BROKE Hallowe’en Party



Reserve your BROKE Hallowe’en Party Tickets

Online with credit card: (Cost to purchase online: $21 per ticket)
1. Go to:

2. Click on “Donate”, and enter donation amount (# of tickets X $21.00)

3. IMPORTANT: Click on “Add special instructions to the seller” and enter :
– Your name
– # tickets purchased for Halloween Party
– Your phone number
– Your email address

No credit card? Make arrangements to reserve tickets by contacting: Elsie Dean: (604) 294-5834
YOUR TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN AN ENVELOPE WITH YOUR NAME ON IT AT THE DOOR ANY TIME AFTER 5:30 p.m. Dinners are served between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. only.

Looking forward to seeing you on Friday October 25!

BROKE – Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion
For more information, contact Ruth Walmsley:


Tired of phone calls and e-mails asking for donations to worthy causes? So are we. As a result, we have decided to do things differently! Instead of just asking for money, we’re inviting you to a party.

It’s a HALLOWE’EN COSTUME PARTY at the Mountain Shadow Pub, 7174 Barnet Road, Burnaby on Friday, October 25 from 6:00 until 11:00 p.m. Your $20 ticket gets you a burger, fries and a house beer, wine or pop, the chance for a fabulous door prize and/or a costume prize as well as being able to bid on some terrific items at a silent auction. Chicken and vegan alternatives are available for $2.00 more.

Join us for a laughter filled evening with like-minded people while enjoying the delicious food and a wide selection of beverages. You will win prizes and have happy memories that will last forever.

Location: Mountain Shadow Pub, 7174 Barnet Road, Burnaby

When: Friday, October 25 – 6:00 -11:00 PM

BROKE Hallowe’en Party Tickets

To reserve your ticket(s) to this event, please print off this form, attach your cheque, and mail it to:

6508 East Hastings Street
P.O. Box 44063 Kensington Square
Burnaby, B.C., V5B 1S0

(Please print)

E-mail address: ___________________________________________ Phone number: ________________________________________

____________ X $20.00 each ______________ Vegan X $20.00 each Total $_____________________
Number of ticket(s)

Your tickets will be available at the door any time after 5:30 p.m. Dinners are served between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. only.


Canadian Natural told to drain Alberta lake due to oil sands leak

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd has been ordered to drain a lake on the site of its northern Alberta oil sands project so that contamination on the lake’s bottom, from a leak that has been spilling tar-like bitumen for months, can be cleaned up.

The province of Alberta’s environment department issued an environmental protection order on Tuesday that compels the company to drain a two-thirds of the 53-hectare (131-acre) lake on its Primrose East thermal oil sands site before the onset of winter to prevent further contamination.

Canadian Natural, Canada’s largest independent oil producer, reported in late June that bitumen was coming to the surface on the bottom of the lake.

The environment department said water quality in the lake has not been affected but it did not say why. Bitumen is heavier than water, however.

The leak, one of four on the sprawling project site, sprung up from an oil sands reserve produced by a process that melts bitumen with high-pressure steam so that it can be moved and processed. The leak has yet to be stopped, and has become the latest focus for environmentalists concerned about the impact oil sands production.

“The Alberta government should, at a minimum, put a hold on approving new underground tar sands operations until we understand how these leaks are happening and if other sites could run into similar problems,” Mike Hudema, a climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Canada, said in a statement.

The order says the company must pump the water from the area of the lake that is in the vicinity of leak into the third of the lake where it can be contained by a road that cuts across the water body. Then the cleanup of the spill site can be completed.

“Doing the work during the winter minimizes the environmental impact,” said Trevor Gemmell, a spokesman for the Alberta environment department.

Canadian Natural said in a statement it is working with regulators to clean up the leak and that the order will allow it to access the fissure below the lake.

“Canadian Natural will continue to make available any necessary resources for investigation, clean-up and towards putting safeguards in place to ensure events such as these do not happen again,” the company said.

(Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Peter Galloway)

Kinder Morgan plans to double oil storage

Twice as much oil in the tanks on the hill and three times as many tankers at the dock.

That’s part of the picture Burnaby residents are being shown by Kinder Morgan as they push to get the Trans Mountain Expansion Project approved.

The company unveiled more details of its plans for the two Burnaby terminals at an open house Wednesday at the Executive Inn in Coquitlam. The scheme would see the number of tanks at the Burnaby storage terminal double, with 14 new storage tanks installed. That would add another 3.9 million barrels of oil to the facility’s capacity. Currently, the terminal can hold 1.6 million barrels.

Residents will get a sneak peak of what the additional tanks will do to the view of Burnaby Mountain from a number of different vantage points, thanks to several artists’ renderings.

They’ll also see colour graphics of how three tankers at the new docking facility at the Westbridge Marine Terminal. Kinder Morgan also hopes to add a new, high-tech vapour recovery and re-injection system to help control emissions.

Lisa Clement of Trans Mountain Pipeline media relations said the company expected about 100 or so residents to come out to the open house to learn more about the project.

But at least one Burnaby neighborhood group had no plans to take part in the event. Alan Dutton of BROKE (Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion) says the information session is actually a way of limiting discussion.

The pipeline expansion project is in its early stages, according to a timeline released by Kinder Morgan as part of the open house presentation.

The company is planning for a lengthy regulatory approval period of two years, ending sometime in 2015. If approved, construction would commence in 2016 and take approximately two years.

Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan’s stock value remained largely unchanged in the wake of a follow-up report by energy analyst Kevin Kaiser of Hedgeye Risk Management. Kaiser issued a critical report several weeks ago, alleging Kinder Morgan trimmed maintenance expenses to boost cash payments to shareholders. Stocks sank as much as eight per cent after that report.

In his followup report on Thursday, Kaiser reiterated his position that Kinder Morgan is “defending the indefensible” and its maintenance practices are still questionable. The company’s maintenance capital spending policies create “an enormous wealth transfer… that should not be taking place.”

© Copyright 2013
– See more at:

Residents say no to Kinder Morgan meeting

Burnaby residents opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline are closing the door to attending an open house on the project.

Alan Dutton of BROKE (Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion) says “there’s no point” to going to the information session on the expansion plans. Instead, his organization will hold its own meeting.

“I expect the open house will be the same as the other Kinder Morgan meetings – the goal is to isolate people, have private conversations and limit discussion so people don’t come up with a unified position,” said Dutton.

“It’s part of a strategy to limit discussion.”

The open house slated for Wednesday at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam focuses on the plans for the two Kinder Morgan pipeline facilities in Burnaby: the storage tank terminal on Burnaby Mountain and the Westbridge Marine Terminal.

Under the proposed expansion, the Burnaby Storage Terminal would see 14 new storage tanks installed. The marine terminal would have new loading and small boat docks added to the existing facility.

Lisa Clement of TransMountain Pipeline media relations said the company is hoping for a positive, constructive session to hear community feedback and concerns.

“We’ve been part of the community for 60 years,” said Clement. “We have well-established relationships with those in the community.”

But Dutton says the community has major concerns over health and safety issues raised by the proposed expansion. He said the fumes from the operation affect air quality. Noise and the potential for oil spills are other issues.

And a major concern is the risk posed to the community in the wake of an earthquake.

“Building a tank farm on the side of a mountain in a seismic zone makes no sense,” he said.

Instead of demonstrating or packing the Kinder Morgan open house, Dutton says the 500-member BROKE will concentrate on holdings its own series of meetings. The next one is Thursday and the door is always open for Kinder Morgan to attend, he says.

“I hope Kinder Morgan sends people to our meetings so they can learn how the community really feels,” said the semi-retired former Simon Fraser University professor.

