Environmentalists targeting Northern Gateway would destroy Canada’s economy


Why are U.S. and other Western environmental groups targeting Canada’s Alberta oil sands, and the Northern Gateway Enbridge pipeline project, claiming the oil sands are a major global emitter of CO2, when that simply is not true? They do it because they can.  They do it because it is a sure way to grow their donations.  They do it because Canada is a free country. And, lastly, they do it because Canada is a Western democracy. 

Yet, compare. In 2008, China’s CO2 emissions were at 23.33%, India’s at 5.78%, Canada’s at 1.80% and Iran’s at 1.79%. Note that Iran, who is a huge oil producing nation, was just a single point below Canada?  So, why do the environmentalists not go after Iran with as much vigor as they do Canada? Because Iran is a dictatorship and wouldn’t allow it, that’s why! I mean, in Canada, you can’t even call an environmentalist a radical without it being considered politically incorrect.

Photo Credit Enbridge. Click Photo for Website.

So why the tunnel vision and hypocrisy? Does it matter, even to “Green” politicians like Canadian MP, Elizabeth May, that:

No, it doesn’t seem to matter at all because the environmentalists are closed to any discussion that global warming, assuming our planet actually is going through a warming cycle, may not be because of any human activity. I am, at least, willing to say I don’t know.    

In any event, pay attention Canada to such tunnel vision and hypocrisy by reading this expose in today’s Financial Post by Claudia Cattaneo. It is, as my blogging colleague says at Blue Like You, up to us to protect our jobs and our economy.

45 thoughts on “Environmentalists targeting Northern Gateway would destroy Canada’s economy

  1. I believe it may be appropriate to bring major attention to the various social programs that would be so adversely affected by the shutdown of the “tar” sands projects that the Greens so vociferously advocate – all that money foregone, that pays for the beloved transfers and “safety nets” – and all to satisfy rich movie stars and foreign oill interests


  2. What I find astonishing that no one brings up, is the fact that the Canadian Oil would be replacing Venezuelan Oil. And where does the Venezuelan oil come from? Wait for it – oil sands. That’s right – the exact same sort of oil sands found in Canada.

    So all these eco-nuts would prefer to import oil from an unfriendly pseudo dictatorship with poor environmental standards, than an allied country, with some of the best environmental standards on the planet?

    Why is it that the worst regimes on the planet get a pass from the left, while democracies committed to rights and the environment getting hammered at every opportunity?


  3. Its true that much of our green organizations are fueled with foreign cash. But ever notice how you can’t find any information regarding the finances of our green organizations? They can keep their financial information completly confidential. I would like to know where the Suzuki Foundations gets its money for example, and how much it gets every year. But these groups are not required to divulge that in Canada.


  4. Thanks for the link Sandy! Excellent post. Canada is a convenient target for the lefties. What’s worse is when our own politicians try to bring us down, as you’ve previously covered.

    We have to start fighting back.


  5. Pingback: Canada being used by U.S. Big Green | Blue Like You

  6. Thanks for that link Jen from the recent Climate Conference. The more such links we have the better.


  7. Your welcome Joanne. It is obvious that this is the next blogosphere campaign — against lies and exaggerations — and is every bit as political as an election campaign.


  8. Nice to have some new commenters. Welcome Klem and M. Seymour. I believe Antfirm has been by before. But, in any event, welcome back. We have to get a balanced message out there — take care of our environment without destroying our jobs and our future.


  9. Thankyou for this information.
    Why is the media working with these politicians to destroy the Canadian oil industry?
    It just doesn’t make sense.


  10. 40 years ago I read in a union magazine that the greatest threat to unions and workers were environmentalists. I can’t understand why the private sector union bosses today are all for the greens when their members depend so much on industry to stay employed. I think the environment people want the world for themselves and the rest of us exterminated.


  11. Fitter — Why, for example, are we not hearing from the CAW? The automotive industry depends on oil, not just for their manufacturing but for customers to use their products.


  12. Fay — I don’t understand so many in the media either? Makes no sense. The ideology is obviously very deeply ingrained. Which is why some of us have to shake things up a bit.


  13. I just got a nasty anonymous message via my Contact Form. So, lest anyone visiting here wonder, let me state that I am simply a retired educator and a former political communications consultant who lives in Southern Ontario. In other words, I have absolutely nothing to do with either the Alberta oil sands or the petroleum industry, apart from having my home heated by Enbridge Gas and regularly purchasing oil and gasoline for my car.


  14. Just wonderin , has anybody ever tried pouring bitumen onto a pile of sand ? The stuff is so thick that i have a hard time believing it would travel any distance into the ground , particularily , undisturbed ground .


  15. Excellent find Jen. I will do a post on that in the very near future. I knew Venezuela had oil sands but hadn’t looked it up. So, why aren’t the environmentalists going about Chavez? Right. Sure.

    Look, I can understand people being passionate about our planet. We are supposed to be good stewards. But, there must be a balance. The last thing humankind needs is to go back to the middle ages.


