Two important developments British Columbians need to pay attention to, now.


Congratulations all around today in certain circles as the story came out via twitter that longtime Vancouver Sun associate editor/columnist Fazil Mihlar has left the dwindling world of newspapers for greener pastures.

Very gr$$n pastures in fact – Mihlar is the new Assistant Deputy Minister for the the B.C. Government new oil and strategic initiatives division. This is the first important development you need to pay attention to.

Hardly a surprise and likely a perfect fit, considering Mihlar editorialized often about the benefits of pipelines, and the oil and gas industry. In fact, Enbridge has been posting his editorials along with other favourable press on their facebook page going back as far as 2011:


Of course, as several commenters on my facebook page remarked, no one can fault Mihlar for making the jump to a steady,secure job with nice bennies, from one in an industry that is in a steady decline.

However, I’ve already heard plenty of public comment on the perception this leaves, and perhaps, should leave, on the public who still believes that newspapers are paragons of objective reporting. I don’t know why the public still believes this, because newspapers have been endorsing political candidates left right and centre. Ok, that’s a lie, they usually endorse the right ;)

Joking aside, it’s a credibility issue. Kind of like after writing extensively about the liberals, I suddenly took a communications job with the NDP.

You’d likely question whether I had been writing because I believed in what I was writing, or because it helped the political party I now worked for. Never going to happen but it’s a good example.

Another commenter, Stephen Rees , brought up an equally pertinent point:

“Once upon a time hiring and promotion in the BC public service was based on ability and qualifications. There was a process to determine first the requirements of each job, and then candidates were assessed on their ability to meet those requirements. Public service was apolitical. While at work, officials were supposed to put away their political beliefs and preferences, and work in the best interests of the province and all its people. “

One hopes that the new ADM will be able to separate his personal political leaning and ideology from his professional obligations, and put the publics interest first and foremost in everything he does.

Moving on to the second important development today…. another strategic initiative relating to the oil in BC… or should I say oil moving through BC.

A parade of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats will head to British Columbia starting next week as part of a major push to mollify opponents of building oil pipelines to the West Coast, CBC News has learned.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is signalling he intends to make progress on proposals to connect Alberta’s oilsands with ports in British Columbia and the lucrative Asian markets beyond.

The new initiative is in large part a response to a report from the prime minister’s special pipelines representative in British Columbia.

Quite interesting to have a new pro-oil & pipeline Assistant Deputy Minister on board in the oil and strategic initiatives division on the West coast… at the same time Harper is ramping up his strategic initiative for British Columbians back East.

Some might say that’s quite a coincidence – I’d say BC is in for some interesting times ahead.

Brought to you in part by the impatient foreign investors at CNOOC Energy Economics Institute

“It’s the same situation as the leftover single women. … It will be the same for the oil sands, they will be outdated just like unmarried single women,”

~ Chen Weidong, Chief Energy Researcher, speaking at the Canada China Forum for energy and the environment in Beijing, in reference to China’s growing frustration over Canada’s delays in approving takeovers and pipeline infrastructure which would allow China to get at our oil sands crude.

More from that same article:

“Canada’s oil sands risks being left behind by the global energy industry if the pipelines needed to carry bitumen to the west coast do not soon materialize, a Chinese oil industry academic warned.”

“But the mixed messages sent by the delays have led to confusion and frustration, observers warn.

Canada is “advertising a big dinner party, the Chinese paid for a big ticket, and now they come and we say, ‘Oh sorry, it’s just appetizers.’ It’s not that the Chinese invited themselves to dinner. We invited them,” said Wenran Jiang, the forum’s organizer, who also advises the Alberta government on its energy policy.”

…So sorry our concern for our sovereignty and environment is inconveniencing foreign investors.

Now, scroll down the page and register your input on the Canada China FIPA.

I nearly tripped over the elephant in the room.

I’ve got to say it. How can I not  say it?

I get home after a lovely time out and catch up on news, of course everyone’s talking about Dix promising a 1 week cure for what ails BC with regards to the Enbridge pipeline – he will serve the 30 notice and pull out of the federal review and give British Columbians their own environmental review, made in BC, for BC, all that whatever.  I say  whatever because I am reminded of an old quote that states you should never believe someone who is drunk, in love… or running for politics.

I agree BC needs a better, enhanced environmental review process – in general. I agree BC should have already done this with Enbridge. Clark didn’t do it.

But let’s say Dix rides to power as easily as most think he will next May… or next fall if Clark did somehow push that spring election off.

Let’s say Dix does give us that opt out, does call for our own environmental review.

And the Enbridge project actually passes Dix’s environmental review and is approved provincially.

Don’t laugh, I have seen reviews of projects that should never have been given approval, get that approval because of mitigation and monetary concessions that are given to make up for what is impacted adversely. That’s how it works many times.

If the Enbridge project passes BC environmental review, will Dix allow the project to proceed?


City of Terrace rescinds motion to remain neutral on Enbridge, votes in favour of opposing Enbridge pipeline and tanker traffic.

Stunning motion from the city of Terrace and one that sets a precedent of priorities and value. My friend Merv Ritchie of the Terrace Daily Online, has the exclusive story and video . Please share!

 Terrace becomes Economic Leader by Opposing Enbridge.  


One more nail in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline coffin as B.C. Mayors vote against the highly contentious project.

B.C’s mayors have been busy at their annual conference, held in Whistler this year, passing a resolution that staunchly opposes both the proposed Enbridge pipeline project, and another that calls on senior governments to formally ban tanker traffic and offshore drilling  in B.C.

From the Surrey Leader today, courtesy of Jeff Nagel :

A controversial pipeline that would carry oil sands crude from Alberta across northern B.C. to tankers on the north coast has taken a hit from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

Civic leaders at the annual conference in Whistler passed a resolution opposing Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal.

They also voted to call on senior governments to formally legislate a ban on offshore oil drilling and to ban oil tanker traffic in the waters surrounding Haida Gwaii.

Opponents of crude oil exports were jubilant, particularly delegates from the Village of Queen Charlotte, which sponsored some of the resolutions.

“It is simply too much to risk, the consequences too high, our knowledge too insufficient and the wrong place to put our hopes and dreams,” Queen Charlotte Mayor Carol Kulesha said, adding she hopes the endorsement adds more fuel to the fight against the Enbridge project.

Critics say oil sands petroleum comes with a higher carbon footprint and the pipeline would bring unacceptable risks of pollution – both inland and offshore – in the event of a spill.

“The enormous environmental damage done in the Gulf of Mexico is something we don’t want to see here,” Metchosin Coun. Moralea Milne said.

Other delegates said the Enbridge pipeline would cross hundreds of northern streams and rivers and bring 225 tankers a year to Kitimat, through north coast waters prone to hurricane-force winds.

Stunning, and wonderful news that is likely tying some hefty knots in the knickers of Enbridge exec’s and trough-feeders like former Prince George mayor turned Enbridge propaganda artist , Colin Kinsley, who worked in the natural gas industry prior to moving into politics.

The question is, will we see this very newsworthy item on the front page locally?