© Copyright 2013
– See more at:

After meetings with federal ministers, Chief Stewart Phillip urges British Columbians to take to the street

After two meetings this month with top federal ministers that convinced him Harper is preparing to declare Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines in “the national interest,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, is urging British Columbians to take to the streets.

“My message to those who have been very diligent in their efforts to bring their concerns forward about the possibilities of catastrophic oil spills and oil line ruptures, ‘Now is the time to bring these issues into the street, to be visible and vocal while these federal officials are in BC.

“‘They need to see and hear from BC the types of things we were seeing last fall and winter when there were many many marches and rallies that were giving public expression to the collective opposition to pipeline proposals. We need to see evidence of that immediately.”

Last week was strangely quiet, I thought, after a flurry of media about the “parade of federal ministers” descending on British Columbia this week to win over pipeline opponents. It as almost as if the ministers hadn’t really come, or if they had, they hadn’t been talking to the media about what they were doing. Strange.

I caught up with Chief Phillip yesterday and he confirmed my suspicion that while things have indeed been strange, they haven’t really been quiet.

“Now is the time, something must be done”
I met Chief Phillip at the 2013 Healing March in Fort McMurray, where I talked with him at length about the impact of the Alberta oil sands on First Nations.

His words echoed what he had said standing in the boreal forest in a park outside the city. “Now is the time, something must be done.” He indicated that First Nations opposing pipeline projects wouldn’t just roll over if the government were to push the pipelines through. He was confident that no matter how remote the location of blockades or protests were, thanks to social media, the story would get out and resistance would prove effective. He said that British Columbia wasn’t for sale.

Yesterday, he told me two Federal ministers had requested different meetings with him this month and there will be a third meeting on September 24. After being “ignored for months”, it’s been overwhelming, he said, to suddenly receive so many requests for meetings.

First, “out of the blue,” with “short, abrupt notice,” Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver, himself contacted Stewart requesting a meeting with him and the Vice President of the BC Union of Chiefs, Bob Chamberlain. It was the same Joe Oliver who had “branded”, as Steward calls it, the opponents to the Enbridge pipeline “radicals” and “enemies of the state.” Now here they were sitting in an office together face to face.

“It was somewhat of a strange exchange, given the fact Minister Oliver sat there and repeated by rote, speaking points reflective of the government of Canada’s position on the pipeline issue. We took the opportunity to continue to express our ongoing concerns with respect to these pipeline proposals. My point is there wasn’t any engagement, or dialogue in terms of Minister Oliver saying ‘what will it take? What are your recommendations? There was nothing of that nature. He just sat there and repeated his talking points.”

Phillip went on to say that, “We were surprised they were seeking a meeting because they have been very adversarial about our position and branded us as radicals and enemies of Canada for even challenging the government’s position on these issues and quite suddenly he wants to meet.”

“It was curious, because we’ve heard these same speaking points ad nauseum through the media the last couple of years.”

I asked Chief Stewart what he was thinking as he listened to Minister Oliver repeat the points he’d heard hundreds of times and if he was thinking that he was delivering a message that came straight from the Prime Minister.

“Yes, yes, yes,” he said. “Then we learn days later that there’s a whole host of federal officials coming to BC. I should further inform you that we’ve been told through sources that this group of federal officials going go Prince George and we’ve been informed they’re coming back later in the fall. So obviously this is a major political offensive on the part of the Harper government. I have a very unsettling feeling that the PM is poised to declare these projects in the national interest, and firstly, he’s gathering information that he hopes to use as to buttress the rationale that will be brought forward when those decisions are made public in terms of green-lighting these projects.

“Secondly, I believe that concurrently they are ensuring that they have a very robust record of consultations that they would hope to rely on when these matters go to the court, in the event that the Harper government simply ignores the JRP findings and declares these projects in the national interest.

“That’s my gut feeling. It’s a very uneasy feeling about this whole affairs,” Phillip said.

Then just as unexpectedly this week, there was a meeting with Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt.