  16. Forgot to add, so I redid the whole

    Orinoco Belt

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (Redirected from Orinoco tar sands)


    The Venezuelan Oil Sands is coming from the Orinoco Delta a highly sensitive eco reserve; the carbon footprint (GHG) is far greater than that of Athabasca Oil Sands; to have Venezuelan nationql oil company CITGO appearing as an intervener at the Gateway public enquiry is stupid. Citgo see Canadian Oil Sands production as a direct threat to their economic monopoly they currently enjoy through OPEC Cartel and will do all in their power to curtail it’s production: End result hold North America for ransom.

    The Venezuelan conventional oil production centere around Lake Maracaibo is pretty much dead, as is Lake Maracaibo; once a huge fishing area for local fishermen in the northern part of Lake Maracaibo.


  17. Jen — Truly, the hypocrisy of the environmental coalition is incredible. The only folks they want to put out of business are those who are free and democratic — while the defenders of our planet are flying all over the world living the good life. Those who live in glass houses ……


  18. Fitter: I am also very puzzled as to why the traditional imdustrial unions do not speak out against radical enviros. To me, the NDP of Turmel/Leslie is not the NDP of Ed Broadbent. As for the CAW, they inexplicitly are supporting the green excesses of Dalton McGuiny, presumably in the hope of some green union jobs. They have even began construction of a wind turbine on CAW property in Port Elgin, backed up against urban neighbours, and not meeting the 550m setback distance. This against all analysis that any green jobs in Ont. are likely to be non-union, mimimal paying positions. In the Port Elgin case, many of the neighbours are employed at Bruce nuclear in union jobs, and are in direct opposition to wind energy.
    My impression is that CAW leadership no longer reflects the views of many members.
    Stories on this issue and many comments may be seen at


  19. Sandy,The people in Alberta & the oil companies missed a great opportunity at public relations by not running ADS stating that the oil sands were placed there by mother nature,it is not an environmental disaster or an oil spill.Mother nature placed the oil sands there thousands of years ago and Alberta is helping mother nature by cleaning up the mess.No environmentalist can argue against that fact.And another thing,is BP up and running again after spewing oil into the ocean for over a month??


  20. Bertie — I agree 100%. In my last post I referred to that issue. Why are the petroleum producers not being more proactive? For instance, I still haven’t found any aerial photos of pre 1950s pre-oil sands landscapes. I remember seeing them somewhere and they showed exactly how natural they were. Huge oil ponds dotting a natural dark and desolute landscape.


  21. Apparently the NDP, the Liberals and the media are all rallying against their own country and it’s prosperity, there’s no other way to define it. Megan Leslie, Elizabeth May and other various and sundry people who have jumped on the bandwagon with no idea of it’s direction or consequences.

    Do they have a plan to take care of all the people who will be in the bread lines in this country when they shut down the engine that’s keeping us afloat?


  22. Why do we never hear Greenpeace, Suzuki, et all mention this?

    Chronic Oil Leaks Sully Lake Maracaibo, Livelihoods
    By Humberto Márquez

    CARACAS, Jul 27, 2010 (IPS) – Dark oil slicks are spreading from the middle of Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo towards the shores — the wetlands, mangroves, beaches and docks. Oil is permeating fishing nets, coating the garbage dumped into the water, killing off wildlife and driving away residents and tourists.



  23. I think the problem with the private sector unions is that they are being led around by the public employees unions. Why in the world would an electrician, pipe fitter, millwright,etc. support public servants when they have to pay their wages? Surely the auto workers have more brains than to listen to lewenza.


  24. Jen – thanks for that “footprint” link.

    To Isjustian — Just not going to get into an argument with you. So didn’t approve your comments. The bottom line is that there is no perfect way to get access to natural resources. However, when the environmentalists deal with the oil sands in other parts of the world, we can talk.


  25. What you fail to consider is the danger to the resources that already provide not just 100,000 of jobs in BC but are important to the very subsistance of the native and non-native people who live in BC. There is no guarantee that can be trusted that is worth putting that at risk. You cannot ask the people of BC to put their most important resources at risk for the sake of 500 temp jobs. It won’t happen. You would be much better off accepting that and put your minds and money to come up with another solution to get the oil to market cause it won’t be coming through BC


  26. Sandy — I should have added that in any case I appreciate the courtesy of your response to my earlier comments. It’s nice to not have them just disappear silently.


  27. Terry — I just don’t buy your fear mongering. I came of age in the 1960s when thousands of men were working on the Trans Canada pipeline. There have no major spills. It is not just 500 temporary jobs, it is all the wealth that would come from exports.

    To isjustian — I would turn your question around — are you interested in the truth? I have a sister in the oil industry in Alberta. I believe her.

    Just a note: I will not use this site for fear mongering. Sorry.


  28. Isjustian — I have to admit the aerial photos are troubling. That said, mining areas always look bad like that. I once lived in North Bay and driving through Sudbury was like looking at a moonscape. Yet, even that environmental disaster has been cleaned up. In the meantime, thousands of families made a living and the community thrived. It’s that delicate balance between developing our resources while replacing the surrounding area that is needed.

