Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pipeline provocations

Looking back, Toronto looked a lot like the trial run. The first protests began outside Enbridge's offices, the BC legislature, and several places along the route.  Then access roads to the workcamps were blocked by protesters. Spiked trees on the route and the usual suspects chaining themselves up, followed by the subsequently largely peaceful arrests. The RCMP were initially surprised at the numbers of protesters, however, and reinforced their local detachments. Soon they ran out of enough people, and like Toronto a few years earlier, imported police from other forces around the country, eventually commandeering entire hotels and motels. Several town councils took symbolic votes to expel the police, who then began to fortify local detachments or move them out of communities. 

Enbridge subsequently complained that they couldn't proceed with construction due to security concerns for its brigade of $10 000/month 20 year old pipeline workers who found themselves blocked from worksites, cursed by protesters, and a number had their pick-up trucks vandalised. In response, the federal government passed the Protection of Canadians and Eco-Terrorism Prevention Act, which expanded security budgets and powers of arrest and detention within zones designated by the minister for public safety and minister of natural resources. The Public Safety minister stated "this well help protect hard-working Canadians from the seditious BC separatists and eco-terrorists."  The charitable status of most environmental organisations was suspended, with some prominent groups listed as terrorist. Greenpeace was banned outright.  Activists from all over Canada and around the world poured into BC, although many were stopped at the border by immigration officials. A permanent concrete riot wall was placed around the BC legislature building and painted with cartoon whales and fishes so as not to scare away the summer tourists.

Armed road blocks appeared, and construction equipment was torched. After a brief exchange of fire between police and locals, the government brought in the Army and blamed the problem, for the first time, on "Cascadian separatists" who "like the FLQ, hated Canada." Police door-kickers backed up by the army went through neighbourhoods and detained and questioned virtually anyone who had signed a petition or held membership a blacklisted organisation. Reconnaissance drone aircraft loitered high overhead. Aircraft hobbyists identified them as Reaper aircraft, which Canada curiously did not possess. Further investigation by the media and a leaked DND memo revealed they were flying from Comox, controlled from Nevada, and deployed under the Canada-US Civil Assistance Plan. When confronted with Opposition demands for an explanation, the defence minister responded, saying "the valuable experience of interoperating with our American allies in fighting terrorists in Afghanistan is now helping us defeat the terrorists at home."

How far are they willing to go?


The Mound of Sound said...

Boris, have you noticed any news stories on the Harper government's decision to relocate EnviroCan's west coast Emergency Oil Spill command team to Quebec? I read of it in the Victoria Times Colonist but saw no mention of it in any other media outlet.

Holly Stick said...

Here's a story about it by Mike De Souza:

"Multimillion-dollar cuts to a team in charge of cleaning up environmental disasters is "an abrogation" of responsibilities that puts the health and safety of Canadians in jeopardy, says a retired Environment Canada scientist who co-ordinated national response to emergencies..."

meadowlark said...

I read that too. Harper could care less if BC becomes a polluted wasteland. Harper hates BC and BC despises him and his henchmen Campbell and Boessenkool, just as much.

To string a pipeline through BC's wilderness, is totally asinine. BC has avalanches, mudslides, earthquakes, rock slides, swift running flooded rivers, that carries away homes and highways. How do they get through 15 feet of snow, to get to the pipe burst? I doubt the pipe burst would ever get cleaned up. It will be left, just as the Kalamazoo River spill wasn't cleaned up. Enbridge had another spill 10 miles away from the Kalamazoo River spill.

With the clean-up way down east, it seems there will be no clean-up of a pipe spill, anywhere in BC.

The seas around the Kitimat northern coast, are one of the most treacherous seas in the world. Every other day, we hear of hurricane force winds. There are waves 50 to 60 feet high. There are rogue waves, over 70 feet high. The channel narrow, the tankers massive, that have to make hairpin turns. It takes over three miles, to get one of those huge ships stopped. There will most certainly be a tanker spill.

Just a few weeks ago. Three freighters were caught, in one of the terrible storms off BC's northern coast. One freighter had the top load of their logs torn off by the storm. The ship put out a distress call. They were afraid if the bottom load of the logs shifted, the ship would capsize. It took literally hours, to reach the stricken ship. The other two freighters, had their cargo torn off their ships, by the storm and into the sea. They managed to limp back, into BC harbors.

A massive tanker oil spill, will happen beyond the shadow of a doubt. However, Harper won't care if the coast of BC, has a tanker spill. How long will it take a clean-up crew to get to BC from Quebec or Halifax? There is no intention of cleaning up, any spills.

Harper and Gordon Campbell have already destroyed BC financially. A tanker spill or a pipe burst, will not concern Harper, what-so-ever. This will be one of the most asinine ventures, in Canadian history.

There is still oil gathering on the rocks, from the Valdez spill 22 years ago. That spill is a tea cup spill, compared to the massive Chinese tankers.

Steve said...

They are going all the way.
Their place in history be dammed, as GWB said, in history were all dead.