When a photo says all you need to say….

As you likely know, Horgan did a minor shuffle….Michelle Mungall has been demoted as Minister of  Site C, Fracking & LNG and is now the Minister of Jobs, Jobs and more Jobs. Bruce Ralston takes over her spot in the infamously contentious file.

This is Mungall during her swearing in. 😉

Screenshot_20200122-100818_Samsung Internet

 

 

A Frosty Friday Message

Come fiery souls

Shine bright to guide those frozen

In fear of new ways.

Revolution ~ haiku, LY

I stepped out carefully onto the frost covered deck early this morning, to hang the hummingbird feeder back out for our local Anna’s hummingbirds that over winter here. The sun was rising through the fir trees along the back and side and transformed everything it touched into sparkling diamonds. Sliding back inside – literally, the deck was a sheet of ice – I grabbed my phone and took this shot. Sun on crystalline snow. Fire and ice. A haiku formed rapidly…a call to warriors of the heart to rise, in government and in our communities, to forge new paths forward in a world of uncertainty. We were stuck home this morning due to the aftermath of the last storm, and now I’ll be quick as we are under another snowfall and wind warning for tonight. While I’m sure all you northern friends stuck in double digit sub-zero temps are laughing at us, trust me, life down here is built to withstand winds and heavy nonstop rain…not freezing cold or snow.

I want to quickly leave a few things for you to go off and read if you drop by. There is so much important news this week not being covered by major outlets in depth.

  1.  The quite alarmingly quarterly report on Site C that was finally released, is full of rather disturbing details that Hydro, Horgan and Mungall would rather you didn’t pay attention to. But, you must because ultimately you and I are going to be paying for this mess, since industry hydro rates are far less than ours….https://thenarwhal.ca/a-colossal-waste-bc-hydro-report-hints-at-cost-overruns-at-site-c-dam/  Falling concrete chunks in the diversion tunnels, a problematic drainage location above the tunnels and of course, the strong likelihood of massive cost overruns….  ( gee its not like we all didn’t tell govt this, over and over and over and…well you get the idea)
  2.  BC is out of tools in the toolbox when it comes to the TMX aka KinderMorgan pipeline. https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/ndp-out-of-tools-to-stop-tmx?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR3mnGuC5LZ3fO7wTK8iggi3ljKt7ABR4LcdccRJwN0F70KkrC5yeCrinVA But wait….they didn’t actually use all the tools in their toolbox, because they didn’t withdraw from the equivalency agreement with the feds! One wonders why that didn’t happen, because its something they brought up often while in opposition.  
  3. The maybe not so minor details regarding completed work for the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, and why UNDRIP matters here. From the Unist’ot’en facebook page: This is interesting because I’ve read that the review period for that segment of pipeline ends January 20th. If this is accurate, one wonders why that injunction was even granted. Whether or not this project was approved, if an error was made, UNDRIP principles should be now applicable in this circumstance.

That’s it. I’m off to batten down the hatches again and spray some more silicone on my shovel…🤣

Don’t forget to check out a couple of other new posts I’ve put up over the last few storms we’ve been sequestered:

https://lailayuile.com/2020/01/15/confidential-rcmp-report-reveals-chilling-details-and-puts-even-more-focus-on-rich-colemans-decision-to-disband-the-iiget/ 

https://lailayuile.com/2020/01/14/a-must-read-from-ben-parfitt-on-the-risk-fracking-quakes-post-on-peace-river-dams-particularly-the-one-with-foundation-issues/

https://lailayuile.com/2020/01/07/all-eyes-on-wetsuweten/

Confidential RCMP report reveals chilling details…and puts even more focus on Rich Colemans decision to disband the IIGET

“A businessman “connected to Asian organized crime” was allowed by a British Columbia government employee to buy part of a B.C. Lottery Corp. casino, according to a confidential RCMP report obtained by Global News.

And the government employee was later hired in a B.C. casino.

The explosive accusation is just one example of organized crime’s alleged infiltration and corruption of B.C. government casinos, according to a January 2009 RCMP anti-illegal gaming unit report.

