in the paper is that we’re going to be ripping up backyards, expropriating houses, knocking down shopping centres,” he said. “That is very far from the truth. We want to come up with a route that is the least intrusive to everybody involved.”

Through Chilliwack, the pipeline runs under farmers’ fields, suburban lawns, Watson elementary’s school yard, Kinkora Golf Course and the Vedder River.

Toth said that Chilliwack was the municipality with one of the largest stretches of the pipeline at 25 kilometres. Because there has been considerable buildup in residential areas since the pipeline was constructed through Chilliwack in 1953, the company will consider moving the route completely and aligning it with Highway 1.

Another of the supposed myths, according to Toth, is that diluted bitumen (dilbit), which has been shipped on the Trans Mountain pipeline at least since Kinder Morgan took over in 2006, is harder to clean up if there is a spill.

Critics usually look to the Enbridge Pipeline spill near Marshall, Mich., in 2010, when more than three million litres of oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River. In that spill, the dil-bit separated and the heavy bitumen sank in the river, making clean-up nearly impossible.

Toth-like Kinder Morgan president Ian Anderson who visited the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce recently-said it was not true that dilbit was more difficult to clean up than conventional oil.

Rotarian Michael Woods asked if Trans Mountain’s dilbit was somehow different than Enbridge’s in Kalamazoo.

“With the Kalamazoo spill, it was flowing, it continued to pump for 18 hours,” Toth said. The problem here is that the “aromatics” separated over time and the product got “heavier and heavier.”

Woods asked then if there was a potential for the oil to sink if there was a spill in the Fraser or Vedder rivers.

“Yes, if it’s left for a duration in time there would be a potential,” Toth said.

However, he stated earlier that the company is committed to rigorous safety protocols and monitoring of the pipeline.

“Any incident or spill is taken very seriously for us,” he said.

Toth also pointed to some of the local benefits, which include a handful of permanent jobs but millions of dollars in construction work and spinoff employment.

Taxes paid to the City of Chilliwack will more than double from $613,000 a year today to $1.4 million.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP sent out a pamphlet to constituents this week regarding pipeline and tanker safety.

“New resource development projects such as the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipeline will not proceed unless they can be done safely and responsibly,” the pamphlet said.

The mailout highlighted that 1,300 tankers have moved through the Port of Vancouver in the last five years without incident.
© Copyright (c) Chilliwack Times

Paving the way for pipelines

Kimberly Shearon

Ecojustice’s quick reaction re: Bill C-45 and what it means for the environment, particularly pipelines.

Paving the way for pipelines – industry wins, environment loses, more bad news for Canadians



OCT 18, 2012 12:54 PM


Oct 18, 2012

VANCOUVER — A second omnibus bill, C-45, tabled today by the federal government picks up where last spring’s budget bill left off, and further eliminates environmental hurdles for projects like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline.

Buried in the 457-page bill are changes to the laws that once protected Canada’s waterways, including the neutering of the Navigable Waters Protection Act. As a result, of the 32,000 or so lakes in Canada, only 97 are still protected by this law.

Pipelines however, are also directly exempted from this law. Under the Act, pipeline impacts on Canada’s waterways will no longer be considered in environmental assessments.

“Simply put, lakes, rivers and streams often stand in the path of large industrial development, particularly pipelines. This bill, combined with last spring’s changes, hands oil, gas and other natural resource extraction industries a free pass to degrade Canada’s rich natural legacy,” said Devon Page, executive director of Ecojustice.

“With this bill, the federal government’s position is very clear: building pipeline projects like Northern Gateway and making way for increased tanker traffic is more important than safeguarding Canada’s rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. If you fish or play our waters, or care what goes in your water glass, you should be alarmed.”

The bill also contains changes to Canada Shipping Act, Hazardous Materials Information Review Act, and further changes to the Fisheries Act.

