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Site C Must Be Canceled And A Fair And Just Transition Instituted For Those Jobs Affected By The Cancellation PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 03 June 2017 20:57

BY Joan Russow PhD

Global Compliance Research Project





The evidence based UBC Report said:


We came to the conclusion, looking over 10 different scenarios, that it makes the most economic sense to suspend or cancel Site C while the project is referred to the BC Utilities Commission.”

 “Our analysis indicates that cancelling the Site C project as   of June 30, 2017, would save between $500-million and $1.65-billion, depending on future conditions"

Last Updated on Friday, 09 June 2017 09:15
Horgan to Hydro: Don’t Sign New Site C Contracts or Evict Residents PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 01 June 2017 18:23

By Emma Gilchrist • Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 

B.C.Leader John Horgan has written to B.C.HYDRO CEO Jessica McDonald to urge the crown corporation not to finalize any contracts or evict any residents to make way for the Site C dam until a new government is in place.

“I note that the majority of British Columbians who voted in this election voted for parties that want to see the Site C project reviewed or stopped,” Horgan wrote to McDonald.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 June 2017 23:07
Anti-pipeline protesters finish 75-km walk at Kinder Morgan in Burnaby PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 29 May 2017 19:35

By Denise Ryan Published on: May 28, 2017 | Last Updated: May 28, 2017 5:55 PM 

Hundreds of activists rally to finish a 75 kilometre march at the gates of Kinder Morgan during an Anti-Pipeline walk in Burnaby on Sunday.

Emotions ran high at the Walk 4 the Salish Sea, the culmination of an indigenous-led four-day, 75-kilometre walk to protest the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Sunday.

At the Kinder Morgan terminus gate in Burnaby, Cedar Parker-George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations called out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government gave the project the green light in November of 2016, saying the people will remember that he backed the project. “This will not go through,” he said to cheers and drumming. “It will not happen, Justin.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 June 2017 22:31
A Dam Big Problem: Fracking Companies Build Dozens of Unauthorized Dams in B.C.'s Northeast PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 13:04

A Dam Big Problem: Fracking Companies Build Dozens of Unauthorized Dams in B.C.'s Northeast


A subsidiary of Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned petro giant courted by the B.C. government, has built at least 16 unauthorized dams in northern B.C. to trap hundreds of millions of gallons of water used in its controversial fracking operations.

The 16 dams are among “dozens” that have been built by Petronas and other companies without proper authorizations, a senior dam safety official with the provincial government told the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which began investigating the problem in late March after receiving a tip from someone with knowledge of how widespread the problem is.

Two of the dams built by Progress Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petronas, are towering earthen structures that exceed the height of five-storey apartment buildings. Petronas has proposed building a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Prince Rupert, which if built would result in dramatic increases in fracking and industrial water use throughout northeast B.C.

The two dams are so large that they should have been subject to review by B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). Only if a review concluded that the projects could proceed would the EAO have issued a certificate, and only then could the company have moved on to get the necessary authorizations from other provincial agencies.

But nothing close to that happened because the company never submitted its plans to the EAO before the dams were built.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 13:19
This First Nation Just Banned Industrial Logging and Mining from Vancouver Island Territory PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 28 January 2017 00:14

By Judith Lavoie - Friday, January 27, 2017 - 10:03 Desmog
Connection to the land and ocean has guided the Ahousaht people throughout their history and that bond is now at the root of a new sustainable economic development plan for the First Nation whose territory spans the heart of the

Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Under the first phase of the plan, announced Thursday, there will be no mining or industrial logging in Ahousaht traditional territory and about 80 per cent of almost 171,000 hectares will be set aside as cultural and natural areas "to conserve biological diversity, natural landscapes and wilderness and to provide to Ahousaht continued spiritual, cultural and sustenance use."

Last Updated on Monday, 30 January 2017 23:53
Province of B.C. formally opposes Kinder Morgan expansion PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 09 January 2017 18:33




Province of B.C. formally opposes Kinder Morgan expansion

Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby terminal, from which nearly a million barrels of day of oil would be loaded onto ships.

