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Monday, February 04, 2013 by Emma Gilchrist

Community hearings are a wrap! Now what?

Community hearings are a wrap! Now what?

The final tally of speakers from all 16 community hearings on Enbridge's proposed oil tanker and pipeline project to B.C.'s coast.

They held community hearings in 16 different towns and cities across British Columbia. They listened to presentations from everyday British Columbians for hour after hour, day after day. And when they wrapped up the community hearings in Vancouver on Friday, the three-person National Energy Board panel had heard from 1,159 speakers opposed to Enbridge’s proposal to bring an oil pipeline and tankers to B.C.’s coast and from just two in favour.

The presenters had to register 15 months ago and schedule three months before their 10-minute slots rolled around. For their efforts, they got to partake in the largest public hearings in National Energy Board history.

The people who spoke in opposition to the project ran the gamut, from a retired commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and the former CEO of BC Hydro to an Anglican reverend and several coast-guard trained oil spill experts. (Read more of their testimony.) There were high school students, university professors, people who work B.C.’s tourism industry, realtors and a former riding president for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Who were those two people who spoke in favour? One was former Liberal MLA for Bulkley Valley-Stikine, Dennis McKay, and the other was former mayor of Port Hardy Russ Helberg.

All roads lead back to politics

Many speakers noted that since Prime Minister Stephen Harper changed the law last year so he can overrule the joint review panel, they worried they were wasting their breath. Indeed, at this point, the joint review panel will not be making the final decision.

This is going to be a political decision whether we like it or not — now it’s just a matter of whether we allow Ottawa to make this decision for us or if we elect a B.C. government on May 14 that will stand up for our coast.

With that in mind, we crunched some numbers recently, taking a close look at the provincial ridings that were won by less than 10 per cent in the last election. We discovered (happily) that there are currently more No Tankers supporters than the margin of victory living in 16 of 24 of those ridings.

The big question is: are British Columbians going to get out and vote on this issue in May’s provincial election? Of course, we think the answer is yes.

To demonstrate what the No Tankers movement is capable of we partnered with Forest Ethics on Saturday to host an event called Knock the Vote. Nearly 100 volunteers turned out for a strategic canvass blitz in the riding of Vancouver-Fairview, which was won by just 1,063 votes in the 2009 provincial election.

More than 3,200 voters in Vancouver-Fairview had already signed the No Tankers petition. On Saturday, volunteers had face-to-face conversations with hundreds more voters about their candidates’ positions and collected an additional 543 signatures on the petition.

Events like these will be happening all over the province in the run-up to the provincial election and have already happened twice in Campbell River, once in Burnaby and once in Victoria — where Times Colonist columnist Jack Knox described Knock the Vote as being carried out with "a military precision that would have made Rommel weak in the lederhosen."

If you’d like to be involved on the front lines in the run-up to the election, check out our Find Leaders journey which provides all the tools and resources you need to pressure your MLA in the most effective ways possible.

Together, we’re going to make protecting B.C.’s coast from the threat of oil spills one of the top voting issues in May’s election.

David W Glavin says:
Feb 15, 2013 05:46 PM

The Arrogant PC Government in Ottawa are all out to Lunch plain and simple. Thank you
David W Glavin
Burnaby BC

Earl Richards says:
Feb 15, 2013 06:49 PM

Stephen Harper is Canada's George Bush. Remember the Exxon Valdez.

Dave Cursons. Cawston BC says:
Feb 15, 2013 07:21 PM

"... elect a B.C. government on May 14 that will stand up for our coast."
Right on Emma.
I've given my oral submission to the JR panel and now I can't wait to vote Green.

DonR says:
Feb 15, 2013 07:24 PM

Talking with a former Alberta MLA, His advice - "think like you are 10% "behind" until after the election. That way you keep working hard."

Odette Morin says:
Feb 15, 2013 08:09 PM

I am with you a 100 %. I even wrote and article in my local newspaper it was called : Des pipelines et des hommes. It's In french because I am french and living in Québec, but let me tell you that there is a lot of peaple down here that encourage you to fight the industry that is going to kill the hearth.

