northern gateway pipeline

Great Bear, Green Screen, and Great Lakes

This week, we talk about two “great” things in the Canadian ecosystem, the Great Lakes and the Great Bear.
And, we have the inside look at a documentary called The Carbon Rush, that tries to connect viewers emotionally with the impact of carbon credit programs in the global south.

Great Bear, Green Screen, and Great Lakes

The Spirit Bear has become symbolic of the Great Bear Reserve of Northern BC. Photo Credit: Valard LP

Download this week’s episode

Canadians for the Great Bear 

The use of charismatic megafauna is an important tactic used to raise attention to important issues. The proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline threatens many species in the Northern Western BC area, but the WWF had seemed to choose the Great Bear as an ambassador to the ecosystem they are trying to protect. Kyle Muzyka talks with the WWF vice president of conservation and pacific, Darcy Dobell, about the use of the Great Bear as an ambassador, and how the pipeline is merely an obstacle in the scheme of things.

More information on Canadians for the Great Bear:

Green Screen: The Carbon Rush

Next up, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips brings us a Green Screen review of The Carbon Rush. It’s a documentary that tries to do something brave – making viewers connect emotionally with the hidden underbelly of carbon markets. But does it live up to its own hype?

More information:

State of the Great Lakes

The Canadian and US governments recently renewed their commitments to cleaning up Canada’s fresh water bodies by amending the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This new plan expands the scope of concern to include issues like impact of climate change, and the protection of lake species and habitats. To get a better sense of the problems currently facing the Great Lakes, we contacted Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a charity that’s working to help make the lakes safer, cleaner, and healthier for the public. Last fall, Hamdi Issawi spoke to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s Vice President, Krystyn Tully, on the state of the Great Lakes.

More information:

From the Archives: Part 2 – Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline

This week on Terra Informa, we are re-airing the second part of our two part radio documentary ‘Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline’.

Download this week’s show.

In the summer of 2011, members of Terra Informa set out on a journey to follow the path of the proposed Northern Gateway from its starting point in Edmonton to its terminus in Kitimat, on the coast of British Columbia.  Here is part two of the radio documentary: Rough Waters & Divide Valleys: Voices from the Route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.This week, from December 10-17, the Joint Review Panel conducting the review of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Project will continue with the hearings in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The hearings will then continue on 4 February 2013 with 10 weeks scheduled in February, March, April and May. The hearings will be broadcast live (in English and French) over the Panel’s website.The Panel anticipates Final Argument (written and oral) to take place from mid-May to late June 2013.

What are your thoughts on the NGP? We’d love to hear from you.

Recent news:

Calgary Herald: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Yedlin+Federal+resources+minister+stops+short+endorsing+Northern+Gateway+pipeline/7644242/story.html#ixzz2EE660hdT

Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/haisla-first-nation-withdraws-from-anti-northern-gateway-group/article6012622/

Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Review Panel: http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/hm-eng.html

For more on the Northern Gateway Proposal and our documentary, including FAQ’s, reports on the project and bonus audio, check out our special section of the website.

From the Archives: Part 1 – Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline

This week on Terra Informa, we are re-airing the first part of our two part radio documentary ‘Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline’.

Terra Informa – NGP Documentary Part 1″>Download Part 1-Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices From the Route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline (29:09)

In the summer of 2011, members of Terra Informa set out on a journey to follow the path of the proposed Northern Gateway from its starting point in Edmonton to its terminus in Kitimat, on the coast of British Columbia. When we started our journey and our research, it was clear that this pipeline was going to create a storm of debate. Media coverage would be extensive, and probably influential. But we also wondered whether it would really capture the full range of thoughts and feelings held by those directly affected. This documentary is our attempt to delve a little deeper. It is the result of conversations we had over thousands of kilometers traveled, in communities with the most to gain, and the most to lose. What we found is that a seemingly simple pipeline is creating turbulence in some communities, while building solidarity in others.

