Canada approves controversial Kinder Morgan oil pipeline – The Guardian

Well, Trudeau split the baby. The Northern Tier Gateway project, which would have gone through the  rain forest and imperiled the northern coast of B.C. will not be built. However, the Kinder Morgan pipeline to shipping facilities in Vancouver will. This raises the stakes for oil spills dramatically in the Straits. Trudeau did put millions of new dollars into updating the oil spill response network, which had been decimated by 12 years of Steven Harper’s do nothing government. While environmentalists are furious about this decision, we need to weigh the fact that the Strait already has one of the best vessel management systems in the world, and we work very cooperatively with Canada. With a much larger Canadian presence (the U.S. has had to bring the lion’s share of funding up to now) I feel we can be somewhat assured that it’s less likely than it could be to get a major spill. But this bitumen oil is far worse to clean up. With all the terrible environmental news in the U.S. from the election, we’ll just have to take this as a best of the worse case scenarios. We are going to have our hands full fighting the Trump administration’s policies, or lack of them.  We knew that Canada wasn’t going to leave it’s oil in the ground, as much as we would like them to, and the pipelines are marginally better than rail.

Canada has approved Kinder Morgan Inc’s hotly contested plan to twin a pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, setting up a battle with environmentalists who helped elect the prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

The Liberal government, seeking to balance demands from both greens and the energy industry, said allowing Kinder Morgan to build a second pipeline next to its existing Trans Mountain line will help ensure oil exports reach Asia and reduce reliance on the US market.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/29/canada-approves-kinder-morgan-oil-pipeline-justin-trudeau

B.C. government’s lack of progress on oil spill response highlighted by tug accident- Globe & Mail

Just to the north of us, they are still struggling with the lack of resources that the Harper Government dedicated to oil spill prevention, along with the removal of Coast Guard stations. Doesn’t bode well for increased tanker traffic from Vancouver, as is planned.  BC Premier Christy Clark has, for years, done virtually nothing to fix the situation, while blaming Ottawa for a lack of funds. All the while BC profits from the shipping of the oil, the dock traffic, and jobs associated with the industry. And she still is blaming this on Ottawa.

In 2012 the B.C. government set out five conditions that must be met before the province supports two proposed pipelines that would greatly increase tanker traffic on the West Coast. No.2 on that list is the establishment of a “world-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery system.” Last week the lack of progress on that point was underlined in dramatic fashion when U.S.-registered tug Nathan E. Stewart ran aground while pushing a huge fuel barge in a narrow passage just north of Bella Bella. Fortunately for the Great Bear Rainforest and the Heiltsuk people who live there, barge DBL 55 was empty. But an incident report filed in 2011 by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation gives a sense of how bad the accident could have been, had the 91-metre fuel barge been loaded. On Dec. 21 that year, the same tug and barge combination went adrift after an engine failed near Cape Fairweather, in the Gulf of Alaska. Mark Hume reports. (Globe and Mail)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-governments-lack-of-progress-on-oil-spill-response-highlighted-by-tug-accident/article32385299/

See also: Diesel spill near Bella Bella an ‘environmental disaster,’ says nearby First Nationhttp://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/clean-up-continues-after-tug-sinks-near-bella-bella-1.3808493 (CBC)

Ottawa won’t appeal court decision blocking Northern Gateway pipeline

We get a bit of an opportunity to continue to plan to better protect the Strait and our shores from the onslaught of tankers from the proposed and now dead Northern Gateway project in Canada. But I’m sure that there will be more opportunities to fight this and other proposed pipelines. In the meantime, little is being done to wean Canadians or the Chinese  off petroleum, so the demand is still there. And if we make the mistake of electing Trump, we will get pipelines everywhere. He has claimed he wants to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency for starters.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr won’t appeal a recent court decision that overturned the former Harper government’s approval of the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project. Earlier Tuesday, Northern Gateway also said it wouldn’t pursue an appeal…. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled in June that the federal government had not adequately consulted with Indigenous peoples who will be affected by the project, which is backed by the energy company Enbridge, and which would stretch from outside Edmonton to Kitimat, B.C. John Paul Tasker and Chris Hallreport. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/enbridge-northern-gateway-federal-court-1.3770543