VICTORIA — The B.C. government will formally oppose the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion in a written submission to the National Energy Board on Monday.
Environment Minister Mary Polak told The Vancouver Sun that the government believes that pipeline proponent Kinder Morgan has failed to provide the NEB with an adequate plan to prevent or respond to an oil spill.
“We are asking them not to recommend approval,” Polak said.
The B.C. government laid out in five conditions in 2012 that it said all oil pipeline projects would have to meet before they would be allowed in the province.
Last Updated on Monday, 09 January 2017 18:45
No Consent, No Pipeline: Stop Kinder Morgan TMX Pipeline March and Rally PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 19 November 2016 12:59

MEDIA ADVISORYNovember 18, 2016

WHAT: March and Rally. #StopKM #NoTankers

WHY: The proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will seriously impact the Title and Rights of First Nations communities; will have a lasting and damaging impact on the environment and communities it passes through; will increase tanker traffic and the risk of a major environmental disaster to BC’s coasts; and will increase Canada’s contributions to climate change at a most critical time when any expansion of the tar sands is entirely unacceptable. Canada’s final decision on the KM TMX project is imminent.

On November 19th, thousands will gather at the Vancouver City Hall and at 12PM will march to Library Square to call upon Prime Minster Trudeau to reject the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2016 16:37
Approving Kinder Morgan Expansion would impact on climate change and jeopardize the future conservation projects in the Salish Sea and the rights of future generations and the rights of indigenous peoples PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 30 September 2016 07:57

