SLAPP Suit Resources (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation)

In November 2014, hundreds protested daily for weeks on Burnaby Mountain against the Kinder Morgan (KM) pipeline expansion, and over 100 were arrested. KM launched lawsuits against five individuals and Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) claiming huge damages.

Below are a number of links to informative articles and other documents about that case and about SLAPP suits in general.

 

Financial Clout v. Right to Speak Out

Kinder Morgan v. Freedom of Speech

BC Pipeline-Protest Case Shows How Lawsuits Threaten Democratic Voices

How should we slap back at SLAPPs?

Lessons from a fish farm defamation lawsuit

Kim Benson

The West Coast Environmental Law SLAPP Handbook

Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic

Strategic lawsuit against public participation

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation: The British Columbia Experience

Mulcair: Anti-Terrorism Bill’s Wording Makes It Easier For Government To Spy On Foes

OTTAWA – Information-sharing measures in proposed anti-terrorism legislation are so broadly worded they would allow the government to spy on its political foes, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says.

Mulcair took exception Tuesday to the bill’s mention of interference with infrastructure or economic stability as activity that undermines the security of Canada.

The wording is sufficiently vague to permit a Canadian Security Intelligence Service investigation of anyone who challenges the Conservatives’ social, economic or environmental policies, the Opposition leader said during the daily question period.

“What’s to stop this bill from being used to spy on the government’s political enemies?”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper dismissed the suggestion, telling the House of Commons the NDP had entered the realm of conspiracy theory. “That’s what we’ve come to expect from the black helicopter fleet over there.”

The bill introduced late last month would give CSIS power to disrupt suspected terror plots, thwart financial transactions and covertly interfere with radical websites.

The legislation would also relax the sharing of information about activity that undermines the security of Canada — “a new and astonishingly broad concept,” law professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach wrote in an analysis published Tuesday.

It comes close to authorizing a “total information awareness”” approach to security and in that sense “we consider it a radical departure from conventional understandings of privacy,” say the authors.

Even as it erodes privacy, the bill fails to learn from the lessons of two federal commissions of inquiry that documented the effects of uncontrolled information-sharing on Arab-Canadians, including Ottawa’s Maher Arar, who were imprisoned and tortured in Syria, the national security experts say.

Government claims that existing watchdogs will provide a check against these powers are not convincing, Forcese and Roach conclude.

The bill says activity that undermines Canadian security does not include lawful advocacy, protest, dissent and artistic expression.

Still, some environmentalists wonder if the new legislation will authorize CSIS to step up surveillance of activists.

Green party Leader Elizabeth May noted some demonstrations are not lawful but also do not involve violence–for instance a rally to block an oil pipeline.

“Will non-violent, peaceful activities be exempted from this act?” she asked Tuesday in the House.

Harper said the bill was “designed to deal with the promotion and actual execution of terrorist activities, and not other lawful activities.”

Keith Stewart, an energy campaigner for environmental group Greenpeace Canada, has difficulty accepting government assurances–particularly given the recent leak of an RCMP intelligence assessment entitled Criminal Threats to the Canadian Petroleum Industry.

The January 2014 assessment, initially obtained by Montreal’s La Presse newspaper, says those within the movement willing to “go beyond peaceful actions primarily employ direct action tactics, such as civil disobedience, unlawful protests, break-and-entry, vandalism and sabotage.”

The bill strengthens CSIS powers without an accompanying increase in oversight–a recipe for misuse, Stewart said. He also worries about where the fruits of investigations will end up.

“I don’t want tax dollars paying for Canadian spies to conduct what would otherwise be illegal surveillance on environmental groups and then passing this on to the oil industry.”

Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

Fledgling group vows to protect our home waters

Almost 100 people crammed into the new offices of the WaterWealth Project Saturday to kick off a community organizing initiative aimed at protecting local rivers, lakes and groundwater from threats like pipelines, gravel mining, industrial agriculture and urban sprawl.

“We are going to be political and we are going to be controversial if need be to ensure that we’re protecting our home waters,” the fledgling non-profit’s director, Sheila Muxlow told the crowd.

But the organization’s first goal won’t be to take on political elites.