Roger Taylor says:
Feb 15, 2013 08:11 PM

I am an avid birdwatcher. We marvel at the annual herring spawn along the Salish Sea coast and the enormous numbers of birds and mammals that come our way to feed. This phenomenon depends critically on the eel grass beds that are found along the coast from Nanoose Bay to Comox. Any oil spill threatening those beds would be horrendous. I have also participated in pelgic birding trips off the west coast of Vancouver Island. The ocean is teeming with life out there with masses of birds and mammals. I have seen huge feeding frenzies out there where massive numbers of krill attract in humpback whales and huge numbers of herring which in turn bring in very very large numbers of shearwaters, gulls and albatross, yes albatross. An oil spill out there just makes me sick to think about. And tankers from Kitimat will be going through very dangerous waters. Any argument that says that they will be built to handle those waters belongs with those that said the Titanic was unsinkable.

Sally Abraham says:
Feb 15, 2013 09:05 PM

We will not tolerate oil tankers in our waters. No Way!

geoff fenton says:
Feb 15, 2013 09:13 PM

And the question is - what "party" - The Liberals have shown they play ball with the conservatives & Adrian Dix says he's in favor of a fracking
pipeline - shipping oil to you know where - so where, oh where will we go?

passive says:
Feb 16, 2013 01:49 AM

What is all the hoppla all about. Evil follower Stephen Harper has already signed the go ahead for the pipeline. It's set to go already, we are too late. We might lose to big money. Greed will prevail nothing we can do. Harper has already been bought.

Priscilla says:
Feb 20, 2013 07:15 PM

Now this is exactly what we don't need, nothing will ever change if people just gave in to the government all the time, this is the time to take our stand!!

Chris Armstrong X-cons says:
Feb 16, 2013 02:17 AM

SUPERB JOB with BRITISH COLUMBIA versus Enbridge! (North America's WORST, most incompetent pipeliner by far; and, for the Kalamazoo River disaster, alone, whose Senior Executives should be serving long term jail terms, in my opinion).

cindy randall says:
Feb 16, 2013 08:22 AM

Its about time the common person speaks up about big oil and how it will negatively impact the coast.

Patricia Kirk says:
Feb 16, 2013 12:33 PM

I will be directly supporting the Greens in my Esquimalt Riding. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous says:
Feb 16, 2013 10:50 PM

I would like to see all canadians who care about their provinces, wildlife, ecosystems, rivers, lakes, streams, etc. come together and stand up against the pipeline. harper seems to have really messed up, once again, the First Nations and their requests for fairness and accountability from the govt. he seems to give money to every country that cries out for help but ignores those in need in his own country. now is the time for idle no more to use this movement to include a fight against enbridge. we absolutely must stand for what is right in this country. our migratory birds, flora and all the fauna that bc is known for. what a wonderful thing it would be to stand shoulder to shoulder, united, to crush the evilness of enbridge and the tyranny of harper.

maurice pittet says:
Feb 17, 2013 05:31 AM

We can't trade a our children's and future generation's natural heritage for a few coins especially on a pipeline route that is replete with long term environmental pitfalls and a corporation with a questionable track record.

Sheena Vennesland says:
Feb 17, 2013 10:51 AM

May 14th will be a moment of truth. Will the people of B.C. come out to vote and will they place their vote in favour of long-term protection of our environment. I am not confident.

David E.H. Smith says:
Feb 17, 2013 01:32 PM

Ms. Emma Gilchrist, readers of Dogwood Initiative, et al;

Regarding the your statement:

"This is going to be a political decision whether we like it or not...",

if you are interested in how to impact the participants that are
controlling "your" political process instead of ignoring the control
that these participants are having on you & the most vulnerable
Canadians, et al, by way of their representatives that they select
for your "considered" vote,
then, perhaps you & your readers might consider reading a letter
that I wrote to the Member of Parliament that is living in my area.

Would you mind letting me know if you understand the significance
1) asking the aforementioned MP for information & answers, as
opposed to "responses", rather, that giving her a, &/or, my conclusion,
a, &/or, my belief, an, &/or, my opinion, an, &/or, my assumptions, et al, and then, asking her
what "she" may think (ie. "believe")?
2) asking the MP in the presence of her party's executive (party president)
who deals with the lobbyists who, the lobbyists, is paid to represents
his clients interests by influencing the parties whose members in parliament
can read the influenced; policies, proposed laws, initiatives, "economic"
development programs, budgets, spending, et al, to the constituents, ie. the voters; you?
That is to say; quite often "watch dog" organizations deliberately encourage
voters to ask "their" Members of Parliament questions that they, the MPs, do not know
the answers to & thereby, some influenced "watch dogs" encourage the voters to ask questions
where the MPs can only begin "responding" by saying "We believe...",
which previously a vast majority of voters have been satisfied with... &
the MPs continue their "believable" role because the voter did not ask the
right person, the party executives, the right questions where the party
president knows the answer to the questions, ie. he does not have use
the expression "I believe", or, try to convince the voters of "his" beliefs.
Therefore, do you understand why it is very important (& more productive)
to address your questions to "your" Member of Parliament in the presence
of his/her party president & executives, or, are you more interested in
using a forum for spreading your "beliefs"?
Please see; the questions to "my" Member of Parliament & "my" party president
(& "my" executives, staff, researchers, lobbyists, et al) below.