    The reclamation area does look awfully small, however.

    Any other reactions to the link provided by Isjustian, particularly those who live in Fort McMurray. I’ll have to ask my sister about them. Plus, if SOR happens to visit this thread, perhaps she could tell us her daughter’s reaction, since she works there.


  29. Isjustian — A small point. My husband looked at the aerial photos as well and noted that some are at much higher altitude than others and some had cloud cover white areas with their corresponding shadows on the ground. So, some photos look like they involve more area for development than others.

    Personally, I think the good the oil sands do far outweighs the bad, particularly when the areas will be reclaimed once mining is complete. The final photo shows a small area that was reclaimed. That is very misleading because some areas have been reclaimed for upwards of 20 years.

    Just sayin.


  30. Have you heard that SHELL gas has invested $1b for deeper exploration for oil and gas of the coast of Nova Scotia. Not bad, more jobs for the people of Nova Scotia and Halifax.
    Mind you, I have not heard from Megan Leslie nor from any other enviros who are fighting for the end to the Gateway Pipelines that will create jobs, come forward to protest the exploration of the coast of NS.
    Will we hear from to put an end to jobs.


  31. This response is less about the Alberta tarsands and more about the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. You began your post asking “Why are U.S. and other Western environmental groups targeting Canada’s Alberta oil sands, and the Northern Gateway Enbridge pipeline project,”
    Let me point out to you that it is not only environmental groups (who get only a portion of their funding from outside of Canada) who oppose the pipeline. Most of the First Nations in BC are against it. The City of Prince Rupert is against it. The City of Terrace will be most likely changing their stance from neutral to opposed. The Kitimat-Terrace and District Labour Council is against it. The majority of those who live in northern BC are against it.
    Who is for it? The Alberta oil companies (many with partial foreign ownership by the way).
    BC takes all the risks and big oil reaps the profits.


  32. D. Webster — My point is the same. Alberta is paying most of the freight for the national equalization program which pays for social and health care transfers. B.C. is only marginally a have province at the moment. So, what is the solution? Shut down all exploration? Good thing we didn’t go through this when the railway was built.


  33. Jen — Re Shell. Yes, I heard about that. Will be interesting to see what Megan Leslie says about that. Crickets……


  34. I’m writing an essay on the Enbridge Pipeline project and am first exploring the pros of this endeavor. I’m looking for data: how many temporary jobs and permanent jobs will be created? How will this benefit the communities along the pipeline? how much money will BC make from this venture? Canada? Is it the best bang for our buck to be shipping its crudest form? How does this outweigh the benefits of processing it in Canada? How do you feel about the 40% foreign ownership of the oil sands? Will this move provide stability to our economy over the next decades? Any other facts, or data (with sources please) you have would be really appreciated. I find the best way to convince someone of your argument is to present facts and data and try and keep emotion out of it. This is your chance to convince me and my readers that the economic benefit from this venture will be worth the risk it presents to the area. Thanks for your time I look forward to hearing what you all have to say.


  35. Ha. Nice try Con. I am a retired professor with an emphasis on “retired. “Meaning,” you’ll have to do your own research. As a blogger, I certainly don’t get into the details you are looking for.

    Good luck! 😉


  36. Con’s questions, and negative comments on Gateway by others, made me wonder what kind of negative campaigns went on prior to the construction of the railroad, particularly through the rockies in both BC and AB.

    There would have been several thousand working on the rail lines, particularly Chinese immigrants who worked cheaply. Many died unfortunately.

    Yet, think about the millions, likely billions of people that have been positively affected by the rail lines and all the towns and cities along the way, let alone the trillions of revenue made from the distribution of freight. Essentially, it brought east and west together.

    I recall also that for many decades, all the “Royal” mail went by rail as well.

    That to me is how we should look at any of these oil pipelines. Not just the immediate jobs, which are important of course, but the thousands and millions of spin offs over the future. However, unlike the way workers were treated when the railways were constructed, we now have labour and environment laws.

    So, yes, we need to take care of our environment (which is what reclaimation requirements ensure) but we also need to take care of the people who will need fossil fuels now and into the future. We are a northern nation. To think we can do without oil is just silly. Wind and solar cannot replace that reality and anyone who thinks they can are involved in magical thinking.

    Even with nuclear we will still need oil.

    There will always be a need to heat homes and to drive vehicles. There will also be a need for plastic and other fossil fuel products. Even our tooth brushes are made with oil.

    This issue is not political. It is ideological and therein lies the danger. When people and jobs don’t matter, you have gone from one extreme to another.

    Which is, as others have said here, strange that labour unions are supporting the very movement that will put them out of work — like CAW. Hello? Anyone home?


  37. “..put your minds and money to come up with another solution to get the oil to market cause it won’t be coming through BC.”

    Wanna bet? Once people and governments in BC start to realize the amount of money that they will be paid just to have that pipeline cross their land, they’ll be signing the agreements so fast their pens will catch fire. Just watch.


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