- Category: news
- Created: Monday, 23 September 2013 15:45
- Published: Monday, 23 September 2013 15:45
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Written by Terrance Nelson
“One thing that police and the army know is that indigenous people don’t have any real supply of guns. The supply of guns is controlled but what the authorities don’t understand is that every one of the 633 reservations in Canada has old cars. In Winnipeg thousands of cars were being stolen every month, our indigenous youth who make up to 95% of the inmates in jail, were in criminal “training schools” on how to steal cars. If ever there was a military showdown between Indigenous people and the Canadian army, the first target would be the railway lines and burning cars would be on every railway line in Canada”
In 1990 during the Oka Crisis, four thousand Canadian troops faced about 30 Mohawks in a tense situation where one police officer had already died. The difference between twenty years ago and today is we understand economics a lot better than we did twenty years ago. Two Ojibway communities in northern Ontario blocked railway lines in support of the Mohawks. Economics not military is what makes the situation in Canada dangerous. The American economy could be blindsided by events north of their border rather than by events in other parts of the world.
The National Day of Action on June 29th 2007, exposed the fact that a month long national stoppage of railway traffic in Canada would cripple not only the economy of Canada it would also destroy the economy of the United States. The 2008 economic meltdown shows how vulnerable the U.S. economy is today. The difference between a political action organized by the Chiefs in Canada on the 2007 National Day of Action and a covert operation by First Nation individuals is like night and day. A covert operation involving burning cars on every railway line would almost be impossible to stop despite all the Canadian military and police being alerted to the potential.
The Canadian Security and Intelligence Services and the CIA are well aware of the potential for violence in Canada and are monitoring indigenous people in Canada more and more. A recent novel entitled “Uprising” by former Lieutenant Colonel Bland explores the potential for indigenous violence. Bland is a trained military person who does not understand indigenous people and how warrior societies function as individuals without an army type hierarchy. Bland’s book neglects to exam economic consequences. Indigenous people in Canada aren’t in caves in Afghanistan, they are here in the heart of the North American economy.
In the last decade, the 34 million people in Canada have purchased over 2 trillion dollars worth of American exports. In those ten years, Canada made over $500 billion in trade surpluses with United States. In that decade, Canada sold Americans $2.5 trillion dollars worth of exports. Canada pumps 2.5 million barrels of oil per day to the States and under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. has “security of energy exports”. Less known than oil coming from Canada is the entire eastern U.S. seaboard is powered up by electricity generated in northern Quebec and Ontario.
Cables released under the Wiki leaks show the United States Embassy in Ottawa raised concerns with Washington regarding indigenous people in Canada, “as long as Canada lacks a clear definition of aboriginal rights or a uniform model for negotiations, effective mechanisms to resolve aboriginal grievances in a timely manner will remain elusive”.
Eighty-seven percent of all Canadian exports flow to the United States and seventy-two percent of all foreign investment in Canada comes from the United States. Canadian and American economies are intertwined, what affects one, affects the other.
On August 18th 1999, Steven Leslie Pound, an employee of Canadian National Railways, provided an Affidavit to the Court of Queen’s Bench testifying to the negative effect that a railway blockade would have on Canadian National Railway. At paragraph 17 of that Affidavit he stated
“I am advised by Dennis Cousineau from CN’s Office of Economics and Financial Planning, and do verily believe, that the average negative daily impact on CN’s revenue from a cessation of train operations in and across Manitoba would be approximately $5.6 million”
That was thirteen years ago, but even then, negative daily impact would have been $5.6 million, 5.6 million dollars a day on CN's revenue but much more impact on all the business that depend on CN. That doesn't include Canadian Pacific Railways, or the impact on other transportation services, this was the impact in Manitoba alone, not a national railway stoppage.
At paragraph 18, he expands on who would be affected.
“A cessation of train operation in Manitoba would also have a significant impact on CN’s customers and others. The main customers in Manitoba affected by interrupted rail service include Dominion Malt, PetroCanada, Shell Canada, Cargill Grain, Agpro Grain, Crown Packaging, Allied, United Grain Growers, Pouwel and Gardenwine. Customers who would be affected by an interference with time sensitive intermodal shipments include TransWestern, Western Canada Express and Clark. A disruption in rail service would affect grain shipments to various ocean ports, including Churchill and Thunder Bay, impacting on the business operations of Saskatchewan Pool, UGG, Cargill, Paterson, Agpro, amongst others, and could result in a shutdown of elevators in Thunder Bay and Churchill”
In 1990 during the Oka crisis, Ojibway First Nations in Ontario, Pic Mobert and Pays Plat First Nations supporting Mohawks blockaded railway lines. The potential for a North American economic meltdown if Mohawks were killed was very real. Americans are aware of the potential. On January 1st 1994 the Mayan uprising in Chiapas Mexico caused international investors to begin pulling $8 billion dollars from stocks of American companies doing business in Mexico. President Clinton was forced to lend Mexico $30 billion as the American dollar tumbled in value.
The United States economy is much weaker today than it was in 1994. The American ability to respond to financial crisis is far different today than it was in 1994 and a conflict in Canada would have much more impact to the American economy than the 1994 Chiapas uprising. The difference between trade with Canada in 2012 compared to the 1994 trade between Mexico and the United States is not even comparable. The economic ties with Canada makes it a much bigger risk for the United States.