First it aims to “amplify the voice of people who care” by connecting local residents around the topic of water, said Angus McAllister, a public opinion researcher who is lending his technical expertise to the initiative.

“One of the biggest impediments to moving forward is people thinking they’re alone,” he said.

The organization’s first project, starting March 18 in time for Canada Water Week, will be to collect stories about local water from people in Chilliwack to Yale and plot them on a community map using computer software.

“Essentially we’re going to rent a bunch of iPads, formulate a team of volunteers and get out into the community and start doing some face-to-face conversation with people, recording stories and ideally weaving a bit of a tapestry of the valley and the water wealth we have here and the connections that exist between people,” Muxlow told the Times.

The data, which will be collected in places like malls, schools, seniors facilities and First Nations communities, could range from stories about favourite fishing and swimming spots to reminiscences about pure, unchlori-nated drinking water.

“That is our plan, to celebrate and acknowledge the water wealth we have here in the valley and, in doing so, also confront the threats that are coming our way, that are threatening to take that away from us,” Muxlow said.

Ultimately, she said, WaterWealth’s goal is to produce legislative reform that would ensure 100 per cent community control when it comes to decisions that impact local waters.

“Right now, like with the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the yes or the no is threatening to come from Ottawa or from Victoria, and that’s not OK, that’s not good enough,” Muxlow said.

“We’re the ones who have to deal with the consequences. We are the ones who are going to be the most directly impacted by these developments. We have rights, and we should have the right to say yes or no to those types of projects.”

With startup money from the Shift 41 Fund (a Victoria-based non-partisan, non-profit group that relies on individual donations) and six part-time staff, WaterWealth has about four months to get off the ground.

But the campaign has already signed up “dozens of volunteers,” according to a press release.

And Muxlow, whose local activism with the PIPE UP Network has so far centred around protesting the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that runs through Chilliwack, said water has potential to bring more people together on a broader range of issues.

Her goal is to make WaterWealth a place for those people to combine forces.

“We want to create a space for those us who do care to say, ‘Hey, maybe you felt like you were alone in the valley. It’s been a conservative stronghold for a long time. Here’s a space where people do care, where you can connect with us, where we’re not weir-dos. We’re normal folk.’ ”

? For more information, visit www.waterwealthproject.com.

cnaylor@chilliwacktimes.com
© Copyright (c) Chilliwack Times

Read more: http://www.chilliwacktimes.com/Fledgling+group+vows+protect+home+waters/8061776/story.html#ixzz2NUVJVGzd

Empowered green groups gain upper hand in pipeline battle

WASHINGTON — Meet the people on the winning side of Canada’s oil discount — the U.S. environmental activists who have wreaked havoc in the oil sands industry by trashing its practices and shutting it out of new markets by stalling proposed pipelines such as Keystone XL.

They include Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Danielle Droitsch, Anthony Swift of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which bills itself as the United States’ most effective environmental action group backed by 350 lawyers; and Jason Kowalski and Ben Wesser, with 350.org, a grassroots organization that uses protests and social media to stop climate change.

They are uncompromising, empowered and feel good about their progress in capping the growth of fossil fuels — particularly those from Canada.

Agree with them or not, their record is astonishing: They have outmanoeuvred the powerful oil lobby and stalled the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas; they have managed to blame emissions from oil sands’ fuels for U.S. climate disasters such as Super Storm Sandy; and they believe they are on the cusp of strangling oil sands growth.

Yuri GripasNRDC’s Danielle Droitsch speaks next to advisor and lobbyist Susan Casey-Lefkowitz at their office in Washington in early February.
In interviews in the slick downtown Washington base of the NRDC, the activists were unapologetic about the distress their campaign is causing in Canada — and particularly in Alberta, where pipeline bottlenecks are depressing the price of oil, cutting into company revenues and forcing provincial budget cuts.

“The economic distress that we see right now is nothing compared to the economic distress that we will see in the future from the impacts of climate change,” said Ms. Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the international program at the NRDC.

The lesson to take away with what is happening with the shortfalls in Alberta is that diversification of the economy is critical
“The lesson to take away with what is happening with the shortfalls in Alberta is that diversification of the economy is critical … the way forward in terms of our economic and national security is building a world where we depend on clean energy.”

