oil and gas

Fossil fuel fanaticism

After the Federal Court of Appeal postponed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, newspaper publisher Postmedia, financial partner of the petroleum industry, whined that “eco-fanaticism, regional favouritism and amateur economics” interfered with production of ever more bitumen.

Global News quoted the former CEO of the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission, “It’s a real sad day for Alberta and for Canada…”

Friend of the Fraser Institute broadcaster Charles Adler tweeted “No consultation = canard”. He believes the Federal Court of Appeal is treating Albertans as “the bastard children of Confederation”.

Fossil fuel promoters had either not read the FCA judgment, or reject it for their own reasons. Many of these people applauded when a court jailed opponents of Trans Mountain expansion but judge the courts wrong when they disagree with a decision.

Read the following excerpts and then decide whether corporate media was reporting honestly or trying to further interests of their financial partners. Then, ask if taxpayers should subsidize media that serves corporate interests rather than the common good.

[557] …Canada’s execution of Phase III of the consultation process was unacceptably flawed and fell short of the standard prescribed by the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. As such, the consultation process fell short of the required mark for reasonable consultation.

[558] To summarize my reasons for this conclusion, Canada was required to do more than receive and understand the concerns of the Indigenous applicants. Canada was required to engage in a considered, meaningful two-way dialogue. Canada’s ability to do so was constrained by the manner in which its representatives on the Crown consultation team implemented their mandate. For the most part, Canada’s representatives limited their mandate to listening to and recording the concerns of the Indigenous applicants and then transmitting those concerns to the decision-makers.

[559] On the whole, the record does not disclose responsive, considered and meaningful dialogue coming back from Canada in response to the concerns expressed by the Indigenous applicants. While there are some examples of responsiveness to concerns, these limited examples are not sufficient to overcome the overall lack of response. The Supreme Court’s jurisprudence repeatedly emphasizes that dialogue must take place and must be a two-way exchange. The Crown is required to do more than to receive and document concerns and complaints. As this Court wrote in Gitxaala, at paragraph 265, speaking of the limited mandate of Canada’s representatives: When the role of Canada’s representatives is seen in this light, it is of no surprise that a number of concerns raised by Aboriginal groups— in our view, concerns very central to their legitimate interests—were left unconsidered and undiscussed. This fell well short of the conduct necessary to meet the duty to consult


[560] Further, Phase III was to focus on two questions: outstanding concerns about Project-related impacts and any required incremental accommodation measures. Canada’s ability to consult and dialogue on these issues was constrained by two further limitations: first, Canada’s unwillingness to depart from the Board’s findings and recommended conditions so as to genuinely understand the concerns of the Indigenous applicants and then consider and respond to those concerns in a genuine and adequate way; second, Canada’s erroneous view that it was unable to impose additional conditions on Trans Mountain.


[561] Together these three factors led to a consultation process that fell short of the mark and was, as a result, unreasonable. Canada then exacerbated the situation by its late disclosure of its view that the Project did not have a high level of impact on the established and asserted rights of the Indigenous applicants—a disclosure made two weeks before they were required to submit their final response to the consultation process and less than a month before the Governor in Council approved the Project…


[756] However, as the above review shows, missing was a genuine and sustained effort to pursue meaningful, two-way dialogue. Very few responses were provided by Canada’s representatives in the consultation meetings. When a response was provided it was brief, and did not further two-way dialogue. Too often the response was that the consultation team would put the concerns before the decision-makers for consideration.

[757] Where responses were provided in writing, either in letters or in the Crown Consultation Report or its appendices, the responses were generic. There was no indication that serious consideration was given to whether any of the Board’s findings were unreasonable or wrong. Nor was there any indication that serious consideration was given to amending or supplementing the Board’s recommended conditions.


[758] Canada acknowledged it owed a duty of deep consultation to each Indigenous applicant. More was required of Canada.

Categories: oil and gas

19 replies »

  1. Corporatists and their right wing allies are very selective in their “law and order” advocacy. They’re all for “law and order” when the courts issue injunctions against “radical” environmentalists and 1st nations but very sanguine when their own legal ox is gored. One could even call them hypocrites!