For more on the Northern Gateway Proposal and our documentary, including FAQ’s, reports on the project and bonus audio, check out our special section of the website.

Cosmetics Company Fights Big Oil & Tsunami Debris Tells a Story

This week’s show takes us from the coasts of British Columbia to Japan, then inland to Alberta and back again. The shorelines of British Columbia are the destination point for debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami, and they are also the destination point for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline project. We hear about a project the Maritime Museum of British Columbia in Victoria has undertaken to collect tsunami debris. We also hear about how LUSH, a cosmetic company, has partnered with the Dogwood Initiative, an advocacy group, to draw attention to how the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline will impact Canadians.

Download this week’s show.

The No Tankers Campaign “Polling Station” at the LUSH store, on Whyte Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta

Tsunami Debris Tells a Story

When the 2011 tsunami struck the coast of Japan, many people lost their homes, their belongings, and their lives. Some of those objects, though, are beginning to surface an ocean away. Debris from the tsunami is showing up on North American beaches from Haida Gwaii to Oregon. Victoria’s Maritime Museum of British Columbia has stared a website to let users post photographs of the debris. Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke to the project’s coordinator, Linda Funk.

Read more: Maritime Museum of BC Tsunami Debris Facebook page, Times Colonist.

LUSH – No Tankers Campaign

A few weeks ago, Terra Informa launched our radio documentary on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project. This week, we ask, what does a conversation about the pipeline how to do with a cosmetics company and a campaign?  LUSH is a Vancouver-based company that produces natural bath and body products. From May 29 to June 10 it engaged customers in stores across Canada in conversations about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. The campaign is in partnership with the Dogwood Initiative, a Victoria-based public interest group.  Terra Informa correspondent Kathryn Lennon sets out to find out how a business and an advocacy group are working together. She speaks to Emma Gilchrist of the Dogwood Initiative, Brandi Hall of LUSH, and Shannon, a LUSH employee in Edmonton, Alberta.

Read more: LUSH, Dogwood Initiative – No Tankers Campaign

News Headlines

Sadly, there have been so many oil spills in the recent weeks that we at Terra Informa are considering starting a regular oil spill watch. Many people and communities all across these lands are already on high-alert for oil spills and regularly inform the media of the spills they discover.

Oil Spill Near Red Deer, Alberta

In this week’s oil spill watch, the most recent oil spill that we know of has occurred in the Jackson Creek tributary of the Red Deer River in  west-central Alberta in the Treaty 7 territories of the Cree, Stoney, Blackfoot, Blood and Sarcee nations. Approximately 475,000 litres of crude oil have been spilled into Jackson Creek. The oil has also reached  the nearby Glennifer Lake and Reservoir that provides drinking water to nearby communities. The company responsible for the ruptured pipeline, Plains Midstream Canada, has responded to news of the leak by shutting down its Rangeland operations. Plains Midstream Canada, a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline, was also responsible for a devastating spill in April, 2011.
This spill released 4.5 million litres northeast of the Peace River region in Alberta. A school in the nearby community of Little Buffalo had to close due to reports of people getting headaches, feeling nauseous and smelling a strong petroleum odor. Oil spills into waterways are considered very serious due to the possibility of the oil spill spreading very quickly in the water.
In addition, heavy rainfall and flooding have increased the water levels in the areas where the spill occurred. Since the leak was reported on Thursday by local residents in the area, reports have continued to come in about the smell of the oil and sightings of dead wildlife.