The report also contained jarring allegations of victimization, including that women with gambling debts in Asia were being trafficked to B.C. and forced into sex work, and that children in B.C. had been thrown in the trunk of a car and warned at gun-point that their father owed $300,000.

The report argued the RCMP anti-illegal gaming unit (IIGET) should target the drug cartels using B.C. Lottery Corp. casinos in combination with illegal casinos, to launder money…”

This is just another chilling and disturbing revelation revealed by Sam Cooper today, in his new article you must read here : https://globalnews.ca/news/6403415/organized-crime-bc-casinos-rcmp-report/?utm_medium=Twitter&utm_source=%40globalnews

And once again, it raises compelling questions as to why so many aspects of how and why organized crime not only expanded but flourished in British Columbia, leads back to Rich Coleman and his decision to shut down the Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team while the BC Liberals were in government.

Its a decision I’ve revisited here on the site quite a few times, in The Coleman Files, particularly through a series of video interviews undertaken by former independent investigative reporter Sean Holman. I suspect Sean Holman’s work may very well become evidence at some point, which is why its very important to keep this information in the public realm. And it’s only part of the reason why current BC Liberals have very little credibility on this and most other issues they try to sound morally superior on.

This all happened under their leadership. It was fostered and perpetuated by a willful blindness and negligence while revenues from gaming filled the government treasury.The sad truth and result is that organized crime and dirty blood money has paid for a lot of things in this province, since part of lottery revenues is handed out in community gaming grants specifically created to offset the harm done through gambling.

There are so many posts here about Rich Colemans activities while a sitting minister in government, but here are the most relevant:

I’m thankful for Sam Cooper and his persistence with this story. Its because of him that so much of these details are coming to light, and this report clearly indicates widespread corruption in government bodies and agencies. It’s why I was and still am concerned about the limited scope of the inquiry, because corruption doesn’t begin and end when political parties change power seats in the legislature. It’s rooted in the regulatory and oversight branches, it exists in places and positions that don’t usually change when governments do. And its the system that allowed all this to happen in the first place, so its my hope that if greater evidence is brought forth, the inquiry will be expanded.

Before I go, something else caught my eye today in Ontario that gave me shivers.

In the context of the stories above with Coleman’s disbanding of the IIGET, it makes me wonder why the RCMP is shutting down its financial crimes unit in Ontario, when a former top mountie says its a big mistake….

Despite multiple recent reports that identified Toronto’s vulnerability to money laundering, the RCMP has decided to disband its Ontario financial crimes unit, the Star has learned.

Announced internally on December 10 in a series of meetings held in detachments across the province, the decision will see 129 officers and eight civilian staff re-assigned to other units, including organized crime, anti-terrorism and drugs, according to an internal email obtained by the Star.

Breaking up a stand-alone unit devoted to investigating complex and difficult cases has financial crime experts worrying that fraud and money laundering activity will increase.

“It just won’t work,” said Garry Clement, former director of the RCMP proceeds of crime unit. “The RCMP, in my view, has sort of lost sight of the fact that taking on financial crime requires a very high degree of expertise.”

Sigh. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?  Good luck with that Ontario. I wonder if Rich Coleman advised on that decision…

Anyways, go read Sams amazing story linked to in the beginning. And he has an excellent tweet thread here if you need the coles notes while you are at work.

https://twitter.com/scoopercooper/status/1217454353453404160

 

A must read from Ben Parfitt on the risk fracking quakes post on Peace River dams…particularly the one with foundation issues

There doesn’t seem to be much peace for the Peace these days….

Residents are still left with safety concerns following the big slide that hit just a short distance down from Site C in 2018…. https://thenarwhal.ca/its-not-right-residents-left-with-safety-concerns-following-2018-landslide-near-site-c-dam/

The gas industry expansion is well underway as the current government tries to greenwash it just like the old one did… https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/ben-parfitt-site-c-dam-to-electrify-lng-industry-is-far-from-clean

And thanks to a freedom of information request Ben Parfitt pursued for some time, we now know that one of the Peace River dams has a compromised foundation – a sizable fracking caused earthquake  in that area could result in a series of events leading to failure. Not only that, BC Hydro and the government have been aware of this danger,  and the impact fracking quakes could have on all dams,and did not reveal it in the hearings for Site C.