Their energy answer for Alberta? Forget the petrostate and switch to wind.

Related
Why Obama will okay the Keystone pipeline
Rival pipeline projects could help shrink crude discount
Alberta may offer more concessions to secure Keystone approval: envoy
Obama should ‘face down critics’ and approve Keystone XL: science journal
Never mind that Canada is a sovereign country with the right to make its own decisions.

“This is not an issue of borders anymore,” she said. “And we are seeing that with a lot of our environmental work. Most of the environmental problems are global challenges. And that is why we work so closely with colleagues in Canada.”

How did groups like NRDC, 350.org, and their close partners the Sierra Club, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, become so powerful they believe they alone have the right answers on the climate and on energy?

James Vines, a partner in Washington at King & Spalding LLP, a top law and lobby firm representing major international energy players, said environmental organizations have been empowered by deep pockets and the U.S. legal system, which provides many avenues that allow private parties to challenge energy project.

While the fight against Keystone XL has garnered a lot of attention because of its size and because it crosses the Canada-U.S. border, he said it’s just one of hundreds of fossil fuel projects opposed by environmental non-governmental organizations during the permitting process.

If a permit for a project is granted, Mr. Vines said the fight moves to the courts, where the activists routinely challenge its validity and the validity of the environmental impact studies.

Even when NGOs don’t win, lengthy delays often frustrate proponents and some times cause them to give up.

The Albertans are simply not fighting back hard enough
“The Canadians are not experiencing in Keystone something that other oil producers aren’t facing,” Mr. Vines said. “The Sierra Club and others have very, very deep war chests to challenge all these projects and they win some and they lose some. From their perspective, if they keep one of those projects from being completed, that is a victory.”

The attacks are so common that project proponents are now building years of delays and lawsuits into their business strategies, he said.

Mr. Vines said it is disappointing that Keystone XL proponent TransCanada Corp. wasn’t able to contain the controversy by doing what other U.S. energy project proponents commonly do — use the legal system as aggressively as the NGOs, with the goal of keeping the permitting process based on fact and science.

Using basic public relations, the strategy largely employed by the oil sands sector, “just doesn’t get the job done when the opponents are as well-funded and determined as those who oppose K-XL,” he said. “Successful energy project proponents usually must use the legal system to create a rigorous and defensible formal record on the scientific and legal merit of their project, one that will withstand rhetoric-based counter arguments in the trial and appellate courts.”

Indeed, the decision on Keystone XL itself boils down to whether it can cross a border, he said.

But TransCanada has “allowed cumulative impacts under the [U.S. National Environmental Policy Act] to not just mean a couple of hundred yards from the border, and then what happens in the surrounding communities, they have allowed the cumulative effects to be the border to the Gulf, the whole 1,300 miles of the project.”

Even the messaging was late and poor, making Canada easy to pick on and a “soft target,” said policy advisor Fred Cedoz, vice-president with GWEST in Washington, who has represented Canadian interests including the Alberta Enterprise Group, an Edmonton-based public policy advocacy group.

“The Albertans are simply not fighting back hard enough,” Mr. Cedoz said. “In the U.S., in order to keep our energy sector alive, we know how to push back on these, we know all the processes to use.”

President Obama is expected to rule in the next few months whether to give a permit to Keystone XL, after twice rejecting it because of environmental movement opposition.

Indeed, environmental organizations opposing Keystone XL are planning to use available processes to the fullest.

Because they helped Barack Obama get re-elected, they will be watching for specifics on his climate change intentions when he delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

And to ensure he stays on plan, they are behind the mass demonstration at the White House planned for Sunday, the day before President’s Day, when 20,000 people are expected to converge from across the continent to demand rejection of the Canadian pipeline project once and for all.

With the regulatory process on Keystone XL still under way, they said they will keep working on Capitol Hill and on the Administration to ensure a “robust” discussion on the oil sands’ impacts on the climate.

Even if Keystone XL is approved, they’ve got a litigation strategy in their back pocket to dispute the permit and cause further delays.