Bill C-45 follows in the wake of Bill C-38, the highly controversial omnibus budget bill unveiled by the federal government last spring. The bill, which pushed through sweeping changes to landmark environmental laws like the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Fisheries Act, become a flashpoint for nation-wide protests and a target of international criticism.

“The federal government is giving these industries more than they have ever asked for, all at the expense of average Canadians who want to ensure that we protect our natural legacy for our kids,” Page said.

To arrange an interview, please contact:
Kimberly Shearon, communications coordinator | Ecojustice
604.685.5618 x242

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Kimberly Shearon

Communications Coordinator | Ecojustice

214-131 Water Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 4M3
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First Nation concerned Bill C-45 allows Tar Sands industry to destroy vital waterways and treaty rights

Eriel Deranger

October 18, 2012 – Fort McMurray, AB – Today the conservative government tabled a new version of Bill C-45, a 443-page bill, to implement its federal budget. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) was taken aback by the proposed amendments stating they are indicative of the further erosion of Treaty rights in Canada. ACFN leadership is particularly worried about suggested amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the removal of culturally significant and vital river ways from the act.

“This is unacceptable. They have made a unilateral decision remove the protection of waterways without adequate consultation with First Nations and communities that rely on river systems for navigation and cultural practices protected under treaty,” stated Eriel Deranger, Communication Coordinator for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “Shell Canada has proposed to mine out 21km of the Muskeg River, a river of cultural and biological significance, that would no longer be protected under these new amendments. This ultimately gives the tar sands industry a green light to destroy vital waterways still used by our people.”

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is gearing up for presenting a question of constitutional law against the application of Shell Oil Canada to expand one of it’s existing project, citing lack of adequate or meaningful consultation and that the application would have adverse impact on their treaty rights. In particular, the application calls for the mining out of 21 km of the Muskeg river, a river of cultural and traditional significance to both the people and wildlife in the area. The new legislative changes would remove the protection of the Muskeg river making it much easier for Shell to gain approval.

“I am seriously concerned this is an indication of corruption in our current government. We have seen the erosion of our people’s Treaty rights throughout various forms of legislation over the past decade. The new proposed amendments in Bill C-45 are proof the government hold little stock in our rights and title and are creating more loop holes for industry to continue annihilating our lands,” stated Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “We hope there will be a public outcry that echoes our sentiment. After all, we all share the responsibility to protect mother earth.”


For more information contact:

Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation 780-713-1220

Eriel Deranger, Communication Coordinator ACFN 780-903-6598

Eriel Deranger
Tar Sands Communication Coordinator
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation


ph: 780-903-6598
fax: 888-737-5754
skype: eriel.deranger
Twitter: ACFNChallenge



(The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation are bringing forward a question of constitutional law before the Joint Review panel challenging the application of Shell Oil’s Jackpine Mine Expansion on October 23rd in Fort McMurray, AB. They are asking the public to join them and stand in solidarity as they present their evidence against Shell’s proposed tar sands expansion project.

For more information about Shell’s proposals and ACFN’s Challenge please visit
A constitutional challenge is historically significant and may be the only remaining pieces of law that can stop the destruction of the land. This will be an incredible day to say you were a part of! ( (ACFN will be hosting a rally and pipe ceremony on the first day of the constitutional challenges hearings asking the people to join them in solidarity and ceremony. ( (This will be a peaceful rally and will include drummers and a traditional pipe ceremony. We ask that people please be respectful to the tone and seriousness of this event. (

**** (Schedule for the Day: ( (8:00 am – Pipe Ceremony ( (9:00am – ACFN will be presenting their constitutional Challenge starting at 9am at Macdonald Island Park. The public is invited to come and listen in solidarity, to stand with the ACFN, and to witness this historic moment. Wewill begin the hearings with a pipe ceremony and drummers. ( (12:00pm – Public Press with Chief Adam and others – Come take a STAND with ACFN! Join us as Chief Adam gives comment to the hearings outside the doors of the facilities. ( (6:30 pm – 9:00pm – Public Panel with Maude Barlow from the Council of Canadians, members from Beaver Lake First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation – at MacDonald Island Park – Athabasca Room ( (That evening we will discuss these events and the constitutional challenge with guest speakers Maude Barlow, representatives from Fort McKay First Nation, Beaver Lake First Nation and ACFN representatives. 6:30pm -9:30pm. ( (***†