Read more:
http://www.news1130.com/news/national/article/371456–oil-spill-shows-dangers-of-pipelines-crossing-waterways
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/energy%20resources/Pipeline+company+Plains+Midstream+reports/6751812/story.html
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/06/08/calgary-sundre-oil-spill.html
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/alberta-hit-with-another-oil-spill/article4241238/

Vancouver Centre for Emergency Oil Spill Response Closed

The federal government is closing a British Columbia-based command centre for emergency oil spills. Located in Vancouver, on Coast Salish Territories, the office is the west coast’s only federal spill response office. As a result of the cost-cutting in the federal budget, Ottawa has said it will shut down the office and centralize operations in Quebec. Environment Minister Peter Kent’s office stated “This will not impact Canadians or the environment” and described the office’s work as not cleaning up spills but rather providing information about environmentally sensitive land and species at risk.
The closing comes at a time when pipeline operator Kinder Morgan is attempting to double its Edmonton-to-Burnaby Trans Mountain pipeline and triple its oil exports to Alberta. This would increase the number of oil tankers to at least 300 a year. Additionally, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal would mean more tanker traffic out of Kitimat, if it goes ahead.
NDP environment critic Rob Fleming stated: “Any reasonable person understands that it makes no sense to even consider major pipelines and oil tankers while closing the Pacific coast’s regional oil-spill response centre,” Fleming said.
Read more:
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/spill+centre+moving/6486163/story.html
http://www.thenorthernview.com/news/148722275.html

Tarsands Counter-Terrorism Unit Created in Alberta

The federal government has set up a counter-terrorism unit in Alberta, to protect the tar sands. This team will be led by the RCMP and will include members of CSIS, the Edmonton and Calgary police forces and federal border patrol. This will double the number of police working on so-called counter-terrorism measures in Alberta.The federal government has recently labeled certain environmental and First Nations groups as “radicals and extremists”.
A representative of the unit,  Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud, described the unit’s goal as being to look at any groups that threaten Alberta’s oil sands economy.In addition, Michaud stated that any targeted groups must have violence attached to their activities for the unit to pay attention.However, Michaud also stated, “That being said, in our role of preventing these threats from occurring, it is important that intelligence is collected against the activities of groups before they become violent.”

Read more:
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/06/alberta-counter-terror-unit-set-up-to-protect-the-oil-sands-by-federal-tories/
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/ottawa-launches-alberta-counter-terrorism-unit/article4236422/
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/06/06/ottawa-sets-up-alberta-anti-terrorism-unit-to-protect-energy-industry/

UN Report Cites Climate Change as Complicating Factor in Human Migration

A UN report has recently been published that predicts an increase in the number of people displaced world-wide.“The State of the World’s Refugees” cites 26 million internally displaced people and an additional 1 million asylum seekers. UN Secretary General described the traditional drivers of displacement such as human rights abuses and conflict, are increasingly complicated now by factors such as food insecurity, water scarcity, climate change, population pressure and a growing number of people uprooted by “natural disasters”. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says that an international debate has started over how to address the growing numbers of people forced to move due to issues such as climate change. Many people have no legal protection. Guterres stated, “Global displacement is an inherently international problem and as such needs international solutions – and by this I mean mainly political solutions.”

Read more:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501363_162-57445141/un-report-predicts-increase-in-worlds-displaced/
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/world/un-report-predicts-increase-in-worlds-displaced/521598

River Run 2012

Our last news story looks at recent actions in the communities of Grassy Narrows and White Dog First Nations. June 5 – 8 marked a week of actions, put on by the Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation), for the River Run 2012. Over 50 people from the  Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek have walked the 2,000 kilometres to Toronto, to raise awareness and demand justice for a series of wrongs still being ignored by the government. In the 1960s, a pulp and paper mill in Dryden, Ontario, dumped over 9,000 kilos of mercury into the Wabigoon River.  Residents have received mixed messages about whether or not to eat the fish from the river. Health Canada stopped testing for mercury years ago but Dr. Masazumi Harada, a mercury expert, has reported many continuing mercury-related health concerns for the residents of Grassy Narrows and White River First Nations. Dr. Harada reports that 44% of people born after the mill dumped its waste have been affected by mercury contamination.
Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Forbister also cites clearcutting as contributing to the damages to the local ecosystem.  The “Makade Mukwa Walk for Water” is being completed this week by a group of Indigenous Anishnabe youth.
Edmond Jack participated in the walk and said, “We are walking with a group of young people to raise awareness about chemical dumping and mercury poisoning that the government and corporations have caused over the past decades, and to keep that message strong for the next generation, to carry on that message so that people don’t forget that the water is still being poisoned.” According to the River Run 2012 organizers, participants are coming to Toronto to create a “wild river that will flow to Queen’s Park to demand long overdue justice for their people and protection for the waters and forests on which they depend.” 15,000 square feet of blue fabric will represent the river and mimic the way the river should flow in their community.  The rally demanded that the Ontario government acknowledge the extent of the mercury poisoning, apologize and clean the river. Additionally, Premier Dalton McGuinty was invited to try some local fish from the Wabigoon river.  This rally is just part of the many actions and events that the Grassy Narrows First Nation has done, in order to protect the land and the water and all that depend on them.