These alarming findings and more, are detailed in a two part series called Fracked Up.

You can read part 1 of the report here: https://www.policynote.ca/frack-up/

You can read part 2 of the report here: https://www.policynote.ca/the-well-from-hell/

You can see the timeline of events, here: https://www.policynote.ca/timeline-fracking/

Excerpts:

BC Hydro has known for well over a decade that its Peace Canyon dam is built on weak, unstable rock and that an earthquake triggered by a nearby natural gas industry fracking or disposal well operation could cause the dam to fail.

Yet for years, knowledge of the dam’s compromised foundation was not shared widely within the Crown corporation. It was even kept secret from members of a joint federal/provincial panel that reviewed the Site C dam, now under construction 70 kilometres downstream of Peace Canyon in the Montney Basin—one of the most active natural gas fracking zones in British Columbia.

The disturbing revelation is among many contained in hundreds of emails, letters, memos and meeting notes released by the publicly-owned hydro utility in response to a freedom-of-information (FOI) request by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC office.

The documents show that BC Hydro officials knew from the moment the Peace Canyon dam was built in the 1970s that it had “foundational problems,” and that if an earthquake damaged the structure’s vital drainage systems it could be a race to stabilize the dam before it failed.

The documents also show that BC Hydro’s concerns about threats to the dam were discussed “at the highest level” within the provincial government ten years ago, but that unidentified provincial Cabinet ministers at that time rejected taking any action.

Does this really surprise anyone, knowing what we know about how the last government operated? No. Let’s continue.

It is unclear who the ministers were. But BC’s energy minister at the time was Blair Lekstrom, and Lekstrom had responsibility for both BC Hydro and the Oil and Gas Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry in the province. Barry Penner, meanwhile, was environment minister and had responsibility for dam safety.

Unfortunately, Rigbey told Gilliss, the ministerial meeting did not go BC Hydro’s way. The report-back was that unless BC Hydro could definitively show “a smoking gun” that linked a specific fracking operation to a specific earthquake detected at a specific dam location, a ban on fracking operations nearby BC Hydro’s Peace River dams was “a dead issue.”

Rigbey told Gilliss that all that could be done for the time being was to keep Davidson’s office informed and, through Davidson, presumably Penner.

But Gilliss was not to be dissuaded and kept up his email alerts.

On February 18, 2011 he warned that it wasn’t just the Peace Canyon dam that was at risk from fracking operations. The WAC Bennett dam, where two sinkholes were discovered at the crest of the 183-metre high structure in 1996, necessitated a rapid drawdown of the reservoir and hasty repairs.

“The Montney formation shale, which is being developed by these companies, may extend below the WAC Bennett Dam. This is concerning because the seismic stability of the dam may be questionable given the possibility of internal erosion of the core and transition (I have already added a Dam Safety issue in our Database on this subject),” Gilliss wrote.

On August 28, 2012, Gilliss wrote again with further concerns about the WAC Bennett dam. This time it was to report about a “strange oscillation event” or sudden, unexplained change in the water levels at Williston reservoir—the massive body of water impounded by the dam.

The event had occurred the month before, Gilliss said, and was considered so perplexing that BC Hydro officials flew over the entire reservoir the next day looking for an explanation.

The suspicion was that a massive amount of soil and rock had sloughed into the reservoir—a possibility, given the notoriously slide-prone banks of the reservoir. But no sign of a big landslide was found.

With no means of checking for underwater slides, Gilliss and others began to contemplate the unthinkable—“that a frack opened up a fissure in the reservoir, and there was a release of gas, that could have displaced the water and caused the oscillation.”

This is where I point out that Site C is built on the same kind of unstable shale material, along even more unstable slopes. BC was given a demonstration of that instability when the slide happened just downstream from site c along the same bank as the infamous North Slope I’ve documented here in many aerial photos. I covered that slide and what was going on above it here, (where I also mention the concerns over fracking quakes and site c), and here.  But lets move onto another excerpt.

