Thursday, June 8, 2017


Pipeline News

Pipeline Has "Social Licence" to Proceed

Strahl's motion to back Kinder Morgan passed by the House of Commons

Staff/Voice file photos


n Tuesday, Mark Strahl, Conservative Party MP for Chilliwack-Hope, had his motion to proceed with the contentious Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project ratified with magnanimous support in the House of Commonsby a margin of 251 for, and 52 against the project that would see oil pumped through the Lower Mainland to the company's Burnaby Mountain processing plant, before sending it to waiting oil freighters at harbour terminals. His seconder on the motion was Gerry Ritz, MP Battleford-Lloydminster.


"David Ellis, a vociferous opponent of the pipeline, told The Voice early Thursday that there is still a opportunity to halt the project.


"The oil lobby is huge and does reach deep into the government, but is still quite stoppable," he wrote.


Former radio talk show host, Rafe Mair, another fiery long-time opponent of the Trans Mountain expansion project, said in an e-mail Wednesday that it's difficult to get corporate media on the side of the anti pipeline movement.


MP Mark Strahl speaks at Yarow Days in 2012. Rafe Mair speaks out against Kinder Morgan's plan in a public forum at Evergreen Hall in 2014. Below, Mair speaks in Harrison.


"We need an op-ed, but who will the bastards print?" wrote Mair Wednesday. "No one that doesn't conform to their highly self-serving grew of Canada. Maybe a subscription cancellation bee would help."


Mair was one of those shaking their fists three years ago to a full house at Evergreen Hall when the company informed local resident of their plan and was looking for feedback. They certainly got feedback lots of it.


The much-maligned Kinder Morgan pipeline which has tens of thousands of clicks  against the project was one of the election platforms of NDP leader John Horgan.


In an item on The Voice last week, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, vowed to stop the project indicating there were 19 lawsuits against the Trans Mountain expansion referring to oil executives as "reckless cowboys"


The House of Commons speaker noted in the Hansards that MPs were guided by the following principals:


 (a) has social license to proceed; (b) is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs; (c) is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized and accepted by the National Energy Board; (d) is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation; and (e) should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.


According to Phillip, Kinder Morgan is getting ready to offer company shares in an effort to raise $1.75 billion


Last month, Rex Murphy noted  in a National Post commentary the term "social licence" was elastic.


"Social licence is one of those phrases, like cultural appropriation, or  a while back  civil society, that just seem to pop into lexical existence, almost out of nowhere, and instantly take on the authority of unchallenged and long-accepted concepts," wrote Murphy in a National Post commentary recently.


If the provincial NDP is true to form in stopping the pipeline, then the onus clearly rests on the shoulders of Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.



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