In 1994, the American economy was strong, the U.S. federal debt was under five trillion dollars, today U.S. federal debt is over fourteen trillion dollars. The 2008 economic meltdown left America in a situation where they may not be able to respond as effectively to another severe economic jolt. Americans can no longer just print more money or borrow their way out of the next financial meltdown.
Something as significant as conflict in Canada would blindside the Americans. There are numerous studies, including the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report, and Senate of Canada papers that warn of the potential for violence in Canada. Much of these documents gather dust while the Government in Canada ignores solutions.
Peaceful Co-existence, a Treaty right of both whites and natives
“ it is the desire of Her Majesty… to obtain the consent thereto of her Indian subjects inhabiting the said tract, and to make a treaty and arrangement with them so that there may be peace and good will between them and Her Majesty…” “And the undersigned Chiefs do hereby bind and pledge themselves and their people strictly to observe this treaty and to maintain perpetual peace between themselves and Her Majesty’s white subjects, and not to interfere with the property or in any way molest the persons of Her Majesty’s white or other subjects”
Not to interfere with the property… of Her Majesty’s white subjects is a treaty right granted by indigenous people to the people who immigrated to Canada. It is a treaty right that is contingent upon Her Majesty fulfilling the conditions of treaty.
CN's and CPR’s title to the land railway tracks run on comes from the Canadian government, whose right to grant deeds and titles within indigenous territories comes from treaties. When Canada fundamentally breaches the treaty conditions, titles and deeds granted by Canada is jeopardized. Even the Supreme Court of Canada decided that indigenous people have inherent rights. “Aboriginal title is a legal right derived from the historic occupation of Tribal lands by Native people. It is not something that was given to native people by some government, by Royal Proclamation, or by the signing of a treaty” Justice Dickinson, Supreme Court of Canada.
The government of Canada has no intention of returning to the bargaining table as long as Indigenous people continue to allow Canada to do whatever it pleases with treaties. As long as Canada can continue to export natural resource wealth to the Americans without any payment to the indigenous people, Canada will not negotiate.
The Tarsands of Alberta contain 1.4 trillion barrels of oil and forty percent of that oil is recoverable under present day technology. At one hundred dollars per barrel, that forty percent is approximately $60 trillion worth of recoverable oil. There are over 60 metals and minerals mined in Canada, all done with little or no payment to indigenous people.
The lifestyle of every Canadian is subsidized by the sale of natural resource wealth and as indigenous people are kept impoverished at the 72nd of the United Nations Living Index. There will be no solutions implemented until a crisis is reached.
Not only are the railway lines vulnerable to closure by covert operation but the oil pipelines now sending 2.5 million barrels of oil per day to the United States would be a target if indigenous people and the government of Canada were in military conflict. Pumping stations like the Gretna Depot in southern Manitoba would be vulnerable as it pumps over one million barrels of oil per day to Midwestern United States. Under its own safety procedures Enbridge and TransCanada pipelines shut down after three days of limited access.
Canadian Crude Oil Imports: Increasing Importance To The United States
U.S. consumers are sometimes surprised to learn that our single largest foreign source of crude oil is Canada, which surpassed Saudi Arabia as the leading supplier to the United States in 2004 and has continued to hold that position. Since 1990, total U.S. crude oil imports from Canada have increased by 1.3 million barrels per day, accounting for 40 percent of the 3.1 million barrel per day growth in total crude oil imports since that date. Over the last decade alone, the share of U.S. crude oil imports coming from Canada has increased from 13 percent to 22 percent.
From January through June 2010, 2.0 million barrels per day of Canadian crude oil were imported into the United States, of which 1.2 million barrels per day went into the Midwest. According to the Canadian National Energy Board, almost half of the crude oil exported to the United States was either synthetic crude or blended bitumen from the Alberta oil sands. Bitumen, a heavy, viscous type of hydrocarbon extracted from the oil sands, is blended with lighter hydrocarbons to allow it to flow through pipelines. It then may be upgraded into a relatively light, sweet synthetic crude oil that can be used by most refineries.
The recent shutdown of two pipelines bringing Canadian crude oil to the U.S. demonstrated the growing importance of these imports. On September 9, the Enbridge Lakehead System had to shut down its Line 6A pipeline due to a crude oil leak in Romeoville, Illinois. This incident followed the discovery of another leak and a shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 6B late in July. Line 6A is a major source of light synthetic, heavy, and medium Canadian crude oils for seven refineries in the Midwest and Pennsylvania, and many of the affected refineries have limited alternate supply sources. Fortunately for Midwest consumers, Enbridge was able to restart Line 6A on September 17 and Line 6B on September 27.
While numerous factors may have been in play, markets apparently reacted to the September 9 outage of Line 6A, as prices for benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil and Midwest gasoline rose discernibly until it became apparent that the line would be returned to service quickly. WTI prices rose by $3 per barrel in conjunction with the outage despite very high inventory levels at the Cushing, OK hub. Wholesale spot conventional gasoline prices in Chicago rose by 25 cents from September 9 to 13, and EIA’s weekly retail gasoline survey reported on September 13 that Midwest regular gasoline had risen by over 10 centsper gallon during the week, while the national average was up just 4 cents per gallon during the same period.
Prices returned to prior levels after the restart of Line 6A and the price impact of this incident was mitigated by the fact that the outage occurred as gasoline demand began showing seasonal declines and refineries were going into their planned autumn maintenance schedules with the available buffer of high crude oil and refined product stocks.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
One of the biggest problems that United States has is that they take Canada for granted. They let Canada tell them that there is no problem in Canada.