We are mineral rich but how we spend our wealth today will shape the future of Canadians yet to be born
Like in any debate, there are two sides or more in the debate whether we should go ahead with ambitious pipelines projects. Time will tell what impact the decisions taken by today’s Canadians will have on the lives of Canadians yet to be born.
Northern Gateway pipeline project has 5 stakeholders – BC government, Alberta government, Federal Government, Residents of communities from where this proposed pipeline will pass through and of course Environment. Canada wants to be a key player in the global crude oil and natural resources market. Currently US is the major beneficiary of our crude oil. Provincial Government as well as Federal government believes that going ahead with projects like Northern Gateway Project, Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Twinning will once again reiterate Canada’s status as land of opportunities.
Northern Gateway pipeline would transport 525,000 barrels of petroleum per day and a dual line will be constructed to import approximately 193,000 barrels of condensate per day. Government argues that this project will create thousands of jobs. Some of them direct employment and economy both at province and national level will benefit from this. The buzzword emanating from the corridors of power is – New Markets.
Nobody is against progress, but at what cost? According to a Mustel Poll in 2010, 80 per cent of British Columbians want a ban on oil tanker traffic on BC’s North Coast. Trans Mountain
Pipeline will pass through densely populated parts of Burnaby and go through cities of Langely, Surrey and Coquitlam at some point during its course to reach Burrad Inlet. What makes this risk even more worthless is that this pipeline and fuel energy flowing through is not for British Columbians or for Canadians, it is for foreign markets and produced by foreign company which will only pay some operational taxes and keep all the profit.
Advocates of these projects say that companies like Enbridge are known for their professionalism and technical advancements and are capable of executing the project with minimum damage to the communities and the environment. But if we look into Enbridge’s disaster management past, it is not a clean slate. Enbridge has had over 610 spills between 1999 and 2008. Though Enbridge paid heavy fines but the damage to communities and environment was done.
As mentioned earlier, no one is against progress and we want to believe that people who we have elected should work towards making our lives and lives of future Canadians better. But we want the governments both at province and federal level to take these life transforming decisions based on facts and not on votes. One last word, Canadians on the streets are watching the Canadians who live and thrive in the corridors of power and in this battle of Canadians vs Canadians, winner should be only one Canada.