“We’re somewhat mystified, given the fact that we’ve been pretty much ignored for the last couple of years and suddenly in the 11th hour, given the fact that the JRP report is due at the end of December, we are all of the sudden overwhelmed with this flurry of meeting requests from federal government ministries.

Phillip said he listened in disbelief as Oliver told him the government was interested in “responsible resource development and increasing pipeline safety delivery systems.”

And when Oliver began to talk about the Government of Canada’s “interest in strengthening environment regulation, “I sat there in amazement reflecting on bills C38 and C45, which gutted environmental regulation. C38 completely gutted the Canadian environmental assessment process and removed habitat protection from the fisheries act. Bill C45 removed federal responsibility for 95% of the lakes, rivers and stream throughout the entire country.

“For him to sit there and say that the government of Canada is interested in strengthening environmental protection when through a very heavy handed omnibus legislative assault they completely devastated environmental protections…was truly astonishing.”

Just as ludicrous, to Phillip, was Oliver’s claim that the Government of Canada is interested in strengthening relations with First Nations.

Phillip told Oliver that “the government of Canada has embarked on a very unilateralist legislative agenda when it comes to First Nations and Aboriginal issues ever since they took power. There was no consultation on those bills that they moved through parliament as a result of their majority. To sit there and say they want to strengthen relations with First Nations when the relationship with the Aboriginal people has been very adversarial…” Phillip left the sentence hanging.

Was there no real conversation, I asked? Anything resembling dialogue. Phillip said there hadn’t been. “There was nothing along those lines,” he said, “otherwise they would have said, ‘What is it going to take, what do we need to do to get to yes?’ They didn’t go anywhere near to saying that.”

In terms of the “parade of ministers” that came this week, Phiillip said he met with Bernard Velcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs this week, “again totally unprecedented.”

The meeting had an uncanny resemblance to the meeting with Oliver, Phillip said. “Again there wasn’t any focussed discussion on the energy file. There was just a lot of rhetoric about not dwelling on the past, looking towards the future, and realizing the benefits of the vast natural resource wealth that this country has been blessed with. Pretty much a Canadian Apple Pie lecture.”

Vital issues were completely ignored. “We’ve been pressuring two successive Ministries of Fisheries and Oceans to sign on to an MOU for the purpose of having an ongoing dialogue with a lot of the issues here in BC. For example, the Coehn commission came forward with 60 odd recommendations and there’s been no movement on it whatsoever.

“We’ve been pressuring Fisheries and Oceans to move forward in signing off on the MOU and they pretty much stonewalled that and, then, out of the blue phoned up and said we’re gonna sign off on the MOU on Tuesday which is right after the meeting with the deputy ministers. One has to think what are we doing here, is this a photo opp?

“You can understand my unsettled feeling. I’m disturbed by this. All of this just dropped out of the sky.”

Protests against Keystone XL pipeline spread across North America

In scores of public protests planned Saturday across America, demonstrators plan to ‘Draw the Line’ against the controversial Keystone XL pipeline intended to funnel Canada’s carbon-heavy oil sands across the United States to huge refineries on the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts.

In Nebraska, a barn bedecked with solar panels will be built in the path of the planned pipeline. It’s intended to symbolize the contrast between renewal energy and ongoing reliance on fossil fuels.
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Video: Robert Redford joins chorus of stars speaking out against Keystone XL


Video: U.S. TV station turns down controversial anti-Keystone ad


Video: Government says Keystone XL will not increase emissions

In Washington protests are planned in Lincoln Park, in New York blue-painted demonstrators will form a new ‘high-water’ line in Lower Manhattan to show potential sea level rise caused by global warming and in Seattle climate-change activists will rally to stop the proposed new export terminal for coal.

Organizers claim there will be more than 200 “actions” in cities and towns across the United States and Canada, all of them intended to draw attention to the dangers posed by greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal and oil.

The protests – intended to mark the five years since TransCanada first sought approval for the 1,900 km, $5.3-billion project to provide a market outlet for Alberta’s vast oil sands currently selling at a steep discount to world prices – are part of a broad ongoing effort to thwart Keystone XL.