By Joan Russow

Global Compliance Research Project

Image result for images of the salish sea



    1. Kinder Morgan expansion would contribute to the undermining of Canada’s commitment to implement the SDGs and of its obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    In SDG13 on climate change, addressing climate change is described as urgent; climate change could also preclude the fulfillment of most of the SDGs 
    In 1988, at the Changing Atmosphere Conference in Toronto, the participants including representatives from government, academia, NGO and industry expressed their concern about Climate Change in the Conference statement:
    “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequence could be second only to a global nuclear war. the Earth’s atmosphere is being changed at an unprecedented rate by pollutants resulting from human activities, inefficient and wasteful fossil fuel use ... These changes represent a major threat to international security and are already having harmful consequences over many parts of the globe.... it is imperative to act now.
    The Conference called for immediate action by governments,
    to Reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 20% of 1988 levels by the year 2005 as an initial global goal. Clearly the industrialized nations have a responsibility to lead the way both through their national energy policies and their bilateral multilateral assistance arrangement.
    At COP21, Canada`s “contribution” was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
    Just under twenty years later, Ban Ki Moon, in Paris, urged states to negotiate with a global vision not with national vested interests (COP 21 press conference)
    Canada is the highest per capita contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and Canada`s carbon budget has been ignored by Canada. In 2016, Canada is in danger of being in non-compliance with the purpose of the legally binding United Nations Framework on Climate Change (Article 2)
    ..."to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."
    A global vision  would be to address article 2 and at a minimum to immediately end all subsidies for fossil fuel, to calculate the carbon budget for Canada, to divest in fossil fuels and to reinvest in renewable energy, to conserve sinks - such as old growth forests and bogs (not  just as a means to offset emissions), to strengthen conservation of  biodiversity, to avoid all false solutions such as nuclear, geo-engineering and biofuels which would all violate principles within the UNFCCC, promote nature-based solutions along with solar energy, wind energy, wave and geothermal and to compensate for historical  emissions, and to institute a fair and just transition for workers affected negatively by the new vision.
    At COP 21 there was the violation of the non-regression principle because in the legally binding 1992 UNFCCC, states made a ``commitment`` to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while in the Paris Agreement the states only made a "contribution". 
    The contributions by states, including Canada, in the Paris Agreement could result in a temperature rise of over 3 degrees.
    Canada should seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on whether Canada’s current” contributions” in the Paris agreement violate Article 2 of the UNFCCC and, if so, to determine what actions would be necessary to comply with article 2.
    Canada, at a minimum, must calculate its carbon budget and make a firm commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below1990 levels by 2020 and to achieve decarbonisation and 100 % below 1990 levels by 2050
    A real global vision, however, would be time lines and targets in line with existing and emerging science such as 15% below 1990 by 2017, 20% below 1990 by 2018, 30% below 1990 levels by 2019, 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, 60 % below 1990 levels by 2025, 75% below 1990 below1990 levels by 2035 and 100% below 1990 emissions by 2040, and reaching Decarbonization with 100% socially equitable ecologically sound renewable energy,
    In addition, the expansion of the Kinder Morgan would contribute to the violation the precautionary principle
    Canada is bound by the precautionary principle which reads
    Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent the threat." (Rio Declaration, UNCED1992).
    This principle is also contained in the 1992 Convention on Biological Biodiversity, the precautionary principle reads;
    where there is a threat of significant reduction or
    loss of biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a threat
    in the 1992 UN Framework Convention on climate change:
                 The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and its adverse effects, and where there are threats of irreversible damage, the lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures.
     And in1995 agreement “relating to the Conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks …is the also the obligation to invoke the precautionary principle.
    There is sufficient evidence that there could be serious irreversible damage, loss of significant biological diversity, adverse effects of climate change, and harm to marine life to justify invoking the precautionary principle and to decline the support for the Kinder Morgan expansion
    1. The expansion of Kinder Morgan could jeopardize future conservation projects in the Salish Sea, and violate the rights of future generations 
    At The 2010 Panel the issue of the threats to future generations was raised
    Chief Councillor Delores Pollard from Haisla First Nation affirmed:
    “We depend on the land for everything, but the most important thing that we depend on the land for is to maintain our connection to our children and future generations … “
    Under the article 4 of 1972 legally binding UN Convention on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage, there is
    the duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, preservation and transmission to future generations of cultural and natural heritage
    Under Article 12, of the Convention on biological Diversity
     there is an obligation to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity for the benefit of present and future generations,
    In the framework Convention on Climate change, there is determination to protect the climate system for present and future generations,
    and the rights of indigenous peoples
    In the past few years, there have been many proposals for conservation, comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems in the Salish Sea; for promoting and demonstrating a balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere, while integrating
    especially the role of traditional knowledge in ecosystem management and fostering economic and human development which is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable.
    Kinder Morgan expansion would undermine numerous proposals related to coastal and marine conservation of the Salish Sea are areas of terrestrial and coastal/marine ecosystems; sound ecological practices could reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education
    With the approval of Kinder Morgan expansion, the Trudeau government will violate legally binding international instruments; such as the Convention concerning the Protection of Cultural and Natural
    Under the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972) Canada has affirmed the following:
     •.... in view of the magnitude and gravity of the new dangers threatening them, it is incumbent on the international community as a whole to participate in the protection of the cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value... (Preamble, Convention Concerning the Protection of the World cultural and Natural Heritage,1972)
    Under Article 4 of the. Convention, Canada recognized the duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage situated on its territory, belongs primarily to that State. It will do all it can to this end, to the utmost of its own resources and, where appropriate, with any international assistance and co-operation, in particular, financial, artistic, scientific and technical.
