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The Fight Against Oil Exploration Continues


With Canada’s Federal Government planning to make our country an “energy superpower” by expanding oil and gas exploration all over the country, there are a lot of places where conflicts between energy projects and their opponents are possible.  Yesterday, an announcement was made by the Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition stating that the Assembly of First Nations and the CSN (one of the largest trade unions in Québec) were both asking for a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf.  The Assembly of First Nations and the CSN have added their voice to dozen of organizations and over 3000 individuals calling for the moratorium.

And in western Canada, after having to deal w ith the delay of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Federal Government had planned to turn it’s attention to the “Northern Gateway”, a pipeline that would run west from the Tar Sands to the northern coast of BC.  This pipeline poses many environmental risks.  The waters along the northern coast of BC are difficult to navigate increasing the risk of a tanker spill.  It goes through sensitive ecosystems in Alberta and BC.  It goes through the Rockies mountain range where landslides and avalanches risk rupturing the pipeline and where repairs to a damaged pipeline (and the associated clean up) would be very difficult.  And, last but not least, 60 aboriginal groups from BC have “created a united front banning all exports of Tar Sands crude oil through their territories”. (See the picture below)

Northern Gateway and First Nations Peoples.  Photo:

Northern Gateway and First Nations Peoples. Photo:

Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik’uz First Nation stated “We have banned oil pipelines and tankers using our laws, and we will defend our decision using all the means at our disposal.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much to our Prime Minister and our energy minister.  But, it’s another blow against the Tar Sands and against the ridiculous idea of making Canada a (dirty) “energy superpower”, an idea that does little to improve Canada’s energy security (we export all of the Tar Sands oil) puts countless natural ecosystems at risk and takes the focus away from our badly needed transition to renewable energy.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel Plourde permalink
    2011/12/10 1:48 pm

    When we combine this with the knowledge that the Energy Minister has refused to signed Kyoto while promissing to embark on a new round of talks for a new accord, one that they could break again if they cannot exploit the tar sand, proceed with hydraulic fracturing where they petrolium conglomerat can make still more money and combine with the federal announcement yesterday that they would reduce the environmental assessment to its minimum to permit future developments (by the way, could someone tell me then if we aready know that we are to develop those projects why are we bothering in making environmental assessment anyway), it scares me. Is this just greed or plain stupidity, I do not know…

    • 2011/12/11 4:33 pm

      I’d say a combination of the two! Our Federal Government wants to appear to take the environmental impacts of these projects into consideration. But, like you said, they already know that they want these projects to go ahead. It seems like the only way any oil and gas project will be stopped is if enough people protest.

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