Read more:
http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/social-issues/first-nations-youth-walk-2000-kms-to-raise-awareness-of-mercury-poisoning.html#.T86in2oLjrU.facebook
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/two-ontario-first-nations-still-plagued-by-mercury-poisoning-report/article4230507/
http://rabble.ca/news/2012/06/week-action-justice-overdue-grassy-narrows
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/johnbon/2012/06/mcguinty-%E2%80%98no-show%E2%80%99-grassy-narrows-fish-fry

Part 2 – Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Welcome to the home of a special edition of Terra Informa. We are pleased to present our two part radio documentary ‘Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline’.

Download or Stream Part 1 Here

Download Part 2-Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices From the Route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Subscribe to Terra Informa on Itunes

Like Terra Informa on Facebook

Follow Terra Informa on Twitter

In the summer of 2011, members of Terra Informa set out on a journey to follow the path of the proposed Northern Gateway from its starting point in Edmonton to its terminus in Kitimat, on the coast of British Columbia. When we started our journey and our research, it was clear that this pipeline was going to create a storm of debate. Media coverage would be extensive, and probably influential. But we also wondered whether it would really capture the full range of thoughts and feelings held by those directly affected. This documentary is our attempt to delve a little deeper. It is the result of conversations we had over thousands of kilometers traveled, in communities with the most to gain, and the most to lose. What we found is that a seemingly simple pipeline is creating turbulence in some communities, while building solidarity in others.
For more on the Northern Gateway Proposal and our documentary, including FAQ’sreports on the project and bonus audio,  check out our special section of the website.

Part 1 – Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Welcome to the home of a special edition of Terra Informa. We are pleased to present our two part radio documentary ‘Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices from the route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline’.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Download Part 1-Rough Waters & Divided Valleys: Voices From the Route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline (29:09)

Part 2 Coming This Week!

Subscribe to Terra Informa on Itunes

Like Terra Informa on Facebook

Follow Terra Informa on Twitter

In the summer of 2011, members of Terra Informa set out on a journey to follow the path of the proposed Northern Gateway from its starting point in Edmonton to its terminus in Kitimat, on the coast of British Columbia. When we started our journey and our research, it was clear that this pipeline was going to create a storm of debate. Media coverage would be extensive, and probably influential. But we also wondered whether it would really capture the full range of thoughts and feelings held by those directly affected. This documentary is our attempt to delve a little deeper. It is the result of conversations we had over thousands of kilometers traveled, in communities with the most to gain, and the most to lose. What we found is that a seemingly simple pipeline is creating turbulence in some communities, while building solidarity in others.
For more on the Northern Gateway Proposal and our documentary, including FAQ’s, reports on the project and bonus audio,  check out our special section of the website.

Rachelle van Zanten on the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Today acclaimed slide guitarist Rachelle van Zanten speaks to us about her music, how it has been influenced by the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, and local opposition to the pipeline in her home town of Burns Lake, BC. We also talk to ecologist Jason Aloisio about his work on green rooftops. Plus, we look into the movement to hold Canadian mining firms accountable for their actions overseas, and why such work is so badly needed.

