Just received this. Nice comprehensive piece. ~ctm
[UPDATE 11:18 PM PDT]
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT AND RELATED LINKS
Some people have requested a transcript of the video. Here it is. Also, just noticed that Ecojustice has posted the following:
Hi, I’m Michelle Stirling for Friends of Science Society.
Perhaps you recall a couple of years ago, Ecojustice Canada publicly issued a request for inquiry into Friends of Science Society via the Competition Bureau. Essentially, they objected to our billboards and website, claiming that our words were somehow blocking viable economic development of clean tech and that we were misleading the public. They claimed that they wanted an ‘honest debate’ but even though we posted one on line, they never responded.
This became quite a story in the press.
Ecojustice repeatedly referred to their call for inquiry as a ‘victory’ in many online postings and publications – even though no decision had been made.
In the public interest, we are revealing the current status.
The Competition Bureau notified us recently that they have discontinued their inquiry.
Ironically, as I was about to leave the office for the studio today, someone sent me this, from Ecojustice.
Ecojustice is demanding people write their MP about the National Energy Board – or NEB.
They claim that Canadians have little trust in the NEB – but provide no evidence to support that.
Since the NEB has been approving pipelines for about half a century in Canada, seems there’s not much to complain about.
In the letter Ecojustice tell people to say that “the NEB must not be an assessment authority or pipeline decider anymore.”
That’s pretty funny since the NEB has done an excellent job for about 50 years.
Pipelines criss-cross Canada. No one even noticed them until these various foreign funded environmental groups started blocking them
So, Who else SHOULD approve pipelines
A bunch of lawyers?
Ecojustice claims the review process makes it impossible for community voices to be heard…
Ecojustice claims the NEB has ‘FAR too much power’
Part of pipeline approvals deals with highly technical details that, by law, can only be done by Professional Engineers and certain industry experts who are qualified and permitted to review to sign off on such work….as well the NEB addresses the broader socio-economic, trade and energy factors, important for Canada’s economy.
Here’s how important.
For the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline that was just approved, with 157 conditions, Canada would benefit with BILLIONS of dollars of income and hundreds of thousands of person hours of work.
Robert Lyman, Ottawa energy policy consultant, former public servant of 27 years and former diplomat for 10 years, summarized the NEB review in a blog post for us.
· $7.4 billion in investment in Canada
· More than 800,000 person-years of employment during construction and the 20-year operation of the project
· $46.7 billion in federal and provincial government tax revenues to fund a wide range of public programs
· $23.2 million per year in increased municipal property taxes in British Columbia
· $3.7 billion more for Canadian oil producers as a result of increased export sales
To facilitate the participation of aboriginal groups, landowners, individuals and groups, associations and non-profit organizations, the NEB made $1.5 million available to eligible intervenors to participate in the Trans Mountain Expansion Project hearing. (See: “Trans Mount” section in blog post)
There was also special participant funding offered in September 2015 for up to $10,000 per applicant to cover eligible evidence. In all, the Participant Funding Program offered funding valued at $3,085,370 to 72 eligible intervenors; 79 per cent of this funding was offered to aboriginal groups.
With the exception of oral “traditional evidence” received from Aboriginal groups, evidence was presented in writing, and testing of that evidence was carried out through written questions, known as Information Requests. Intervenors submitted over 15,000 questions to Trans Mountain over two rounds of IRs. Hundreds of other questions were asked, and answered, over six additional rounds of IRs. As there were 400 intervenors and legislated time limits, the Board decided that it was best to test the evidence through written processes. With the participation of about 400 intervenors and 1,250 commenters, the Board received significant information about the pipeline corridor. There were over 1,600 participants in the hearing.
Ecojustice further claim in their form letter to MPs that the NEB should respect the rights and authority of indigenous peoples.
In response to requests from aboriginal groups, the Board heard oral evidence based on “oral tradition” from 49 groups.
Ecojustice says the NEB should be transparent, accountable and have meaningful public participation…During the hearings, there were 291 motions and review applications, and the Board responded to each of these. In each case, it provided reasons for its decisions on the motions.
The Board completed a review of all the issues related to the public interest in the proposed pipeline. In addition to the economic, social, financial, and safety issues traditional to its mandate, the Board completed a comprehensive environmental assessment of the project in accordance with its authority under the National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
In May 2016, two and a half years after receipt of the project application, the NEB issued its reasons for decision with respect to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. It found that the Trans Mountain Expansion project was in Canada’s public interest and recommended that the Governor-in-Council (i.e. the federal Cabinet) approve the project and direct the Board to issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity. It also recommended that, if the Cabinet approved the project, it impose 157 conditions dealing with safety, the environment and other issues.
The full text of the NEB’s 530-page decision is available for all to read on the Board’s website. (In English and French)
All 530 pages of their report is posted on line.
Ecojustice says the NEB should work for the people, not industry…
thousands of jobs and billions of dollars FROM industry will be FOR the people of Canada. Who else?
They also say should provide energy information consistent with the Paris Agreement. We invite you to read ‘Just the Facts’ and see what a bad deal Paris is for Canada and the US.
So, having heard this, I want to ask you who is making false and misleading statements?
Who is blocking economic development in Canada?
Who is misleading the public?
Please share this information.
Please join Friends of Science Society and donate to help us keep presenting the evidence over the ideology.
For Friends of Science Society – I’m Michelle Stirling
Here are the source materials:
The original complaint in the press:
Our response to Ecojustice: “An Honest Debate” (report linked within blog post)
Our appeal to human rights and free speech advocate, VP of PEN Int’l, Margaret Atwood was unanswered. She is an honorary board member of Ecojustice.
Facts incorporated in the video can be found at:
Economic value to Canada:”BRITISH COLUMBIA’S CHALLENGE TO THE RULE OF LAW”
NEB process (quite long and detailed):
“National Energy Board (NEB) – Implications of Proposed Changes: A Review” (See section on Trans Mountain Expansion)
COP21 Paris Agreement – Just the Facts
A key point is that P. Engineers and related experts are legally and ethically bound to be accountable in their work to ensure public safety. Their reporting must be factual, verifiable, evidence-based. By contrast ENGOs can say anything they want and typically choose hyperbole and the more inflammatory route. They are unelected and unaccountable in anyway, yet they have huge impacts on economic developments that are required, by law, to have experts submit complex technical, economic and environmental analyses, and review and sign off on them.
Friends of Science Society