The upshot? Keystone XL will not be built by 2015, as TransCanada anticipates, because they will have barely finished the first phase of litigation on the permit, Mr. Vines predicted.

U.S. environmental activists, lead by 350.org and the Natural Resources Defense Council, don’t believe a word that Canadian governments, the Canadian oil sands industry and myriad analysts and researchers are saying about environmental improvements, Canada’s plans to build pipelines West and East to sell the oil to other markets if the U.S. doesn’t want it, that producers are using rail, trucks and barges to move their product in the absence of pipelines.

They believe a rejection of Keystone XL will go a long way to capping oil sands growth, but they are hedging their bets by also working with “Canadian partners” to stop Northern Gateway, the reversal of Line 9 and any other oil sands pipelines that would enable oil sands exports.

Here’s what they are saying about Keystone and the oilsands in general:

On Keystone XL: “The Keystone XL pipeline, by virtue of its size, by virtue of the fact that it’s opening up the Gulf Coast, has grown to be a very significant issue. The NRDC has identified that pipeline to be a very significant decision that signals both the expansion [of the oil sands] and where the U.S. is going on its clean energy policy.” — Danielle Droitsch, senior attorney at the NRDC focusing on Canada.

On why Keystone XL is not needed: “We made a major stride with car efficiency standards, and Keystone XL is not just about what our energy mix is today, it’s a 50-year piece of infrastructure that would increase the carbon intensity of the oil we do use, and once its built, we are stuck with it.” — Anthony Swift, attorney for the international program at NRDC.

On rail transport: “There is no question that … marginal barrels are being moved to the Gulf Coast, but the fact of the matter is that rail doesn’t support a model that justifies dramatic tar sands expansion.” — Mr. Swift.

On continuous improvement in the oil sands: “We are not convinced, from the outside looking in, that the environmental impacts are really being addressed. The issue is on the ground, and that includes expanding at these phenomenal rates. Right now the impacts on land, air and water are significant, and the technological improvements are microcosmic compared to what the impacts are.” — Ms. Droitsch.

On China’s investment in the oil sands: “Right now China doesn’t have the refining and upgrading capacity to take the bitumen. We have a large program in China and an office in Beijing. As far as we can tell, there is no intent by the Chinese government to take that capacity. We treat them more as investors than we do as consumers,” Susan Casey-Lefkowitz.

On Keystone XL’s contribution to U.S. energy security: “We don’t believe at all this is going to help energy security. We think this is an export pipeline.” — Ms. Droitsch.

On the U.S. relation with Canada if Keystone XL is rejected: “I don’t think that a rejection of Keystone XL would be a huge blow to Canada, or a huge surprise necessarily. The public concerns from Americans have been very clear, but also concerns in Canada have been very clear, about tar sands development, about the rate of expansion, about what it means climate change within Canada.” — Ms. Casey-Lefkowitz.

On the fossil fuel industry: “The fossil fuel industry has had their way with the world for a century and needs to be on the way out,” Jason Kowalski, policy director, 350.org.

Suncor leads attack over Kinder Morgan pipeline prices

Author
NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
A corporate spat has erupted in the race to carry oil to the British Columbia coast, as energy producers accuse a U.S. pipeline company of trying to charge exorbitant prices to ship crude.

The attack is being led by Suncor Energy Inc., the country’s largest oil company, and is aimed at the Canadian unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc., which is seeking approval for a $5.4-billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline. The Kinder project would allow for the shipment of another 890,000 barrels a day between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., where it connects to a dock that stands to be an important outlet for Canadian oil to find new buyers in California and Asia.

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Major oil companies are eager to ship to the coast to take advantage of higher prices on world markets than they can get by shipping to refineries in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast. But some of them are balking at the price – known in the industry as tolls – which they argue would allow Kinder Morgan to earn returns on the project that are far above its historical 7 to 12 per cent.

“The average projected [return on equity] would be approximately 28.3 per cent,” wrote Greg Matwichuk, an Alberta chartered accountant who provided evidence on behalf of Suncor to the National Energy Board. That, he added, “is significantly greater than returns earned by other pipelines in Canada.”