The pipeline has become an icon for climate-change activists who contend it represents an old and ill-suited approach to energy needs and regard stopping Keystone XL as a crucial step in thwarting further development of Canada’s oil sands by making it uneconomic to get the heavy, thick, bitumen to market.

So Keystone XL has morphed from a fairly routine pipeline into a high-stakes issue at the centre of a policy battle . In recent months, grim images of Alberta’s thick oil oozing from a pipeline break in a small Arkansas town have raised the image stakes in the battle even as the pipeline’s proponents insist that economic facts and American public opinion still support construction.

Before winning his second term, President Barack Obama delayed the decision on the politically fraught issue and it now seems to have slipped again, perhaps until next year.

Meanwhile expensive efforts by both sides continue more than five years after TransCanada Corp. first applied for a permit and nearly eight years since the Keystone pipeline to funnel oil sands to tidewater was first envisioned.

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club, and the National Resources Defense Council have been joined by clusters of local landowners in several states. Lawsuits have been filed, celebrities – such as Robert Redford – have lined up against Keystone and billionaire activist Tom Steyer has vowed to spend heavily on campaigns against the oil sands.

“Tar sands oil is exactly the type of dirty oil we can no longer afford,” Mr. Redford said in a widely-watched YouTube video this week. “It may be great for oil companies, but it is killing our planet.”

By contrast, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, in a barely-noticed speech in New York City , touted Canada’s record on cutting emissions from coal-fired plants as better than the United States. Mr. Oliver and a succession of provincial premiers have repeatedly tried to promote Keystone XL as a job-creating, secure source of oil for America.

Public opinion polls still show a clear majority of Americans back building Keystone XL but as high-profile protests continue that support may shift.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama, who has staked part of his presidential legacy on leaving the planet a cleaner place, has set a high bar for approving Keystone XL In a speech in June he said.

“As for the Keystone pipeline, that would carry oil from Canadian tar sands down to refineries in the Gulf, ….. our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

Harper government on collision course with First Nations?

The federal government’s push to get First Nations leaders on board with the building of oil pipelines in the West Coast is not having the desired effect, says a First Nations leader in B.C.

In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told host Evan Solomon the federal government was nowhere to be seen until earlier this month, when he received a flurry of requests from various ministerial departments asking to meet with him.

When asked by Solomon whether this “charm offensive” was working, Phillips said it’s leaving members of his group with “a very uneasy feeling” that the federal government’s approach is not in the best interest of First Nations.

‘It’s the nature of this government to simply bulldoze their way through any concerns that are expressed by anyone.’
– Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs
The Grand Chief said he met with Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver who, according to Phillip, sat there and repeated his talking points “ad nauseam.”

“It was a rather strange meeting. We sat there and talked past each other,” Phillip said.

Oliver told reporters gathered for a news conference in New York on Tuesday that the meetings are part of the federal government’s effort to ensure that “aboriginal communities are engaged early in the process and that they derive benefits from these projects.”

First Nations in B.C. have been registering their concerns about the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline through a hearing process that began in January 2012.

The Joint Review Panel hearings for the proposed Northern Gateway project concluded in June. The panel is expected to present its report to Oliver by Dec. 31, 2013.

Asked what it would take for the federal government to get First Nations on board at this stage in the process, Phillip said “there’s nothing that [the government] can put on the table that is going to satisfy the concerns that have been expressed through the joint panel review hearings.”

“It’s the nature of this government to simply bulldoze their way through any concerns that are expressed by anyone,” Phillip said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday following an announcement in B.C. that “the government is not a proponent of particular pipeline projects. We have established independent, complete, scientific evaluations of projects.”

“The government will respond to those projects when the reports are released. And of course, consultations with First Nations communities are part of the process,” Harper added.