Download this week’s show.

Enbridge workers remove a section of pipeline in 2010 after a repture spilled 800 000 gallons of oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River. The posibility of a spill is a major concern for residents living along the route of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline. Photo by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Rachelle van Zanten is a Canadian singer-songwriter and acclaimed slide guitarist. She’s released two solo albums, is a regular at North American music festivals, and tours internationally. However, she still manages to find the time to get involved with a variety of environmental happenings around her home town of Burns Lake, BC. One of the big issues facing the town is the possible construction of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which if approved, would pump half a million barrels of diluted bitumen every day from Alberta to the pacific coast. Like many people in this part of the world, van Zanten is no fan of pipelines and their potential for spills. Our reporter Myles Curry met up with van Zanten on the shore of Francois Lake late last summer to talk about the pipeline proposal, her music, and how she’s combining the two.

Jason Aloisio is an urban ecologist, working at New York City’s Fordham University.  In August he was recognized by the Ecological Society of America at their annual conference in Austin, Texas. Terra Informa correspondent Rebecca Rooney caught up with him in Austin to ask about his work on green roofs.

More on this story: Jason Aloisio’s green roofs presentation, article in Nature News on Jason’s research, Jason’s blog

Canada is the mining capital of the world. But our miners don’t just dig up minerals here, they head overseas in the search of bigger finds and bigger profits. However, the environmental, human rights and labour laws in many countries are deficient by Canadian standards, and at the moment, Canadian companies can get away with acting in ways that would not be acceptable back home. Environmental and human rights groups aren’t impressed, and they’re pushing for change. Our correspondent David Kaczan travelled to Toronto to investigate the movement for mining accountability overseas.

Northern Gateway Pipeline Special

This weeks show was originally aired in June 2010, however despite efforts from a number of different groups the Enbridge pipeline proposal to build an oil pipeline from the refineries in Edmonton to a new super tanker port in Kitimat on British Columbia’s coastline still remains on the table.

This week we bring you a special edition focusing on this proposal which has become one of the most controversial infrastructure proposals in decades. Later in the show we’ll examine environmental and economic perspectives on this proposal, but firstly we look at the potential effects on the First Nations communities along the route.

Download this week’s show

 

Environmental News

Traditional Food Health Effects

Relaxing of Yukon Caribou Hunting Restrictions

New Federal Budget

First Nations Perspectives

To build their controversial pipeline, Calgary Energy Company Enbridge will have to cross the territories of forty first nations. Unfortunately for Enbridge, these nations for the most part have registered staunch opposition to the development, despite the offer of millions of dollars in compensation. In June of last year, Terra Informa investigated some aboriginal perspectives in an effort to understand why opposition is so strong.

Amnesty International Canada: The Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Endbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

Nadleh Whut’en First Nation

Pipe Up Against  Enbridge.ca (ad campaign)

Local Campaigns: No Tanks

In a reoccurring segment we call Local Campaigns, Terra Informa correspondent Myles Curry investigated the No Tanks campaign. Based out of Vancouver, this organization is building community opposition to increased oil tanker traffic along Canada’s west coast.

No Tanks

Economics and Politics

There has been a significant push to proceed with the Northern Gateway Project and understanding what the potential economics of the pipeline is crucial to understanding why it is so important to Enbridge to proceed. Next on the show Andy Read is takes a critical look at the economics and politics of Canada’s petroleum market and where the Northern Gateway Pipeline fits in.

Map of North American pipelines

Proposed oil tanker routes

Environmental Concerns

There have been a number of recent incidents with oil pipelines and oil spills in general. With the Northern Gateway proposal, there will of course be some environmental impacts. Terra Informa correspondents Marcus, Brett and Robyn investigated the potential impacts this project and the spin-off effects it will have on the environment.

Pembina Report on the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Dogwood Institute on potential of oil spill

The Headwaters Initiative Project