    In addition, the Kinder Morgan expansion could cause Canada to violate the Law of the Seas;
    "The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) is popularly considered “a constitution for the oceans”, establishing a global framework for the exploitation and conservation of marine resources. It is one of the most important Treaties in setting out the importance and special nature of whales and dolphins” (http://uk.whales.org/issues/in-depth/united-nations-convention-on-law-of-sea-1982)                                                                               
     Expansion of Kinder Morgan would violate key principle, in the UN Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples: `free, prior informed consent. `` This principle would be completely ignored through the approval of Kinder Morgan expansion.  This approval will also contravene Call to Action 92.1 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
    Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.
    In April 2016 was a report, written by the Friends of the Earth and entitled Tar Sands/Dilbit Crude Oil Movements Within the Salish Sea.  gives an excellent account of previous accidents and warning about potential accidents:
    ``The difficulty and unmet needs for responding to a dilbit crude oil spill motivated this new analysis of oil spill risk in the Salish Sea. The reasons for this concern were rigorously documented in a report published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2016.2 
    Fortuitously, the NAS study was released while this paper was being completed enabling its findings to be incorporated herein. The vulnerability of the Salish Sea to a spill of dilbit crude oil is further heightened by the poorly publicized proposal to triple the Kinder Morgan/ Trans Mountain Pipeline that connects the vast supplies of bitumen in Alberta, Canada to an oil terminal in Burnaby, BC.
     The proposal would result 
    Tar Sands/Dilbit Crude Oil Movements Within the Salish Sea in an increased capacity to ship dilbit crude from 300,000 bbls/day to 890,000 bbls/day. 3 A 2014 vessel traffic risk assessment, (VTRA 2010) concluded the proposal would result in a 7-fold increase in tanker traffic transiting through the Salish Sea as compared to 2010.
     The number of dilbit-carrying oil tankers would increase from approximately 1 per week to 1 per day, significantly increasing the amount of oil being transported through the San Juan Islands in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass (Appendix 1). 4 
    This paper focuses on existing dilbit shipments between Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby, BC terminal and the U.S. Oil & Refining Co. refinery in Tacoma, WA in order to elevate public attention for the need to improve oil spill prevention and response capabilities within the Salish Sea. In addition, it is intended to identify the significant risk associated with Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of dilbit crude shipping through the Salish Sea.
     Dilbit crude oil is currently shipped from the Burnaby terminal through the Salish Sea on tankers bound to ports on the west coast and overseas. It is also transported within the Salish Sea approximately six times a month (see results section) on barges towed by conventional tugs through the particularly fast currents along Rosario Strait,
     Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound. Though tankers carry more oil than barges, tug and tow marine transport is of higher risk due to the limited maneuvering capabilities and risks of tow wires snapping.
     Sause Brothers, a U.S. Oil & Refining Co contractor based in Coos Bay, Oregon owns and operates the barges used in this trade. This is the same company that experienced a tug snapping the tow wire of its barge, Nestucca, in heavy seas along the Olympic Coast in the winter of 1988. 5 The Nestucca was full of heavy, Bunker C oil bound to the ARCO Refinery April 2016 11 at Cherry Point, Washington. 
    ARCO is now owned and operated by BP. The resulting 231,000-gallon oil spill spread 800 square miles, from Newport Oregon to the west side of Vancouver Island. Much of it remained partially submerged due to its density. Still, it was estimated that over 56,000 seabirds were killed.6 This incident is not intended to reflect on Sause Brothers’ current operations, on which we have no information, but to highlight what could occur from increased numbers of barges operating in the region
     More recently, there have been a series of incidents involving tugs towing a variety of cargo along Rosario Strait between 2011 and 2013, including collisions with navigational aids. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound issued voluntary Marine Safety Advisory 166307 on October 9, 2012 after 5 incidents with tugs and tows in Rosario Strait between October 10, 2011 and December 23, 2011. 
    Two additional incidents occurred on May 23, 2013 and September 8, 2013 since the issuance of the Safety Advisory. The Advisory was incorporated into the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Plan (Appendix 4) but no state or federal regulations have been proposed since then. 
    On March 2, 2016 two barges were being towed when high winds blew them to shore near Victoria, BC. One barge, carrying two thousand liters of diesel fuel, was removed the next day. The other, carrying construction debris, took weeks to be removed from the beach. See “Grounded barge was a warning”8 and “Work begins to unload, remove barge grounded off Dallas Road.”9 Once again on March 15, 2016 a U.S. tug and barge bound for Alaska carrying general cargo touched bottom near Campbell River, BC.10 Canadian tugs have suffered a similar fate. In 2015 alone, six tugs have sunk in nine incidents along the British Columbia11 coast. 
    The fact that modern barges are equipped with double hulls does little to assuage concerns about this form of oil transportation. A 2011 study questioned the effectiveness of double hulls in reducing vessel-accident oil spillage.12 Utilizing U.S. Coast Guard vessel accident pollution incidents between 2001 and 2008 the authors found that on average double hulls reduced the size of oil spills by only 20 percent in barges and 62 percent in tankers;
    Salish Sea item: http://www.foe.org/projects/oceans-and-forests/oceangoing-vessels/tar-sands-report
    In conclusion, If the Kinder Morgan Expansion is permitted to proceed, Canada will demonstrate yet again its defiance of international law.
    At international UN conferences, the Harper government had caused Canada to be perceived as an international pariah because of its obsession with profiting from the tarsands at any cost, while being willing to disregard its duty to guarantee fundamental indigenous and ecological rights and to discharge obligations under international law.  And it is with great dismay to begin to realize that with the Trudeau government, “Canada is not yet back”. 
    Approving the Kinder Morgan would demonstrate to the world that Canada is still not serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Proceeding with the Kinder Morgan Expansion could be grossly negligent. A major oil spill would devastate the marine environment, and coastal communities of the Salish Sea. There is sufficient evidence of precedents of environmental devastation from spills that a prudent or reasonable person would not permit the Kinder Morgan expansion in the sensitive waters of the Salish Sea:
    Proceeding with the approval if the Kinder Morgan Expansion would also show that Canada disregards commitments to heritage, to the rights of future generations and to the rights of First Nations and ignores dire warning and social licence. 
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 January 2019 09:41
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 29 September 2016 06:28