The federal government is faring no better on education, a plank that is said to be the centrepiece of their aboriginal policy this fall, said Phillip, who met with Valcourt as recently as Thursday.

In fact, the Assembly of First Nations, along with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit and the BC Assembly of First Nations called on the federal government to abandon the current draft legislation for First Nations education in a joint news release on Friday.

“It doesn’t represent the views of the First Nations and yet the Harper government is ramming this through,” Phillip said.

The federal government maintains it continues to consult and seek input from First Nations on developing a First Nations Education Act, which it is intent on introducing when Parliament resumes.

In July, the federal government issued a “blueprint” for First Nations education based on the work of the 2012 national Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education, and following months of consultation.

But the AFN has rejected the proposed legislation and First Nations leaders in B.C. say work is already well underway through the B.C. First Nations Education System.

“In B.C. we have developed our own solutions to First Nations control over First Nations education, solutions that are working and need to be supported,” said B.C.’s AFN Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould in a written statement.

Valcourt was also in B.C. attending an annual event held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo, in a second news release issued on Friday, reminded the federal government that the abuse and experiments that occurred in residential schools would not have happened “had First Nations been in control of their own education.”

The federal government maintains that it is committed to achieving “a fair and lasting” resolution to the legacy of Indian residential schools. And while it is working on turning over all residential school documents to the TRC, the commission’s mandate expires on July 1, 2014.

Violence against aboriginal women

In an open letter also issued on Friday, the AFN called on Harper to reconvene a special Commons committee looking into violence against Indigenous women, following his decision to prorogue Parliament until Oct. 16.

“We call on you to ensure that it is fully restored and empowered to resume its work on this matter in an inclusive and comprehensive way,” Atleo said in joint letter signed by the Native Women’s Association of Canada and Amnesty International.

In a written statement sent to CBC News on Friday, a spokesperson for Valcourt said the federal government “has been clear that we support the Committee’s work and that we are committed to continuing to take action to address the unacceptable levels of violence against aboriginal women.”

The open letter to Harper comes a day after Canada rejected a UN review of violence on aboriginal women.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, is scheduled to conduct his own inquiry during an official visit to Canada from Oct. 7-15.

The special rapporteur will examine the human-rights situation and living conditions of Canada’s aboriginal Peoples.

Deep Green Resistance Vancouver says a militant defence of the environment is needed

A NEW CROP of local activists is advocating for militant actions—including sabotage—to defend the environment.

Organizers of Deep Green Resistance Vancouver say that usual tactics like holding rallies, handing out flyers, and participating in public forums aren’t enough.

Although they emphasize that as an aboveground organization they’ll only engage in nonviolent actions, one of the group’s stated objectives is to “shift public opinion toward supporting an underground resistance that exists or may come to exist”.

“It was born out of necessity,” Jason Doherty said about the concept of “deep green resistance” during a phone interview with the Straight. “A lot of environmental groups play a vital role in protecting the environment. However, if you look back at the track record of these organizations, you’ll find that a majority of them are dealing with a fairly dismal track record in terms of the actual destruction that they’ve prevented.”

That also explains why Doherty won’t denounce people like Rebecca Rubin. The former North Vancouver resident surrendered to American authorities on November 29, 2012, after six years on the run. She was wanted for her alleged involvement in arson attacks by the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front in the U.S. more than a decade ago.

“I’m not drawing any lines at this point in time,” Doherty said. “I wouldn’t condemn their actions.”

The Deep Green Resistance movement started in North America. It was inspired by the 2011 book Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet by Canadian author Aric McBay and Americans Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen.

Joe Foy has been involved in the Canadian environmental movement since the mid ’80s, and the national campaign director of the Vancouver-based Wilderness Committee is familiar with the thinking behind direct action.

“I understand the philosophy and, certainly, when one looks at the loss of species, the decline of the oceans, the destruction of farmland, and especially the changing climate, an argument can be made that environmental protection would necessitate actions that may damage equipment or put people at risk,” Foy told the Straight in a phone interview. “I disagree with that. I think that if we are trying to build a society worth having, we should maintain the peaceful and respectful society that we have here in Canada and try to improve on it, not go the other way and create a society where decisions are made by who can wreak the most damage on the other. I reject that notion.”

