By CHRISTOPHER WILSON AND WYATT WEBSTER, Special to the Sun
The hand-bill promoting the “NoPipelines” march in Vancouver Sunday is another in a long series of fear-instilling, overblown and misleading posters publicizing anti-oil sands demonstrations supported by U.S. donors.
“Calling all nations,” it reads. “Your support is needed. Convergence 2014! Protecting our sacred waters from tar sands oil … UN World Oceans Day.”
Professionally-designed, scary skull logo? Check.
Do-or-die call to action? Check.
Skilled branding, clever hashtag and global tie-in? Check, check and check.
Problem is, the poster, the event it advertises, and the movement it promotes are all misguided.
That’s why the two of us, on our own time and using our own resources, have decided to speak out against this constant misinformation and fear and in favour of sustainable resource development, jobs and the growing tax base that support our schools, hospitals and our most vulnerable citizens.
We were proud to be there at the last anti-oil sands, anti-pipeline event at Sunset Beach in early May. If you saw the coverage, you might have noticed us and some friends with our pro-jobs, pro-oil sands, pro-pipeline banners unfurled near the beach. Then again, you might not have seen us, as the negative messages seemed to grab the most coverage that day.
We want to change that.
We want to point out that more than 72,000 people are employed by oilsands operators. And according to a recent statement by the Human Resources Council, over the next decade that figure is expected to rise to 98,000 — that’s 26,000 new positions in a region committed to reducing its CO2 emissions per barrel, and then reclaiming, re-contouring and re-vegetating decommissioned areas in the oilsands. It’s an impressive story.
Even more impressive is the fact the government of Canada has found over the past dozen years that aboriginal-owned companies have secured more than $5 billion worth of contracts from oilsands developers in the region. You didn’t hear any mention of that in Bishop Desmond Tutu’s recent activist-informed speech in Fort McMurray. Or Neil Young’s.
As two youngish men with long work lives ahead of us, we want the public to know not only that oilsands are a huge part of Canada’s energy future, but also that pipelines are by far the best option for transporting liquid fuels over long distances.
Just last month, the National Energy Board reported rail shipments of oilsands product sharply increased. You can expect that to continue if Northern Gateway, Trans-Mountain and Keystone XL are delayed.
Why should you care? More important, why should the Convergence 2014 crowd care? The answer is pretty simple: Lac-Megantic.
Anti-pipeline activists should know that B.C. railcars carrying crude grew in number from 50 in 2011, to 1,200 in 2012, according to information released by the National Energy Board. Experts tell us that without the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan projects, B.C. could see a half-million rail cars carrying crude across the province each year.
We didn’t expect the anti-oil sands activists of the world to acknowledge some of these simple facts on Sunday. In fact, we expected to be heckled by the ‘NoPipeline’ forces for our attendance, much as we were jeered at last month’s protest.
So why do we do it? Are we financially supported by a company, an association or a charitable foundation? No.
It’s simple. We do it because we’re personally motivated to see Canada’s valuable resources developed, and its oil safely transported through pipelines to diverse markets beyond the U.S. where we forgo billions of dollars a year.
More importantly, we think that all Canadians — including First Nations — should consider the enormous potential benefits of the oil and gas sector. A recent study by the Fraser Institute found First Nations unemployment rates are especially high (20 per cent to over 42 per cent) in First Nations communities located in areas identified for oil and gas development.
This is a tremendous opportunity, and points to the prospects of a better future not only for Alberta First Nations, but for other aboriginal groups as well.
In the interests of “convergence,” maybe it’s time the supporters of sustainable resource development — including enterprising First Nations — converged around the idea that cleaner oilsands and safer pipelines will play a big part of our collective future.
Christopher Wilson is an educator based in Vancouver. Wyatt Webster is a First Nations member and small business-owner, also based in Vancouver. For more information, see www.CanadaAction.ca
Human Nature; How Cultures & Traditions can be used to try & explain Bullying & Info Deprivation to Protect the Power of “Death-Pots”.
After reading about the fears of retaliation of the Native Women's Assoc. of Canada (NWAC) by powerful chiefs & councils for questioning & improving the chiefs/councils plans & decisions, etc., it has been suggested that it might be easier to minimize any potential for negative “stereo typing” of Native chiefs & their councils by:
1) the most vulnerable Native community members (95% - 99% of the members of Native communities),
2) non Native funders of Native communities
3) et al,
by pointing out once again, but, with greater emphasis, that the most vulnerable community members, both; Native & non Native, are slowly & painfully becoming aware of the threat that is posed to the bullying, information depriving despots (Death-Pots) by way of the sharing of the relevant information, in forums that have eliminated the fear of retaliation.
And, therefore, in regard to the recent, June 5, 2014, comments by the grand chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians Gordon Peters about negative “stereotypes”, it has also been suggested that Mr. Peters needn't be concerned as Native & non Native Canadians have made:
1) the distinctions between the bullying despots & the most vulnerable community members
2) the distinctions between those chiefs & councils that want/need their community members to start getting the relevant information, including the information & questions in The WAD Accord & its Compensation
those chiefs & councils who need to keep their community members in the dark in order to supplicate the most "vulnerables" to limited beliefs & "hopes"
thereby, maintain, &/or, enhance their abusive powers.