The dispute about tolls, which is set to burst into greater view when a public hearing begins Feb. 13, is a window into the high-stakes game under way for Canadian companies fighting to get oil to Pacific Coast as quickly as possible.

Building new outlets has taken on major new importance in recent months, with existing export pipelines effectively full and Canadian heavy oil selling at a discount as high as $42 (U.S.) a barrel to the North American benchmark, West Texas intermediate.

But oil companies’ pain stands to be a gain for pipeline companies. Once boring utilities, pipeline firms in Canada have in recent years moved farther away from a model that largely assured them returns, albeit modest ones, irrespective of operating costs or how much oil they pump. Today, they are seeking higher returns while at the same time accepting more risk, in the belief that the fast-rising oil sands will provide plenty of crude for years to come.

Kinder Morgan says that it is not looking for anything like a 28.3 per cent return on Trans Mountain – and that it is taking additional risk to build the pipeline.

Instead of passing along the cost of power or some construction overruns to customers, for example, Kinder Morgan is proposing to largely shoulder any rise in those costs – save several exceptions, including changes in the cost of steel or large first nations financial considerations.

The company also points out, in documents before the National Energy Board, that the intense public scrutiny of pipelines today could impose additional safety measures and development delays. “These risks and resulting costs are not immaterial,” the company says. In a statement, spokesman Andy Galarnyk added: “The return is not excessive. … The toll principles have been agreed to by 13 very large sophisticated parties (including BP PLC, Imperial Oil Ltd.) representing 708,000 b/d – which in itself is sufficient.”

In Canada, pipeline tolls are typically negotiated with oil companies then reviewed by the National Energy Board. Total SA joined Suncor in questioning the proposed tolls. Most other companies signed contracts that obligated then to support Kinder Morgan.

There is no doubt, however, that Kinder Morgan is looking for solid Trans Mountain profits. In the documents, it says it targets unlevered internal rates of return of 12 to 15 per cent. But those returns would rise substantially with the borrowing typical of pipeline projects. They are also well above the 9 to 11 per cent levered returns typical in the Canadian pipeline industry. U.S. profits have, however, historically been higher, and Houston-based Kinder Morgan warns it won’t build the expansion if it can’t meet targets.

Suncor, in response, say it is “critical” for the NEB to make sure there is a “just and reasonable” cost to shipping oil to the West Coast at a time when companies are desperate for new pipelines. The company says it is “disturbed” by how pipeline firms are “exerting market power that flows from the infrastructure shortage and need and necessity of take away capacity.”

Yet Suncor – through two subsidiaries – has already signed long-term contracts to ship oil through the expanded Trans Mountain system, whose tolls pale in comparison to the potential gains of accessing Pacific markets. Suncor has projected Trans Mountain tolls of between $4.15 and $5.48 (Canadian) a barrel. On Tuesday, the price difference between Canadian heavy oil and Maya, an international heavy blend, stood at just over $40 (U.S.).

The startling size of the price gap is weighing heavily on the province of Alberta, which through the National Energy Board posed Suncor a pointed question. It asked the company “to provide an estimate of the impact on Canadian oil producers if Trans Mountain decided not to proceed with the expansion.”

Sierra Club to Engage in Civil Disobedience for First Time in Organization’s History to Stop Tar Sands

Author
Michael Brune
Eco Watch / News Report

If you could do it nonstop, it would take you six days to walk from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond to President Barack Obama’s White House. For the Sierra Club, that journey has taken much longer. For 120 years, we have remained committed to using every “lawful means” to achieve our objectives. Now, for the first time in our history, we are prepared to go further. Next month, the Sierra Club will officially participate in an act of peaceful civil resistance. We’ll be following in the hallowed footsteps of Thoreau, who first articulated the principles of civil disobedience 44 years before John Muir founded the Sierra Club.

Some of you might wonder what took us so long. Others might wonder whether John Muir is sitting up in his grave. In fact, John Muir had both a deep appreciation for Thoreau and a powerful sense of right and wrong. And it’s the issue of right versus wrong that has brought the Sierra Club to this unprecedented decision. For civil disobedience to be justified, something must be so wrong that it compels the strongest defensible protest. Such a protest, if rendered thoughtfully and peacefully, is in fact a profound act of patriotism. For Thoreau, the wrongs were slavery and the invasion of Mexico. For Martin Luther King, Jr., it was the brutal, institutionalized racism of the Jim Crow South. For us, it is the possibility that the U.S. might surrender any hope of stabilizing our planet’s climate.

