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LETTERS: Intense opposition to pipeline decision

There is a true sense of betrayal among thousands of people who trusted Justin Trudeau.


There is a true sense of betrayal among the First Nations, environmentalists, residents of the Lower Mainland, and thousands of people who trusted Justin Trudeau to keep the election promises that he made — to fight climate change and respect the wishes of  Aboriginal people.

He has given in to the petroleum industry and approved the tripling  of Kinder-Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline through Burnaby. Like Donald Trump, Trudeau said whatever was necessary to get himself elected, and has no intention of keeping his election promises.

So, Mr. PM, think of the hazards involved.  They have earth tremors along our coastline. One  serious tremor could rupture the pipelines and oil would be spewing everywhere to compound the natural disaster. Oil tankers would be going through Vancouver harbour at a rate of one per day, rather than five per month.

The chance of a catastrophic spill would be increased six-fold.  Think about it. The bitumen from the tar sands is the lowest grade of raw crude oil on the planet.

It has to be diluted with benzene, called “condensate” to be shipped through pipelines. Benzene is the most highly toxic, volatile, flammable element in gasoline. Justin, you should watch the videos of the explosion in Lac Megantic, Quebec. The train that exploded killing 45 people instantly in a horrific explosion was the result of human error.

The heavy bitumen sank to the bottom of the oil compartments and the benzene ignited in the crash. Your government’s decision is also human error.

The United Nations condemned Canada for its tar sands production, many years ago, because of the immense greenhouse gas emissions, and the toxic pollution of the waterways and the land around north of the oil patch.

Harper would never even attend these conferences on the environment. He was a puppet of big oil, doing everything he could to appease Alberta’s petroleum industry. In 2010 and 2011 the scientist published their findings from a study of the effects of the Tar Sands.

They found that the cancer rates had tripled in the communities of Fort Mackay and Fort Chipewyan.

The fish could not be consumed due to the toxic pollution of the Athabascan River. Harper ignored these reports and laid off the scientists. Oil production doubled and transportation of the bitumen through pipelines and trains increased dramatically. So did the train derailments and pipeline spills and ruptures. Tom Mulcair gave one of the best speeches in the last election campaign when he said that we should not be exporting this nasty crude oil. It should be refined here in Canada. We have, as a Nation, been exporters of raw materials and natural resources to other industrialized nations.

We never developed our secondary industries in Canada. It’s all very well to embrace multi-culturalism, and open the floodgates for immigration, as your father did, Justin, but you have to have employment for the people who emigrate.

Oil is like the dark force.  It is deadly poisonous in every form and toxic to land, water, wildlife and humans. But it is worth money.

And money rules this planet. Because of the revenues to government, from the industry and the huge tax revenues that are gathered from the highly- paid workers, governments  give in to the demands of the petroleum industry, break their election promises and compromise their credibility and integrity.

Trudeau’s response is “Would any other nation leave billions of barrels of oil in the ground?”

Well, probably not, but would they care about destroying their oceans, lakes, and rivers, and creating more GHG, or would they proceed to mitigate the effects of the industry, keep the oil here, rather than transport and sell it. And decrease rather than increase production. They would if they cared at all. But again, money rules.

Well, Justin, a lot of us do care in B.C.

You will find that there is intense and strong opposition to your decision. I thank Elizabeth May and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip for their stand against this decision, and the mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby.

And the thousands of British Columbians who are standing up in solidarity against this pipeline. Indeed, the battle has just begun, and inflammatory comments by Federal Minister Jim Carr have not helped the situation. Native leaders call the pipelines the black snake, waiting to spew it’s poisonous contents over the land and into the rivers and the ocean, a disastrous scenario that is virtually inevitable.

Michael Atwood

Williams Lake