But according to Daniel Whittingstall, an organizer with Deep Green Resistance Vancouver, the mainstream environmental movement has “only put a Band-Aid” over the deteriorating health of the planet.

“For those of us that are in the [Deep Green Resistance] movement…our direct action would be the protesting and the blockades and the petitioning but also the advocating for, like, basically sabotaging the system so that the system will crash in on itself,” Whittingstall told the Straight in a phone interview. “Now, we won’t actually be doing that, but we advocate and we try to educate the public on the need for that to happen.”

Kevin Washbrook engaged in civil disobedience when he and other activists stood on the train tracks in White Rock to stop rail shipments of coal to Delta in May 2012. For that action, they were arrested.

Washbrook has heard about Deep Green Resistance and says he understands the frustration and anger that some feel about the continuing degradation of the environment. However, he believes that direct action will ultimately fail as a strategy because it will only invite a violent response from the government.

“Is the goal to try and solve the problem yourself through your action, or is the goal to point out to society that there is a moral and ethical dilemma that everyone’s ignoring [and] that needs to be confronted?” Washbrook said in a phone interview with the Straight. “I think it’s the latter.”

With B.C. as ground zero in the expansion of oil and gas pipelines, Deep Green Resistance Vancouver may yet find fertile ground for its call to defend the environment through direct action.

To a request from the CBC

Sorry to take so long to return your e-mail. There are meetings upon meetings. Kinder Morgan is trying to wear us out!

However, I would like to note that I am extremely disappointed that the Surrey Board of Trade would degrade their environmental awards by pairing it with the President of Kinder Morgan’s address. It’s an insult.

Kinder Morgan’s plan to build a new much bigger pipeline, much larger storage tanks on the side of Burnaby Mountain and build more berths for more tanker traffic in a fragile marine environment makes no environmental or economic sense. Increasing oil tanker traffic through the precarious second narrows is extremely contentious and flies in the face of concerns about safety and efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Expanding the Kinder Morgan tank farm on the side of a mountain beside or above residences, schools and a day care makes absolutely no sense.

I would expect that all members of the Board who plan to vote on Kinder Morgan’s plan to dramatically expand shipping dilbit through the province will disclose any real or potential conflict of interest.

The common sense approach to increase jobs and to reduce safety concerns would be to process dilbit in Alberta and supply the finished products to the domestic market. This would create jobs, reduce the cost of fuel and satisfy the national interests in energy. This is a short term solution. In the long term, we need to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Canada should be a leader. Instead we are exporting cheap unfinished goods to buy back the finished goods at a much higher price. The only ones to benefit are foreign multinationals.

I am not sure if I will be able to attend Ian Anderson’s presentation tomorrow as I have a partner who is suffering through a terrible cold. But I have sent the notice out and I hope a few people from BROKE and maybe Pipe-Up will attend. I also contact Ben West and he might be there too. There is a group forming in Surrey and I hope one or two can make it. However, the timing is difficult for people who have full-time jobs. Of course, that is a good strategy.

I hope this helps.


Keep an open mind on Kinder Morgan expansion

The District of North Vancouver will hold a public forum (registration required) at the District Hall on Thursday, Sept. 12, regarding the proposed TransMountain Pipeline Expansion Project and the resulting increased tanker traffic in Vancouver Harbour.

Although the National Energy Board application for the TMEP has not even been filed, many parties are already opposing the project. Such opposition is premature and probably unwarranted, as explained below:


There is a well-organized and wellfinanced (by U.S. foundations to a large extent) campaign against Canadian oilsands development. In my opinion, some groups opposing energy projects seem to care little about the veracity of their claims. Industry information isn’t perfect either, but at least within the NEB process, witnesses are under oath and are cross examined by experts.