For more questions that are based upon information that I have researching
regarding the Enbridge Company's, the "coveted" foreign investor, et al, & other
"democratic" balances to the global economy of the lobbyists' clients,
you can view on line the submission entitled:

"Towards a More Informed Opinion regarding the Environmental Impact & Context of the NGP (Pipeline), et al" (Researched & Submitted by D.E.H.S., July 24, 2012 to the Enbridge Co.'s NGP Joint Review Panel) that contains, amongst other things, The W.A.D. Accord.

The submission can be accessed via the Internet by contacting:

Ms. Colette Spagnuolo,

Process Advisor, Northern Gateway Project

(22nd Floor, 160 Elgin St. Ottawa ON K1A 0H3)

regarding: ... r-eng.html

Public Registry; File #A43076

All letters of comment are under "F". This comment is available

under the subfolder "S".

Further questions?;

If you have any difficulty accessing the information regarding The WAD Accord (& the basis for "hefty" The Compensation) that is embodied in the aforementioned submission, then let me know and I will see what I can do to provide it to you.

David E.H. Smith,

2173 Bradford Ave.,

Sidney, B.C.

V8L 2C8

Aug.XX, 2012

The Honorable Elizabeth May, MP &

Ms. Emily McMillan, Executive Director

of the Green Party,

Constituency Office,

1 - 9711 Fourth St.,

Sidney, B.C.

V8L 2V8

Re; Accessing Information; The W.A.D. Accord, Alleged Foreigner

Influence, Anti-NGP Foreigners, et al.

Ms. May;

In response to a letter that I sent to you a couple of months ago, I

received a letter from one of your staff dated July31, 2012.Your

staff's response seems to indicate a little confusion as to what your

understanding is of what I am asking you. Let me make it clearer

by asking; would it be fair to say that your answer to

the question "Have you read The W.A. D. Accord?" is:

"Yes" ___ , or, "No"X .

Similarly, do you know who might have a copy of The Accord that can share it

with you?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

I have a copy of one of the simpler & less comprehensive versions

of The Accord. As I have been lead to believe that the traditional political

parties have more comprehensive versions of The Accord, I have been trying to

get a copy of their comprehensive versions. The traditional parties'"responses"

do not confirm whether they have the comprehensive versions, or, not.

As you are the Member of Parliament in the constituency that I live in,

I would ask you; would you mind asking Conservative party; its Members of

Parliament & its party executives, if they have copies of versions of The W.A.D.

Accord that list 2 (two) items in the criteria that is embodied in The Accord?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Similarly, would you mind asking the aforementioned Conservatives if they have

copies of versions of The W.A.D. Accord that list 3 (three), &/or, more items in

the criteria that is embodied in The Accord?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Would you mind asking the aforementioned Conservatives to send to you copies

of the aforementioned versions of The Accord which I can then obtain from you?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

As I mentioned, Ms. May, I do have a copy of an less comprehensive

version of The Accord. Let's see how you make out getting the

aforementioned information from the Conservatives before we discuss

your interest, if any, in the information & the questions in The


The second point that I'd like to resolve is; I have ask you twice about Mr. Fadden's

(CSIS) comment about foreign governments, &/or, organizations that he has

alleged to be trying to bend the ears of Canadian politicians; ie. foreigners who

are trying to influence some Canadian politicians.

Do you know which foreigners that Mr. Fadden is referring to?