(If you would like to get on a bus from Edmonton, please RSVP your spot (we have 56 spots) to or by phoning 780-722-1226.† ( (Bus leaves Edmonton at 6am and returns that evening after the speaking event at 9pm. Please bring your own food and water for the event, as there will be some snacks served at the speaking event in the evening.† ( (We are asking for a $10-$20 donation for coming on the bus to help pay for the costs of transportation. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds! ( (*****

( (Can’t come to Fort McMurray on the 23rd? ( (Here are some easy steps for you to stand with ACFN in the lead up to the event: ( (+ Share this event with your friends and networks via email and through facebook:†
+ Make the photo attached your profile picture in the lead up to October 23rd ( (+ Post a photo of yourself and a home made sign to the facebook event page and your personal page. Signs could say “I Stand with ACFN” or your own personal message. Be sure to link the event page to your photo. ( (+ Send a letter to Shell about how you stand with the ACFN and why you are against the projects by visiting
†***** ( ( We are rightfully concerned about how Shell s proposed Jackpine Mine Expansion Project will impact and infringe our section 35 rights. It s clear Shell s current application does not include enough information for the JRP to appropriately assess potential impacts on our rights,  stated Chief Allan Adam of ACFN.† ( ( We hope the JRP will respect our unique rights and implement our recommendations and not let Shell slide through the approval process without addressing our concerns,  stated Chief Adam. We will no longer stand on the side lines as Shell permanently destroys our lands, our rivers, our rights and our community. †

Eriel Deranger
Tar Sands Communication Coordinator
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

ph: 780-903-6598
fax: 888-737-5754
skype: eriel.deranger
Twitter: ACFNChallenge

The Kinder Morgan pipeline through the eyes of UFV’s resident elder

Nadine Moedt

The Kinder Morgan pipeline through the eyes of UFV’s resident elder

By Nadine Moedt (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: October 10, 2012

Eddie Gardner is the resident elder at UFV, and hails from the Skwah First Nation Village in Chilliwack. He talks frankly about the Kinder Morgan pipeline, what he sees as potential issues, some potential solutions, and how students can get involved.

First of all, could you tell us a little about yourself? How would you describe the role of resident elder at UFV?

My name is Eddie Gardner, my Halq’emeylem name is T’it’elem Spath. As resident elder, I provide support and encouragement so that our students can achieve the highest quality education they can.

We play a role in making this a very welcoming place for them, and with the support that the aboriginal access centre has for students both here and in Chilliwack. We want to increase the number of aboriginal people coming to university for some higher learning, so that they in turn can take those skills and credentials and make their own contributions towards healthy and strong communities.

I’d like to discuss some of your concerns regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline. What effects does the pipeline and proposed expansion have on the Aboriginal community?

It’s a risk too high for the aboriginal communities all the way to Kitimat or to Burnaby with Kinder Morgan. This project poses a real threat to the land, the water and the air. What we hold very precious is our wild salmon. If there is an oil spill either along the coast or in the rivers and stream where wild salmon spawn, that could cause the demise of wild salmon. We don’t want to see that.

Aboriginal communities have taken fierce resistance to this, and they’re asking that they be involved in comprehensive consultations on the whole business of having this bitumen being piped to the coastal waters.

The Tsleil-Waututh band in Burnaby are quite fearful of the increase of the supertankers, being loaded with bitumen and shipping through to Asia or down in the states. With the increase of tanker traffic there is a risk of an oil spill in the pacific coast as well. It would take years and years for a proper cleanup to take place.

For the Fraser valley and especially Chilliwack, we boast about the cleanest water in Canada—and it is—which could go by the wayside if there’s a spill in this area. We’re quite concerned about that.