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  2. As much as I commiserate with unemployed Albertans and their Tar sands pipeline.
    They’re beating a dead horse.
    The writing is on the wall..
    The US fracking industry has crushed the price of oil for the forseeable future.
    Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia all have massive reserves that they can pump out of the ground far far cheaper than Albertan Tar sands goo.
    And on top of all this….
    Oil is on its way out in 20 -40 years and an oil resource based economy like Alberta best get moving on alternative industries or they will be left twisting in the wind..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One can see the future by looking at what is happening now. Fracking is here for example. I thought that was what enterpenerial spirit was about. Adaptable in creating a prosperity unimagined before. Calgary has been adept at this before, and I think still is.
    But these corporate oil entities now look like the fundalmentalist fanatics with wanting government funding, special deals etc, and asking for everything they rallied against just a few years ago.
    They’ve gone crazy.
    Suncor, and Husky are doing just fine. They said it is just market forces at play with the poorly thought out business strategies suffering.
    Ottawa is to bail these strategies out ??
    Where is the respect for competition?
    None, then.
    Alberta sure failed the “we’re independent” after kicking out Ottawa.
    We could have had a Norwegian style industry, and now they wouldn’t be broke.
    I notice Ottawa offered a loan to Alberrta so I think Ottawa is socially looking a way around this tar sand bog. Why doesn’t Alberta float a bond and sees who buys it?
    These politicians are trying to be socially correct rather than speak the truth everyone can see.
    To live in a bubble of some dimension seems to be their choice of engagement.
    All the best in watching this saga unfold.
    I’m not too proud to watch it.

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    • Unfortunately ,i dont think Canada had much of a choice towards the purchase of the pipeline.
      Kinder Morgan could have sued if the Courts ruled against expansion ( not to mention Burnabys obsfucation, Vancouvers obsfucation,, the NDP’s threats, on and on and on), ….and they would have won under an obscure Trade Agreement Law…. who’s name escapes me at this moment.

      Did Trudeau “blink” before the cards were laid on the table?
      Did Canada pay too much for a 70 year old OIL pipeline that needs complete replacement before handling High pressure, High temp, corrosive, Bitumen?
      Yes and Yes.
      Kinder Morgan walked away(ran away?) with a big fat multi BILLION dollar taxpayer funded cheque.
      Another win win for big business as the novice Prime Minister ( and the voting taxpayers) gets taken to school.

      And if we refuse to “allow” the tankers to sail through our waters?
      Cherry point in a mere 30 miles south of the 49th with more capacity to refine our “goo” than all of BC…..any then its either sent south to the US or overseas…….
      But all that is moot until the US(and canada) stops fracking….because Fracked oil is “cheaper” than Tar sands goo.
      Unless, of course, you “fractor” in the pollution of our water tables….everywhere, that will,…..eventually……come back to bite us ALL in the butt.

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      • I agree it was a mistake to buy Kinder Morgan’s pipeline, and I find it ridiculous to ship the bitumen in a 60 year old pipeline which needs replacement. Technically I’m just guessing here
        Ottawa could of paid a really cheap price for it if at all..
        The agreement you refer to is The Investor State Dispute resolution which was axed in the new trade deal replacing Nafta called CUSMA. It had cost Canada over $400 million in losses over the years.
        It was due to protesters continually objecting to this clause from the very beginning as it was seen as undermining our sovereignty which it was.
        The new trade deal was signed into effect after Nov.30 2018 so the mechanism ISDS was still in effect when they bought out Kinder Morgan. I notice Kinder Morgan stock is down -71% this year.
        We still use oil etc, and I may be too bold for my own good to suggest a new pipeline with a 50% greater capacity over the 60 year old one be built. The old one scrapped.
        Refine it, and utilize it differently than shipping it abroad.
        We are then independent from the crazy American oil cartel’s social views etc.
        What a peace of mind!

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  4. Canada pays $4.5 billion to acquire Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. The sum included millions in bonuses to corporate officers who convinced politicians that taxpayers should overpay for a 66 year old asset that no one wanted.

    Liberals said they would flip Trans Mountain to one of “numerous groups interested in purchasing the controversial project” but none have been willing to use their own money to do a deal. As usual, Liberals and truth are distant relations.

    Before March, 2017, Kinder Morgan said expansion of the pipeline would cost $6.8 billion. Then they said $7.4 billion. But in a 2018 proxy statemeent, KM put the price tag at $9.3 billion.

    In the National Observer, economist Robyn Allan wrote, “…the price tag for nationalizing the existing assets and building the expansion will cost Canadians upwards of $15 – $20 billion.”

    She also said, “Trans Mountain’s expansion was never commercially viable and Kinder Morgan knew it.”

    So did the governments of Canada and Alberta but they’re spending taxpayers’ money so it’s no big deal.

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  5. All these comments are based on economics and facts, it will not play well in Alberta. That is disturbing, as I lived in Alberta and really enjoyed the people there. Now, they some how think that WCS should be equal to WTI! With oil prices so low and no really increase insight, they think they can get a better price for WCS. As stated they ignore the market pressures and go on spouting the BS they are fed by politicians and oil companies. Thanks everyone for stating the facts. Good luck on it making a difference.

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  6. Mr. Adler appears to have missed a somewhat important 1982 event involving the
    Canadian Constitution.