As President Obama eloquently said during his inaugural address, “You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time, not only with the votes we cast, but the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideas.” As citizens, for us to give up on stopping runaway global temperatures would be all the more tragic if it happened at the very moment when we are seeing both tremendous growth in clean energy and firsthand evidence of what extreme weather can do. Last year, record heat and drought across the nation wiped out half of our corn crop and 60 percent of our pasturelands. Wildfires in Colorado, Texas, and elsewhere burned nearly nine million acres. And superstorm Sandy brought devastation beyond anyone’s imagining to the Eastern Seaboard.

We are watching a global crisis unfold before our eyes, and to stand aside and let it happen, even though we know how to stop it, would be unconscionable. As the president said on Monday, “to do so would betray our children and future generations.” It couldn’t be simpler: Either we leave at least two-thirds of the known fossil fuel reserves in the ground, or we destroy our planet as we know it. That’s our choice, if you can call it that. The Sierra Club has refused to stand by. We’ve worked hard and brought all of our traditional tactics of lobbying, electoral work, litigation, grassroots organizing and public education to bear on this crisis. And we have had great success, stopping more than 170 coal plants from being built, securing the retirement of another 129 existing plants and helping grow a clean energy economy. But time is running out, and there is so much more to do. The stakes are enormous. At this point, we can’t afford to lose a single major battle. That’s why the Sierra Club’s board of directors has for the first time endorsed an act of peaceful civil disobedience.

In doing so, we’re issuing a challenge to President Obama, who spoke stirringly in his inaugural address about how America must lead the world on the transition to clean energy. Welcome as those words were, we need the president to match them with strong action and use the first 100 days of his second term to begin building a bold and lasting legacy of clean energy and climate stability. That means rejecting the dangerous tar sands pipeline that would transport some of the dirtiest oil on the planet, and other reckless fossil fuel projects from Northwest coal exports to Arctic drilling. It means following through on his pledge to double down again on clean energy, and cut carbon pollution from smokestacks across the country. And, perhaps most of all, it means standing up to the fossil fuel corporations that would drive us over the climate cliff without so much as a backward glance.

One of my favorite quotes is from Martin Luther King, Jr., although it has its roots in the writings of Theodore Parker (an acquaintance of Henry David Thoreau): “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” I believe that, given sufficient time, our government would certainly follow the moral arc that leads to decisive action on this crisis. We have a democracy, and the tide of public opinion has shifted decisively. What’s more, I doubt that even the most ardent climate denier actually wants to destroy our world.

We have a clear understanding of the crisis. We have solutions. What we don’t have is time. We cannot afford to wait, and neither can President Obama.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, holds degrees in Economics and Finance from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and comes to the Sierra Club from the Rainforest Action Network, where he served seven years as executive director. Under Brune’s leadership, Rainforest Action Network won more than a dozen key environmental commitments from America’s largest corporations, including Home Depot, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Kinko’s, Boise and Lowe’s.

Kinder Morgan: Question for Bowenians

Hi everyone,

I know quite a few of you are following the Northern Gateway Project with a lot of trepidation and some with a lot of outrage. As you have probably seen the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project which will be terminating in Burnaby is beginning to be covered by the media as the public consultation process begins.

Recently, Kinder Morgan (KM) has announced their first round of public consultation of which there will be a session, ostensibly, on Bowen: November 10th at BICS from 2:30 to 4:30.

Here is the online announcement from KM.

Our Islands Trust Chair, Sheila Malcolmson, has asked me to find out if Bowen people feel there is sufficient advance notice of this from KM (not me). I haven’t seen the recent Undercurrent yet (I know… for shame, for shame).

Please let me know here, so I can guage a response to her today.

Thanks!!

-Andrew Stone

BC-wide day of action to defend our coast

Author
Leadnow.ca
People are coming together like never before to tell our provincial and federal governments that BC’s coast must be protected from tar sands pipelines and tankers. Today, we’re writing to invite you to join an unprecedented BC-wide day of action to defend our coast.