Is there a problem for you in answering this question?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Would you mind asking the aforementioned Conservatives & Mr. Fadden, which

foreign organizations, other than those answering to organizations based in China,

is Mr. Fadden is referring to?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Would you mind also asking the aforementioned Conservatives & Mr.Fadden, which

foreign organizations have copies The W.A.D. Accord?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Would you mind also asking the aforementioned Conservatives & Mr. Fadden, which

versions of The Accord do these foreign organizations have?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Would you mind also asking the aforementioned Conservatives & Mr. Fadden, what

are the various different ways that the information in The Accord can be used to

provide the basis for an arrangement, as opposed to a legally binding treaty &/or,

contract, between a foreign organization & the executives of the Conservative party,

et al, such as; the approval of the Embridge Co.'s Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal

that would be a favourable outcome for, amongst others, the foreign organization, in

exchange for a consideration, &/or, future considerations for the Conservative members of parliament,

&/or, the Conservative party, et al?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

And, finally, would you mind also asking the aforementioned Conservatives& Mr. Fadden,

what are the various different ways that the information in The Accord can be used by

foreign organizations to leverage, &/or, coerce the government of Canada, et al, to

approve the Northern Gateway Pipeline, et al?

By way way of closing, Ms. May, I think that you may agree that as a matter of due

diligence, it's important that all of the participants in a project (including the most

vulnerable Canadians & all of the Members of Parliament), such as the Northern

Gateway Pipeline project obtain, share & discuss in a safe, open forum all of the

same information & alternatives, etc.?

Do you agree?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Incidentally, Ms. May, as The WAD Accord deals with, amongst other things, the

deprivation of information & its effects, I wonder if you understand the importance &

significance of this element of The Accord, et al?

Do you understand the problems that are created by negotiating deals where not all

of the parties are given equal access to the relevant information?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

Do you understand that the deprivation of information can, &/or, does render a party

to an agreement, &/or, an arrangement "vulnerable" &/or, "disadvantaged"?

Yes___ , or, No___ .

I sincerely hope that the above will, amongst other things, minimize any of the

aforementioned confusion regarding the "answers" that I am asking you for as

opposed to the "confusing", "diversionary responses" (are these what you would

call "talking points"?) that seems to satisfy your staff.


Ms. May, I would like to remind you that it would be beneficial to

receive your answers to the above questions "well" before

the deadline for submissions to the Joint Review Panel for the

Embridge Co.'s Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal; ie. August 31,

2012. If you can not get the answers to me prior to the deadline,

please Ms. May, just do the best that you can.

David E.H. Smith

- Researcher

- "Qui tam..."

James Forest says:
Mar 25, 2013 01:20 AM

Attn David, your letter to Elizabeth May is very intelligent, though it is intense and legally savvy, in respect to the material that you cover.

yes, Ms. May, and her fellow MP,s should be asked if they have read the Accord. Just as it is important to ask them if they have read they latest TILMA agreement

or whatever its called now - because the process has by and large been conducted behind closed doors.

One thing that is noteworthy, especially in view of the recent coverage in the Alt press regarding the Magna Carta, and constitutional renewal as it relates to the

Habeus Corpus Writ and the Presumption of Innocence, in the media recently the Queen of England and the Commonwealth, has issued a new charter - supporting human rights

One of the key things that Canadians must understand is that with TILMA--- because its chapter 11, unless this clause and content of t ha changed??? this

chapter 11, no not the bankruptcy-legislation in the us, different chapter 11- supercedes any and all Canadian legislation...leaving us without Constitutional

protection, though it hasn't been tested in a Civil liberties sense, there are certainly many foreign companys taking advantage of the right to sue Canadian

Companies in competition suits when their own companys enjoy the protection of municipal, state and federal protection

see -

The Liberals promised via the red Book back in the 90s to change that, but they reneged...

anyways i digress...the fact of the matter is could she find time to even be briefed on a document with that much scope...fact is, that she probably should

be, but isn't the problem systemic?

the problem is that there are too many complex agreements, with no coherent navigation, if there was some way to streamline the process...????

However I am not making excuses, if they run for the it seems like the system is rigged ---in that there are so many issues, just the environmental

issues, imagine if we expected Liz May to read all these agreements, she would be reading all day, and I don't know when she would get anything done, so in a

way MPs are forced to cherrypick and have people brief her, but how does one guarantee there briefs are accurate, I guess you pay for that...then it comes

down to funding politicans with lawyers

this is probably more effective than protesting, the actions seem more focused these days

check out divestment strategies via

huge legal agreements are a systemic problem

I propose more simple agreements with attendant "legal agreement document navigation maps"

so more simple agreements

with these maps, so Joe Blow and Jane doe, and Liz can read the significant agreements

and issue coherent statements, and take some kind of action

though a single, or 5 green MPs does nothing, except if this dogwood initiative is legitimate

where is the legal agreement that manages this initiative?

where is the legal agreement that legally binds the, legally defined action, of what the dogwood initiative is going to do...

the ideas are good, no coal, no pipelines, but what exactly is this organization pledging to do?

is there a legal mission statement, with an outline of action items

and possilbe pre-election strategy, having candidates sign legal agreements that say they will say

block all pipeline legislation

in your mission statement, you say you will apply pressure...that is a bit "loosey goosey"

I am more interested in how we can raise money to hire lawyers, and understand where we are, where are we, from what I see here...everything is still proceeding

I am not about to put effort into another movement, without a legal definition of what you'll do, and promise, legally

Your ideas are good, but where is the legal agreement?