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

Mayors and councillors from across province to call on BC government to halt destruction of ancient forests

Torrance Coste  torrance@wildernesscommittee.org

Western Canada Wilderness Committee

altVICTORIA – Earlier today, mayors and councillors from across BC passed a motion to formally oppose old-growth logging on Vancouver Island.


The motion, championed by Metchosin Councillor Andy MacKinnon, was returned to the UBCM’s resolutions list after initially being removed. MacKinnon and other municipal leaders reversed the removal, and around 80 per cent of delegates from across the province voted in favour of the motion.

“This is an excellent first step, and I'm really pleased that municipal politicians across our province have chosen to support this resolution,” MacKinnon said. “Now it’s time for the provincial government to take action on this – our opportunities to protect the last tracts old-growth rainforest decrease by the day.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2016 12:04
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 01 July 2016 09:00


Burns Bog Katie Bianchin


Explore Burns Bog! Book a group tour , come to our next public tour or book a field trip and discover the Delta Nature Reserve- the public portion of Burns Bog!


Green Party of Canada  background  circulated at Burns Bog press conference Thursday, February 3, 1999 reposted jULY 1 2016


by Joan Russow, 






            The proposed development of Burns Bog—a world class wetlands- is in violation of the Convention on Biological Diversity  and the Framework Convention on Climate Change which the Canadian governments at all levels have professed to endorse. The Convention on Biological Diversity  calls for the conservation of biodiversity regardless of distinctions between public/private lands or between federal/provincial jurisdiction.  The Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for the conservation of carbon sinks. The intention of the  these Conventions is  to conserve biodiversity  and carbon sinks in areas such as Burns Bog.

            Since 1992 the Federal and B.C. governments have been derelict in the exercise of their duty to seriously conserve biodiversity and carbon sinks in spite of the constant rhetoric espoused by these governments..

            On June 14, 1992, at the Rio Conference, the then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney surrounded by flowers and a sympathetic international media, in exalted terms, proclaimed to the international community Canada’s commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity. I asked him if this meant that Canada was going to ban environmentally unsound practices that destroy biodiversity. He hesitated and said “I ‘don’t want to deal with any issues. at this time and you understand exactly what I mean”

            In September 21, 1992, the Canadian Council of Energy Ministers wrote to the Hon. Barbara McDougall and expressed their support for the ratification of the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

            In November 1992, the BC government endorsed the Convention on Biological Diversity   at the cabinet level in the document,  “UNCED Follow-up Endorsement of International Conventions on Climate Change and Biological Diversity”. This document,  obtained through the Freedom of Information, states “the Convention on Biodiversity seeks to arrest the steadily increasing global extinction rates of animal and plant species and the destruction of their habitats”. The document even goes on to inflate Canada’s role at the United Nations Conference: “Canada took a high-profile leadership role on biodiversity, announcing its willingness to sign during the opening days of the summit. Many feel that this leadership was instrumental in saving the convention by convincing a number of undecided countries to sign despite US objections”

            On  November 25, 1992, at a meeting of provincial environment ministers (CCME) , in Aylmer Quebec the then B.C. Environment Minister, John Cashore moved and had passed a resolution supporting Canada’s ratification of both Conventions.

            On December 4, 1992, in B.C. close to Burns Bog,  in the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney formally ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity  and the Framework Convention on Climate Change thus binding the Canadian government to discharge its obligations under the Convention.

            Subsequent governments have been derelict in their duty to conserve biodiversity, and continually sacrifice biodiversity for the sake of short term inappropriate development. 

            In addition, Canada and B.C.  made a commitment under the Caracas Declaration in March 1992 to move away from the “island mentality” — the preserving of a token area surrounded by inappropriate development.

            The preservation of Burns Bog would also assist the Canadian government in fulfilling its obligations under RAMSAR (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance). In 1995, the international community meeting on the RAMSAR, recognized Burns Bog as being of international importance.

National Leader of the Green Party of Canada Tel: 1 250 598-0071 FAX 1 250 598-0994




Joan Russow (PhD)

Last Updated on Friday, 01 July 2016 09:20
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