See also: Feds won’t appeal Northern Gateway court ruling, but still open to pipeline: Enbridge exec http://vancouversun.com/business/energy/federal-government-wont-appeal-court-ruling-against-northern-gateway-pipeline Peter O’Neil reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Major oil spill response improvements planned for B.C. -CBC

Good news from our friends up north. A very positive step from the Trudeau government after years of neglect by the Harper regime.

The organization responsible for cleaning up oil spills around Vancouver and B.C.’s South Coast has plans for major improvements to its facilities and spill response times — but the $200 million upgrades come with a catch: they won’t go ahead if the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project isn’t approved. Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) currently has about 17 vessels ready for duty around Vancouver’s harbour. The proposed upgrades include a new $10-million spill response base a little west of the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge in Burrard Inlet.  Rafferty Baker reports. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/wcmrc-oil-spill-response-improvements-planned-1.3750572

DFO shutting down all salmon sports fishing on Lower Fraser to protect sockeye – Vancouver Sun

More bad news for salmon and salmon lovers.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has taken the extraordinary measure of shutting down all sports salmon fishing on the Lower Fraser River because of a lower-than-anticipated return of sockeye. The closure of all recreational fishing for salmon — including Chinook and possibly Chum when they arrive later in the year — is taking place so that sockeye aren’t inadvertently caught while other salmon species are being fished. Anglers can still fish for trout, steelhead and sturgeon. The closure was to go into effect one hour after sunset Thursday until further notice. It covers the mouth of the Fraser River to the Alexandra Bridge south of Hell’s Gate in the Interior, a stretch of about 200 kilometres of river. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

No more salmon sports fishing on the lower Fraser River, DFO says

‘Grim’ Fraser River salmon runs even worse than forecast -Canadian Press

The neglect of the Fraser runs under the Harper Regime was legendary. Then global warming. Now this.

This year’s Fraser River sockeye return, already forecast to be below average, has turned out to be even worse. One First Nation leader described the return as going from poor to grim. The forecast run this year — which has traditionally been one of the low-run years in the four-year cycle of sockeye — was 2.27 million. That was already below the average of the past half century of 3.9 million. The latest estimates from test fisheries and through sonar counts show that only about half of the expected sockeye had returned by last Friday: 400,000 to 500,000 of the anticipated 840,000, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission, a Canadian-American agency that helps manage fisheries. The peak of the remaining summer sockeye run is expected about mid-month, but there is little expectation that the numbers will change, said Pacific Salmon Commission executive secretary John Field. Gordon Hoekstra reports. (Vancouver Sun)

'Grim' Fraser River salmon runs even worse than forecast

See also: Federal government expected to act on 2012 report examining Fraser River sockeye http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/federal-government-expected-to-act-on-2012-report-examining-fraser-river-sockeye (Canadian Press)

Alexandra Morton launches Operation Virus Hunters with Sea Shepherd

From Alexandra Morton:
In a stunning development Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd offered me a ship and crew to further my work protect wild salmon from salmon farms!

The launch of Operation Virus Hunter begins today with a press conference with First Nation leaders, Pamela Anderson and David Suzuki.

If you want to follow this voyage I have created a website to allow you to keep track of us and most importantly for you to help!

I don’t think the Liberal government is being properly briefed on the impact of this dirty industry and so I set sail on the Martin Sheen on a research and public awareness mission.  This will be a peaceful journey, no harassment of the workers, no disruption of the daily operations of the farms, but we will be taking a close look at these farms.  They thrive on secrecy, however they are using public waters…

Here is the web link: http://www.voyageforsalmon.ca

If you see the ship go by please photo and share.  This is our chance to speak to the world about the destruction of one of earths rare places that still makes clean water and food.

Gilakas’la,

Alexandra Morton, Gwayum’dzi

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