We try to keep a pretty low profile here at Toad Hollow in regards to politically charged subjects. When it comes to opinions on matters of politics, we believe that just like a nose everybody has one. With our deeply rooted love for Fine Art and all that Vancouver Island has to offer it seems that now our work has crossed an intersection in the political realm that requires us to make our stand. If you haven’t heard about Enbridge and their plan to create a very dangerous and ill-conceived Northern Gateway Pipeline, please pull up a chair and prepare for quite the story here.
The British Columbia coastline is a pristine and delicate part of the world. The West Coast of Canada is home to rainforests that are crucial for the well-being of the planet as a whole, and incredibly fragile ecosystems that rely on a safe and clean environment to live and thrive. Each piece of the puzzle relies on the others and any sort of imbalance in this can have catastrophic results.
Big Oil in Alberta, which is coincidentally where our Prime Minister Stephen Harper hails from, is determined to destroy this, all in the name of profit.
Now, I want to be abundantly clear here in an effort to ward off as much flaming as possible when it comes to a subject like this that is so politically charged. We truly believe in economic development. Entire communities benefit from these activities, we all see our quality of life improve when advancements and developments are realized. We do not believe this particular project falls into this category at all. Let us explain.
A report was just released recently by a group of Canadian regulators. For additional information on the report, please see “Canada regulator urges approval of oil-export pipeline” and “Northern Gateway pipeline project: 6 things to know“. Based on the incredible opposition in BC to this project, we’re really left wondering who the people on this panel are. This just doesn’t align with our wishes at all and has left much of the entire province feeling like we’ve been completely ignored. All we can say on that particular note is thank goodness there is a federal election next year here in Canada, many of us believe that Stephen Harper’s days are numbered, and in no small part to how he’s trying desperately to stuff this entire thing down our throats here.
There is no real way to cleanup after a massive spill, my friends. Portions of the spill can be contained and remediated, but the event as a whole will definitely leave harmful residue behind for many, many years. If not forever. Anyone who says otherwise is either a pawn of the industry or is trying to fool themselves. Secondly, Enbridge as a company has a terrible record in this area, check out this Google Search which reveals 233,000 page results… almost all of which paint a pretty bad picture of the company as a whole and how they conduct themselves when they make a mess in someone else’s backyard. They should be ashamed of themselves, yet somehow they march on with the tacit approval of our federal government. For further background information on Enbridge, check out this Wikipedia article and the big section near the bottom that discusses their Spills and Violations.
Enbridge claims the pipeline will create over 3,000 construction jobs and 560 long-term jobs in B.C, which it says would translate to $32 million per year in earned income flowing into local economies.
As for safety issues, Enbridge says a team of over 200 experts and scientists conducted a comprehensive environmental assessment of the project route, and that 70 per cent of the route will go through previously disturbed land.
There are a couple of really glaring points in these two statements. 560 long-term jobs and $32 million per year in income? That is supposed to sound like a perk? This is just beyond ludicrous when you consider the BILLIONS of dollars this pipeline would generate in revenue. $32 million annually is a pittance my friends, our BC Ferries use over $121 million a year in fuel by themselves! I don’t believe we could effectively install road signs for $32 million a year, let alone mitigate the after-effects of a catastrophic disaster. Most of the profits from this venture will funnel right back into the pockets of billionaire Albertans, with little benefit to BC at all. They really are working hard to find a way to polish this particular pile of controversy into a diamond. Good luck there, contrary to popular belief BC is full of educated people who can easily see past a commercial intended to sell us something.
Secondly, when you take a close look at the statement above, they literally have assigned more than 1/3 of the total jobs we’d supposedly get from this project to writing a report that makes it sound like a good thing! In our books this whole thing has gone from a serious problem to absolute disrespect on behalf of all BC residents.
This just isn’t good enough.
In the next little while, as the battle continues to unfold, you will see us standing up here at The Hollow for what we believe in. We will be working with key groups, like the fabulous people who work tirelessly at One Cowichan and the great group over at the Dogwood Initiative. Also, check out the great page hosted at One Cowichan’s website, “Stand Up for BC – One Cowichan” which outlines the upcoming campaign to put an end to this madness.
We are peace-loving Toads here at The Hollow. As such, the only weapons we have to bear in this fight are our camera and our pen. With that in mind, we are on assignment this coming weekend to get out and capture photographs of the beautiful Vancouver Island coastlines and features to assist in the fight that is coming. We hope that these will not become some of the last pictures of BC in its true state.
Thanks for taking the time to pop by and visit us here today, we really appreciate it. We love to hear from all our visitors so please do feel free to leave us any comments you may have. It’s time to stand up for what we believe in, thanks so much for your support.