Opposing parties will often differ on values, vision, and perceptions of benefits and risks of a project – this is normal and legitimate. Inadvertent errors of fact also occur on both sides of any issue.

However, in the 2004 federal hearing on B.C. Offshore Oil & Gas, I exposed two examples wherein a 1994 Canadian federal government document had been altered to make it appear – falsely – to be about offshore oil. This same document was falsely represented in 2007 as industry spill predictions for the Enbridge Northern Gateway project. Many recent examples of serious misinformation from anti-TMEP groups exist.

Why do opponents claim large tanker spills are “inevitable,” but don’t tell you that B.C. has nearly a century of imports/exports of crude oil and shipments of petroleum products throughout and beyond B.C. without serious incident. Much of this history occurred before radar, GPS, tethered tugs, double hulls, coastal pilots, and other improvements. Tankers still supply all liquid fuels to Vancouver Island and many coastal towns.

An unfortunate outfall of this misinformation campaign will be damage to the credibility of the legitimate environmental movement.

The lesson for the public and the media is – don’t take information from any source at face value until you have established confidence in that party. Ask for sources backing up the claims made, especially scary claims. Seek the views from the opposite side of the fence.


The anti-pipeline/anti-tanker campaigns in B.C. are not really about pipelines and tankers. It’s about stopping Canadian oilsands development. Ben West of Forest Ethics was quoted in a 2012 article: “But even if pipeline and tanker shipments were completely safe, West says he and many in B.C.’s environmental movement would still oppose them to try to keep the vast oil reserves of the oilsands in the ground.”

Why do they want to keep the reserves in the ground and forgo Canadian jobs, taxes, and royalties? These groups claim that the oilsands are a “carbon bomb” that will fatally contribute to greenhouse gas emissions with potentially “disastrous consequences.”

This thesis assumes that if Canadians refuse to sell crude oil to – for example – China, the Chinese will not buy similar crude from a competing supplier. This is a ridiculous assumption. China will replace our crude, and world GHGs will stay basically the same.

The only major change by stopping our oilsands development is the transfer of thousands of Canadian jobs and huge government revenues (which pay for public services) to other producing countries.

We can only achieve major world GHG reductions by fuel switching in the consumer marketplaces of the world – by moving from coal to natural gas or renewables for example, and efficiency improvements.

Shutting in Canadian resources and hence giving our markets for crude oil, natural gas, or coal to foreign competitors achieves nothing except harm to the Canadian economy.

Perhaps even worse, given the law of unintended consequences, our oil may be railed to B.C. ports or other locations – a more costly and less safe transportation mode than pipeline, with fewer economic benefits to B.C. and Canada.

We export nearly 100 per cent of our oil and natural gas to the United States, and they like that! Have we not learned from the softwood lumber fiasco that having only one customer for any product is very risky – that we need outlets to Asia for our oil and gas products? This campaign against oilsands is based on a false premise. We are not reducing global warming by shutting in Canada’s oilsands reserves – we are just changing suppliers of the commodity, to Canada’s detriment.


The key National Energy Board documents for TMEP will be the application and other evidence, the decision itself, and crucially, if TMEP is approved, the conditions imposed on the project.

Without seeing these documents, and particularly the imposed conditions, it is impossible to judge the benefits and risks of a project. I am disappointed in those who categorically and unconditionally oppose TMEP when none of these key documents yet exist. Let’s wait for them before making a personal decision.

The issue is not the safeguards on pipelines, tanker operations, spill prevention and cleanup that we had yesterday or have today. The issue is: If and when the regulatory authorities approve TMEP, what project safeguards will me mandated by the NEB and other authorities? John Hunter is a semi-retired chemical engineer who has worked for more than 40 years in the energy industry, including heavy oil, oilsands, natural gas utilities, power production, district energy, and petroleum refining in Canada and overseas. He does consulting work for energy companies including TransMountain Pipelines.

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