    Prior to that event his canard equation may have had some legal (not moral) justification based solely on the BNA Act. We know who “the bastard children of Confederation” were under that enactment. Things changed in 1982, and the aboriginal rights now a part of the Constitution of Canada render his comments assailable.

    Biased media types are free to treat the supreme laws of Canada with irreverence to further their agenda.

    Judges are not.

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  7. it is interesting that the mavins of mediocrity continue to flog the pipeline affair as some sort of religious icon to their being.

    What is needed drastically is the ability to refine the bitumen here, in Canada, instead of exporting it elsewhere.

    Very soon, Canada will have to be self sufficient, because the forces of darkness are gathering off our boarders and Canada will have a stark choice, join the lawless thugs that pass for 21st century democracies or go it alone.

    I am for going it alone.

    Self sufficiency is needed and needed fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Instead of exporting BC natural gas as LNG to be burned elsewhere, why not use it here? It gets cold in BC in the winter.

    The alternative to heating with natural gas is electricity, and we know what is happening with hydro rates – up, up, up, every year, forever.

    Site C will cause hydro rates to rise even faster.

    We’re told that electrifying oil and gas developments will make them ‘green’. What a load of shite.

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    • Its hard to find out what the facts are as the players only show you the facts they want. However I certainly respect Robyn Allen take as the lastest figures show the cost to be 12 billion for the pipeline. And exactly what did they buy? Pipe, plans I suspect plus.
      I read an article about Husky in the Globe, and Mail January 19th that it did not buy the offshore owned MEG [Tar sands ]as its Board of Directors was against the deal. I quote “the integration of MEG bitumen ….would take nearly two years to catch up with the near full integration that Husky benefits from today”
      So this seems to mean it has no problem shipping its oil for a good price.It owns refineries. What Notley did by imposing cuts on production caused Husky to be highly critical of the move.
      Which I gather was raking in profits , and not suffering from the rate discount which has now dissappeared down to $5-$10. So it doesn’t seem they are leaving the tar sands. I’m not proud to stand corrected by any means. I hope this was interesting.

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  9. OFF TOPIC, however, we all used to read about B.C. Rail and some B.C. Bloggers wrote about it. While reading through a number of B.C. blogs today, I noticed on Gangster Out blog by Dennis Watson he was writing about one of the players who helped start all of this, one of those involved in the cocaine investigation which led to the raid on the Leg. in 2003. One of those was Jasmonhan Singh Bains. According to Watson, Bains was in court 9 Jan. 2019 and will be again 25 Jan. to set a date for an “application” the article doesn’t say what type of an application, just that it has something to do with the original cocaine case. Watson then refers readers to the article by Neal Hall in 2007 which outlines what happened to the various players in the cocaine case.

    What I find so interesting, is this raid took place in 2003 and its now 2019 and this drug guy is coming into court, 15 YEARS LATER?????

    when I thought of the cocaine investigation which led to a raid on the Leg. which led to Rail Gate and then in turn to a money laundering report and we find out a BILLION dollars may well have been laundered through our province. OMG, we truly are the most corrupt province in Canada. Quebec are just pikers compared to B.C. when it comes to corruption.

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    • Right on! Almost a decade ago I wrote that there should be a Charbonneau type inquiry to establish BC’s place as the most corrupt province in the Domain. We deserve to be recognized for our dishonesty! And since then it has got more flagrant and more corrupt.
      Please Mr. Horgan/Mr. Eby or whoever. Call for an Inquiry and establish our deserved place in the hierarchy of dishonour. We may now rate as the best/worst on the continent!

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      • I think why Horgan is so reluctant to call for an inquiry is that it will be almost certain it will involve Vision Vancouver and Vision Vancouver will involve the NDP.

        Geoff Meggs, the premier’s chief advisor, is so embroiled with a lot of Vision Vancouver questionable activities, that it may dampen any future provincial or federal aspirations.

        Meggs is isolating Eby for that very reason as Eby’s reelection chances will be slim at best.

        It is so sad that Horgan and the NDP did not learn from the 2001 thumping at the polls and carry on like nothing untoward happened.

        As the NDP face defeat, the liberal party, for many voters with extremely narrow views, will again rule the roost.

        Now if horgan calls an inquiry………………

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think so too. The inflation of housing prices has a lot to do with money laundering through the casinos. They don’t seem to be able to prosecute, and address the crisis in housing this way! A low bar here on what politics sets for our intelligence capability.

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  10. Its hilarious to think that no one has thought that if Ms. Notley can cap the export of oil from Alberta, BC also can cap any futher expansion of oil exports from the BC coast.
    Remove the incentive for any expansion of oil exports , and the pipeline issue becomes a mute point.

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