First Nations leaders have formed an “unbroken wall of opposition” to the Enbridge tar sands pipeline and tanker plan. Over 100 First Nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration to ban tar sands pipelines from their land, and First Nations of the North and Central Pacific Coasts and Haida Gwaii have signed the Coastal First Nations Declaration to ban tankers carrying tar sands crude from transiting their lands and waters. [1]

A majority of British Columbians are opposed to the expansion of tanker traffic on BC’s coast, and the BC Union of Municipalities, along with over 50 individual municipalities, have called for a tanker expansion ban that would stop Enbridge and Kinder Morgan tar sands pipelines.

Still, in the face of this growing BC-wide consensus, our federal government is trying to ram the pipelines through local opposition, and our provincial government is sitting on the fence and suggesting that BC’s coast can be bought.

We need to send a powerful message now to make sure that BC’s coast is protected.

On October 24th, join thousands for a BC-wide Day of Action where we’ll link arms at MLA offices in communities across the province to symbolize BC’s unbroken wall of opposition to tar sands pipelines and tankers, and show our representatives that we are organizing in their communities.

Click here to find a community action near you: http://defendourcoast.ca/actions

On Monday, October 22nd hundreds will join together at the B.C. legislature in Victoria to participate in potentially the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience ever to protest tar sands pipelines and tankers.

Then, on Wednesday, October 24th, we’ll link arms in front of MLA (provincial representative) offices across BC to symbolize the unbroken wall of opposition across the province, and say “Defend our Coast” with banners and creative visuals.

Together, we’ll make a powerful visual statement to show the unprecedented depth and breadth of this movement, and make sure our politicians know that we are organizing in the communities they represent.

Let’s shut the door on tar sands pipelines and tankers with a clear message to our provincial and federal representatives. Let’s support the First Nations who have lead the resistance against tar sands, pipelines and tankers. Join us in your community on October 24th to show our governments that BC’s coast must be protected.

Click here to find a community action near you: http://defendourcoast.ca/actions

Thanks for all you do.

With hope and respect,

Jamie, Logan, Ryan, Matthew, Maggie, Nadia, Heather, Adam and Jen on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team

p.s. Over 31 communities have already signed up to be part of this day of action. These community actions are led by volunteers and organizations facilitated by Leadnow.ca and the Dogwood Initiative. Find a community action near you at http://defendourcoast.ca/actions

Sources:

[1] For more information on First Nations opposition visit http://yinkadene.ca and http://coastalfirstnations.ca/news-releases

Leadnow.ca is an independent community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.

Please support the Leadnow.ca community! We’re funded by people like you, and our small team and growing community make sure your donation goes a long way. Every dollar helps. You can donate online at http://www.leadnow.ca/en/donate

Texas solidarity letter

Texas solidarity letter

September 26, 2012

RE: Statement on the Brutal Treatment of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Protestors in Texas

Members of Texas Law Enforcement and TransCanada CEO Russ Girling:

We the under-signed U.S. and Canadian organizations and First Nation leaders have learned that while protesting the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, two US citizens over the course of five hours were repeatedly tasered, pepper sprayed and subjected to prolonged stress positions by the Wood County, Texas sheriff’s office with TransCanada personnel also on hand.

We object in the most strenuous terms to this brutal treatment of peaceful protestors, who are trying to protect their land and families from a dangerous and unnecessary project.

Regardless of our views on civil disobedience, there is not an inch of daylight between our views and those of the protesters on the dangers of this tar sands pipeline. Keystone XL threatens the health and livelihoods of families with tar sands oil spills and is part of an industry that threatens
communities with extreme weather. Tar sands oil undermines our clean energy choices.

These protests are part of rising, legitimate public concern with tar sands and tar sands pipelines.

People who are moved to peacefully express their opposition must not be subject to abuse or any type of violence.

We are watching events in Texas closely and we expect humane and respectful treatment of any further protestors.

Sincerely,

Burnaby Residents Opposed to KinderMorgan Expansion (BROKE)
http://brokepipelinewatch.ca