Perhaps, Mr. Peters can take some solace in knowing that he may be able to learn more about which bullying, information depriving despots are presently being "de-stereotyped".
Some of the chiefs & councils may even graciously admit that some of the more abusive aspects of human nature are being used & rationalized by despots by claims that the abuse of their power is based upon tradition, &/or, culture that excludes the comprehension of the abuses by non Natives. Doesn't this suggest that unless you are in the position of being able to be bullied, etc., then you are incapable of, &/or, should be prohibited from helping those who are being bullied by providing the information & safe forums for the discussion, sharing, improving information, plans, etc. before they become a decision that are acted upon & the human costs are added up? There are many examples of this “helping” precedent in other human communities around the globe.
The potential sponsors of this “helping process” understand the importance of identifying, investigating, prosecuting & enforcing the prevention of the abusers from continuing their abuse. Similarly, the potential sponsors can assist the most vulnerable community members to ascertain the amount of compensation they are due for previous abuse. These sponsors who are being considered have also observed & understand that the political abuse of the RCMP is causing a great deal of morale problems within the non union service (see; Paul Palango; “Dispersing the Fog”). Therefore, it is for the aforementioned reasons that the potential sponsers would like to be considered to help the most vulnerable community members eliminate their fears & help the most vulnerable develop the natural resources that are accessed by way of the community's lands. These are also the lands that have already been secretly “negotiated”, &/or, are in the process of being secretly “negotiated” within Canada by way of the despots & without the full due diligence sharing of the information with the most vulnerable community members.
There are several reasons why some of these foreign corporate sponsors might be considered. They are:
1) basically, to understand & perhaps prevent bullying despots from making secret arrangements whereby,
in exchange for:
a) the despots' cooperation to endorse the last minute “new” &”improved” environmental & safety standards, etc. for their projects that may be derived from the C – CI Treaty, the EU – Canada CET Agreement, the TP Partnership, et al
b) the “protection” provided by the bullies for the potential foreign participants/ investors from the most vulnerable community members,
the potential foreign participants/investors may exclusively & secretly reward the bullies financially & thereby, further legitimize the bullies power & control by way the bullies' mechanisms of fear.
2) some of the potential foreign participants are as disgusted with the “unethical” & “inhumane” arrangements of corporate Canada & their representatives in the government of Canada as many Native & non Native Canadians, et al, are. One potential participant said:
“It's not that we are racist when it comes to dealing with Canadians,
it's just that we can't stand the way that you suck up to us”.
That is to say; while corporate Canada & its political representatives “suck up” to the “coveted” foreign investor, the “Canadians” also “shi...”, uh, “purge down”. It may be regrettable that this bullying is just part of human nature?
Our job is to identify & to minimize, &/or, eliminate it.
Therefore, while the most vulnerable Native community members may be looking for a much “better” deal that protects their rights to live & express themselves in the absence of fear, isn't it reasonable to assume that they can also expect to start getting the aforementioned relevant information for their humble consideration, including The Compensation that is embodied in The W.A.D. Accord?
So, does the “much better deal” by way of these “foreign” countries include:
1) the elimination of the bullying by the information depriving despots,
2) enabling the employment opportunities that can equal those non Native Canadians & then use the “better deal” to shrink the financial disparity between:
the 95% - 99% of the communities' most vulnerable members
the 1% - 5% of the existing political & financial bullies, both; Native & non Native?
3) et al.
But, aren't the above reasons why The W.A.D. Accord (aka; The Australian Question) was developed in the first place? That is to say, The Accord was developed in order to ensure that the most vulnerable community members are getting the relevant information & are getting the opportunity to consider, to discuss, to ask questions about it, to improve, to create alternatives, to reject, etc., the information & questions in The Accord, including The Compensation that is embodied in it?
By way of closing, now that Mr. Peters' concerns about negative stereotyping have been laid to rest, the most vulnerable community members, et al, might also consider some of the other areas of information that they are continuing to be deprived of that can be, &/or, are being abused by the the aforementioned bullies in order to strengthen their, the bullies', “legitimacy” besides:
1) the on going land settlements & treaty rights negotiations,
2) the development of Aboriginal self-governance
3) et al?
And, finally, how do you, the readers in North America, China, the European Union, the Trans Pacific nations, et al, think that these human nature issues can be redressed by The WAD Accord?
I look forward to reading about your questions, your comments, your improvements, etc., regarding the above & the information listed below.
David E.H. Smith
For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics in the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement, TP Partnership, et al, via The W.A.D. Accord,
see; Facebook; "David Smith, Sidney, BC",
Google; "David E.H. Smith" to access RECENT ARTICLES, LETTERS & NOTIFICATIONS by DEHS.