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Protests Continue Across Canada in Solidarity With Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders Fighting Fracked Gas Pipeline

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/13/protests-continue-across-canada-solidarity-wetsuweten-land-defenders-fighting

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I was reading some of the newspapers while out having lunch and their a number of editorials regarding the blockades. Each and every one was opposed to it indicating the Police should move in and break them up. All of them indicated that they were having a negative impact on the economy and that to get commerce (consumption and more oil) going , goods needed to be transported without having to deal with blockades.

All of them paid lip service to what the blockades about indicating “The Courts had made their ruling and it was time for those on the losing side to go home”.

See when BUSINESS speaks the law rules in its favor and the profit making component of industry has priority over everything, even if it kills us.

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Thanks for the update from the Canadian side. I have a lot of friends on the Washington state border of BC. Are you seeing any reports of the First Nations getting any support from the U.S. side to help block this damn pipeline?

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Trespassing by RCMP on indigenous land, is still trespassing.

The law as we all know is easily corruptible by corrupt politicians who use public servant to be their cannon fodder.

When will the cannon fodder wake up?

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Not directly.

Melania’s jacket emboldened with the message, “I don’t care, do you,” suggests that most of us are awake, we just don’t care enough about political issues to go out of (comfy zone) way to deal with things.
I’m afraid that what we are seeing is all we are going to get.
A few 30 day protests with fewer people available when the changing of the guard happens.
If we were awake, and cared, those numbers will increase, not decrease.
Got your pitchfork?

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Revealed in a Common Ground magazine article (“BC’s LNG industry – flogging a dead horse,” posted Dec. 8, 2018) is that Coastal GasLink’s liquefied fractured gas project is a bad deal for both British Columbians and the environment, with the following disturbing facts (extracted and listed below as published in point-form word for word) I’ve yet to hear reported in the mainstream news-media:

“” …. Faced with such competition for a resource product widely available worldwide, BC’s fledgling gas industry turned to Governments for concessions to help “make them competitive”. So we now have publicly-funded concessions that Federal and Provincial Governments – past and present – have placed in the industry’s begging bowl, including:

–no Provincial Sales Tax on gas purchased;

subsidized (6 cents/ kilowatt-hour) electricity rates (residential customers pay 12 cents/KWh). The 6-cent industrial rate was originally conceived for labour-intensive industries, which LNG definitely is not;

–zero percent LNG royalty tax; 9 percent corporate tax rate on future profits declared in BC. Royalty taxes are payments to the resource owners – in this case the BC public. Much of the LNG industry is financially structured to offshore any profits to lower-tax jurisdictions, as Australia has already learned to its chagrin;

–$35/tonne carbon tax cap and $0/tonne on “fugitive” (vented and leaked) gases. The public will pay much higher carbon taxes, as this is ramped up in future years to limit global climate disruption. Fugitive emissions, when fully and accurately accounted for, make LNG a worse climate-warmer than coal;

–$120 Million a year for infrastructure costs (roads and pipelines to fracking holes). When this is factored into the skimpy returns to the public purse, the fracked gas industry remits less to BC’s coffers than do parking fees and fines in the City of Vancouver;

–reduced property assessments and property taxes. BC has legislated discounted property tax rates for all port facilities;

–relaxed Temporary Foreign Worker restrictions for imported workers. Unlike Australia, Canada has not negotiated local employment guarantees for the construction and operation of LNG facilities and pipelines;

–exemption from 25% import duty on machinery and equipment. The industry is also appealing a ruling by Canadian International Trade Tribunal imposing a hefty anti-dumping tariff on LNG modules constructed in Korea and floated here for final assembly. Constructing these units abroad denies jobs to Canadian steelworkers and revenue to Canada;

–accelerated capital cost write-downs. The Harper Government hiked the speed at which the LNG industry could write off its huge capital costs (to 30 percent per annum, previously 8 percent), effectively delaying income taxes and reducing borrowing costs for the industry.

All in all, this is extremely generous treatment for a foreign-owned industry which would employ, at most, a tiny fraction of BC’s 2.5 million-strong workforce – far fewer than each of BC’s high-tech, film and tourism industries. A 2014 study by the Centre for Policy Alternatives showed that, at a $12 LNG price in Asia, it would be 14 years before the capital costs of these projects were written off and LNG royalties begin to trickle into BC’s public coffers. The fracked gas industry has built up tax credits of a whopping $3 billion, meaning that, should it ever actually record a profit locally, the first $3 billion will be tax-free. As the LNG price has fallen to under $10/mmBTU, that 14-year break-even timing is likely to be further delayed. This mirrors the Australian LNG experience, which has shown break-even periods of 15 years or more for its LNG projects, and a tripling of local gas prices in the face of export competition for local supplies. Australians are paying more for their own gas than are foreign buyers.

Natural gas is composed primarily of methane, as a greenhouse gas 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Fracking for natural gas causes severe damage to local environments, permanently pollutes local groundwater, and has been identified as the cause of a series of earthquakes in north-eastern BC. … “”

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When learning during the 2015 federal election that Postmedia (under then-CEO Paul Godfrey) ordered its metro-daily newspapers to editorially endorse and run paid ads on newspaper covers by the incumbent Stephen Harper Conservatives, my disappointment said ‘Say it isn’t so’.

Two years later, upon reading excerpts from Rafe Mair’s 2017 book Politically Incorrect, I was left feeling angry.

Within, Mair (the late popular and well-respected B.C. lawyer, politician, journalist and radio host) notes some astonishing quotes by some of Canada’s news-media decision makers.

For example, during a Postmedia presentation, it was stated: “Postmedia and CAPP [Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers] will bring energy to the forefront of our national conversation. Together, we will engage executives, the business community and the Canadian public to underscore the ways in which the energy sector powers Canada.”

According to then-publisher of Postmedia’s National Post, Douglas Kelly, “From its inception, the National Post has been one of the country’s leading voices on the importance of energy to Canada’s business competitiveness internationally and our economic well-being in general. We will work with CAPP [Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers] to amplify our energy mandate and to be a part of the solution to keep Canada competitive in the global marketplace. The National Post will undertake to leverage all means editorially, technically and creatively to further this critical conversation.”

To this, Mair himself exclaims, “This is the formula guiding Postmedia as they hold the oil industry’s feet to the fire!”

More recently, though, Postmedia acquired a lobbying firm with close ties to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in order to participate in the latter’s government’s new $30 million PR “war room” in promoting the interests of Canada’s fossil fuel industry. But the newspaper giant’s apparent bedding with the powerful industry is not news (albeit it’s little known amongst the general population).

I believe that the promotion of massive fossil fuel extraction, even Canada’s very own, should be the last partisan position for a newspaper giant to take.

(Frank Sterle Jr.)

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I do remember Rafe Mair. I used to listen to his radio show daily.

What happened here in Canada is very much like happened in the USA in that when the neoliberals took over , the newspapers began to consolidate and become nothing more then Corporate entities all instructed by their shareholders to advance the same agenda.