As work continues at Site C, more earthquakes close by the construction site and the Peace Canyon dam upstream are almost a certainty. What is far from certain and completely unpredictable is how strong those future earthquakes might be.

On November 29, 2018, hundreds of workers at Site C were ordered to down tools and immediately evacuate the area after a “strong jolt” was felt.

As three scientists noted in a report submitted in February 2019 to Michelle Mungall, BC’s Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, no one can predict how large an earthquake may one day be triggered by a fracking or disposal well operation. That is just one of the many big “unknowns” and “uncertainties” flagged in the report’s 232 pages.

What is certain is that parts of the South Montney basin, including the area where November 2018’s big shake occurred, are extremely susceptible to “induced” earthquakes.

According to a report submitted in June 2019 to the Oil and Gas Commission by two independent geological experts, the “Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area,” which lies just south of the Peace River is riddled with fractures and faults, some of which are close to Site C. Given all of those naturally occurring faults and fractures, continued approval of fracking operations involves known risks with unknown consequences.

~SNIP~

Less than one month after the ground shook with force at Site C in November 2018, Terry Oswell a dam safety engineer at BC Hydro was on a phone call with eight Commission personnel. The subject of the call was to discuss proposed fracking activities by Crew Energy, that were scheduled to take place nearby the Site C construction project in January 2019

Details of what was discussed on the call that day are contained in a subsequent email sent by Oswell on December 11 to two BC Hydro colleagues as well as at least two other individuals whose names are redacted from the FOI record.

The email noted that the Commission had “a shake map” for the earthquake that had been triggered just two weeks earlier by CNRL and that the Commission “would share it” with BC Hydro. Oswell went on to say:

“The OGC has asked operators in the area to provide information on the type and length of faults in their areas. They said the event on Nov 29th was in the graben area [a reference to depressed area of the earth’s crust bordered by parallel faults] which may be conducive to larger events but that the . . . [area] where Crew is working may also have the same type of faulting.”

By then, BC Hydro also knew that there were numerous faults in near proximity to the Site C dam, including two parallel faults that pointed like fingers toward the dam site and that came very close to reaching it—faults that if reactivated, could have significant consequences in the event of a strong earthquake.

In the same email, Oswell recalled some of the questions Commission personnel on the call asked. The questions indicated that Commission personnel knew that a strong earthquake was at least a possibility, and that if it was strong enough, it could have significant implications for at least a portion of the workers at the Site C dam.

So, just to be clear here. It has been known forever that the Peace Canyon dam has a foundational issue and may suffer extensive damage in a fairly small magnitude quake. Its been known it needed seismic upgrades and essentially ignored, not unlike the WAC Bennett dam riprap repairs that I detailed extensively here, that were identified in 1998, and were not repaired until 2016! 

That information regarding all this was not revealed in the Joint Review Panel hearings into Site C, I’m told, and one wonders why. And this is why it matters.

The BC Liberals made LNG their hail Mary that never actually happened before Clark lost the election and her party booted her as leader. Ironically, Horgan picked up the ball and ran with it, doubling down on the subsidies being offered to offshore companies to try and entice them to make a FID in BC. And it worked. In October 2018, Canada LNG announced their final investment decision to proceed in BC.

That decision spurred an ongoing expansion of gas development in north eastern BC,including the Peace Region, which will inevitably bring more quakes, and it is anyone’s guess what size they will be or where they will occur. And without a hard exclusion zone around these dams, there is no certainty a preventable disaster won’t occur in the future.

Despite and against their own engineers documented concerns over decades, BC Hydros NDP appointed president says everything is fine, the dams are all safe and can withstand fracking earthquakes.

Even the ones built before fracking was a widespread and common occurrence in the region.(??) And while O’Riley points out there are no operations within 10km of the Peace and WAC Bennett dam, it is critical to note the quake that jolted Site C in 2018, came from an operation 20kms away and still resulted in a tools down order until everything could be inspected.

How would have a quake that size impacted the Peace Canyon dam? And how are his words any assurance to the people living downstream when the government seems blind to creating a wider exclusion zone to mitigate seismic risks?

Source for image: https://thenarwhal.ca/fracking-induced-earthquakes-buffer-zones-site-c-dam/