Laurie McLaughlin says:
Feb 17, 2013 08:58 PM

So many committed citizens, from all walks of life. The Harpercons will have to listen/get the message someday, but they've tried their best to portray those who think of the future as 'eco-terrorists'.

Frances Dietz says:
Feb 19, 2013 04:33 PM

I do believe that the MORE clout (including provincial government) that we citizens of BC can have on our side, regarding NO Pipelines, NO Tankers, etc. the BETTER!!! However, in my estimation, WE the citizens of BC have got to believe as well, that WE can be more powerful than any government or corporation, and that WE can have victory over anything if WE are a majority and are willing to stand up for our rights.

Governments come and go, and more than one party might be 'on the same platform' for something, effectively splitting the vote - which in a case like this might not be so good. So although I think it is really worthwhile to have this 'Oil' situation an election issue, especially for the sake of MORE publicity, I am already seeing our victory, no matter who 'wins' the BC election. There's always going to be other problems which need to be dealt with - like fracking and coal exports and ...

Priscilla says:
Feb 20, 2013 07:17 PM

We need to somehow get across to others that are concerned and vote for one party!! So strong liberal leaders don't beat us out by the big corporations all voting them back in and our votes are divided, united we should stand.

Casey Berlanda says:
Feb 25, 2013 12:39 AM

The following is a copy of what I handed out at the Kelowna Meeting of the pipeline panel. I would like to add that I have since been informed that the language of the agreement between BC and the National Energy Board re pipeline approval allows BC - upon due notice by a new government - to back out and block the pipeline.

Enbridge’s Proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline

With regard to the upcoming Joint Review Panel meeting in Kelowna it is important that British Columbians be made aware of the following:

Transport Canada’s and Enbridge’s TV messages are telling us that oil tanker traffic out of Kitimat will be safe, since the company has committed to various safeguards, such as escort and tethered tugs, enhanced coastal radar systems and independent BC pilots.

Mr. Gerald Graham, a Victoria based marine consultant involved in BC oil-spill issues for over 25 years, in his submission to the Joint Review Panel, said that calculations based on Enbridge’s own research show that there is a 8.7 to 14.1 percent chance of at least one tanker spill greater than 31,500 barrels over a 50-year period, depending on whether the pipeline has a 525,000 or 850,000 barrels per day capacity and that the ‘marine component’ of the project ‘is not in fact safe‘, the risks of a tanker spill are ‘simply too great’ for the project to proceed due to the isolated coastline, lack of infrastructure, powerful storms and of what the TV messages are not telling us - that Enbridge’s responsibility for an oil spill ends when the tankers leave port. It is the carrier of the oil - the tanker owner, not Enbridge - who will be responsible for oil-spill cleanup operations and associated costs.

Since these tankers will not be owned by Enbridge, but are likely to sail under a foreign, low cost ‘flag of convenience‘, it is safe to assume that funds will not be available to clean up any spill, leaving it up to us British Columbians to clean up any mess.

Terry Lake, the BC Minister of Environment, tells us that, when asked about liability insurance, Enbridge came up with an estimate of $60 million. Very interesting indeed in view of the fact that it cost $767million to clean up the Kalamazoo River in Michigan following the 2010 877,000 US gallons Enbridge heavy oil spill!

We have been informed that the BC government does not even have a veto - which is hard to comprehend! Instead, it can only apply for intervener status that would allow it to view documents and make submissions to the Joint Review Panel, but gives it no authority to approve or deny the Northern Gateway Pipelines project. The issues that will make or break this project will fall mostly under federal jurisdiction. An omnibus bill passed by the parliament has given Mr. Harper the last word.

Why is the Harper government is so eager to risk the irreversible and catastrophic consequences of a major oil spill on BC’s north coast in order to sell our oil resources to Chinese government owned companies when there is a market for all our oil in North America? Let us keep providing fuel for our own economies without any future dependence on foreign oil. Let your MP know how you feel!

Casey Berlanda

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