Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The Real Agenda

Local pipeline protests have little to do with the environment

Staff/Voice photo


Pipe-Up pipeline protestors Michael Hale (C) and Sheila Muxlow (R) along with Otis Jasper (not shown) and others from the Pipe Up group chat with Patti MacAhonic at her nomination announcement Monday.


n Monday, while NDP candidate Patti MacAhonic was announcing her nomination for the the Chilliwack riding at a press conference, Michael Hale, Sheila Muxlow and Soowahlie Chief Otis Jasper, took over their own table and sat there with day planners out.


Were they there to support MacAhonic who isn't even nominated yet, or were they there for their own cause?

With the Idle No More protests going on, Jasper's presence made it obvious what they were up to. But why they would hijack a political announcement with their own agenda and crash  MacAhonic's party is hard to fathom. Remember this was a press conference, and MacAhonic isn't a candidate yet.

A couple of months ago, The Voice gave Pipe Up coverage they didn't like about using children as corporate shields and props to hold their signage.

Several protestors wrote slamming The Voice across the board. Some called on the phone. It didn't matter at all that we have given them much favourable coverage in the past. Apparently, these people are entitled to their own opinion, but not anyone else.

Even Sto:lo Cultural Advisor Eddie Gardner, who is a staple at every protest from fish to forests, jumped in feet first and lectured The Voice like a bad schoolboy.

Let's set the record straight here. Hale has this pipeline running through his property, so it's obvious why he helped create the anti-pipeline movement. Ditto for the Muxlow family who also have had property up for rezoning applications at City Hall.

In a subsequent item about pipelines, The Voice pointed out there are more train derailments than there are oil pipeline leaks, and that by trying to help, protestors may just be making it worse. This is because oil transportation companiesówho already ship crude oil, not bitumen via trainówill increase the amount they transport by rail if they don't have a pipeline.

When asked, Sto:lo Grand Chief Ken Malloway agreed that shipping by rail is a more environmentally dangerous way to transport crude.

Imagine the state of the fishery if one of these trains went off the rails anywhere along the Fraser. This wouldn't just be a localized pipeline leak that can be mopped up. This would be far more catastrophic and affect a much larger area. We don't need rocket scientists to tell us that when opting for the lesser of two evils, pipelines are the safer way to go.

A global machine lurks on the other side of their cardboard signs, so it's doubtful protestors can put a stop to these pipelines in the way that they want.

As myopic planet saviours go, they certainly don't think twice about getting in their cars and driving to protests, or jumping a jet plane for Hawaii.

Their first mistake is assuming the public are stupid and can't see their motives. The second was being selfish and obtrusive at the MacAhonic press conference in order to perpetuate their cause.

Creating an anti-pipeline movement, and enlisting people for selective opposition, only furthers their own personal agendas. And they think they're doing us all a favour.

You can't blame them for not wanting a dig the size of the Vedder canal through their property, nor will the Hales or the Muxlows glom any royalties, those go to the community. But really, when looking at the big picture, it's such a small price to pay for doing the right thing.


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