That’s essentially where aboriginal people stand: the risks are just too high. We have aboriginal constitutional rights to be properly consulted, which haven’t taken place yet.

The big concern is that proper assessments are not taking place. Christy Clark has abdicated her responsibilities and handed over the assessments to the National Energy Board, when she could have had more provincial control over the assessments. We look at Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying this is going to go through, this, he says, is in the national interest of all Canadians and we must get this oil to Asian markets. On top of that, he’s said that the NEB will make all of their recommendations and conduct their public hearings on the Enbridge project, and [despite] whatever recommendations come out of the national energy board, cabinet will have the final say. It really undermines any assessment that’s taking place, especially by our federal government.

Can you tell us about the background of Kinder Morgan from an aboriginal perspective?

Well, Kinder Morgan took over the Trans mountain pipeline about six years ago. But the Trans mountain pipeline was built in the 1950s.

In the 1950s the department of Indian and Northern affairs was very compliant about it all. At that time people weren’t as conscious about oil. They were shipping crude oil through those pipelines, not bitumen. Since they first constructed the pipeline, aboriginal peoples have started to gain more control and begun to establish stronger First Nations’ governance.

In the early 1990s, they lobbied when Trudeau repatriated the constitution of Canada, First Nations people stepped up to the plate and through their lobby efforts here in Canada and at the United Nations we successfully got Aboriginal rights and entitlements included in the constitution of Canada.

So the political and social landscape and the state of the economy are much different today. I see where First Nations people have more access to information and have much more political clout than they did back then. Those dynamics will play themselves out.

Obviously there are some people in favour of both of the pipelines. Economic benefits are a key point in their defence. Would you agree with these arguments to any extent?

It’s a legitimate concern; it’s realistic to acknowledge that the global economy as it is right now needs oil. The other side of the issue is that it’s a finite, non-renewable resource, and eventually we’re going to run out of this stuff. As we run out of oil, the exploration for new reserves of oil will cost a lot of money and be more invasive. The tar sands are getting more expensive to extract. That all goes to the cost of running the economy. Eventually there’s going to be a crash.

There are obvious dangers and pitfalls to the belief that there’s no end to growth. It’s an illusion and more and more people are waking up to that. We need to invest a lot more of money and energy into technologies based on renewable resources, rather than using it to extract oil. What we’re doing now is a short-term solution.

If we stop Kinder Morgan and Enbridge right now, there are a number of alternatives that can be looked at. Piping oil through BC is treacherous. Landslides, earthquakes, storms, high winds, all those different factors create an inevitable—not if, but when—disaster. Instead of going that route they could refine that oil in Alberta and ship it out east. If we refine the oil here in Canada, shipping it would be less dangerous to the economy than pumping bitumen through these pipelines to China and having them refine it there. I think that would be a better way to go.

Canada does generate enough oil from the oil sands, yet it continues to import our oil from other countries. It makes more sense to refine it in Canada. And at the same time, pick up the pace when it comes to looking at alternative energy.

How can students at UFV get involved in the cause?

It’s in their best interest to take a look at all the issues. It’s important to be as objective as possible and really take stock of the agenda that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has set for Canada.

The students really need to take a look at the politics of the issue. Where does the provincial government stand on it? How does that play out on with federal jurisdiction and authority?

Then there’s the whole business of Harper’s clearing the road as best he can to bowl these pipelines through by restricting who is entitled to be included in the consultation process; on one hand this is an issue of national interest, yet only certain people have a right to be consulted. If it’s of national interest then it should be open to the broader public, to inform themselves.

When we look at the future, students in all disciplines need to examine in their own study what the long term impacts are of an economy that is run on non-renewable resources, as those resources are heading towards scarcity.

This issue exposes everyone to some soul-searching questions to what their future looks like and what their children’s future will look like if we don’t take this to heart and really wrestle with these huge issues before us.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.