Rich Coleman announces retirement as Cullen Commission gets underway

Frédéric Bastiat was a 19th century free market French economist and writer. He is known for his writings on plunder, legal or otherwise, and one of his most reknowned quotes is:

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

For some reason that quote seemed to be the perfect opener to the news everyone is talking about, Rich Coleman is retiring. https://www.langleyadvancetimes.com/news/video-langley-liberal-mla-rich-coleman-retires/

Now, there are the things I am going to write about him, and there are the things I would like to write about him but won’t, because I would probably end up getting sued…

Cheryl Wiens of Langley though, did a nice thread listing quite a few things Rich is known for, some you might have forgotten. Check it out here: https://twitter.com/GreenEconomyNow/status/1233783499514974209

 

But is anyone really surprised he’s retiring just as the Cullen commission is underway? I’m actually surprised he didn’t announce it sooner.

The former RCMP officer turned MLA,  has come under scrutiny many times over the years for actions and decisions he made while a minister. In the last couple of years I have written two posts that still rank as the highest viewed ever.

For good reason. They both directly relate to issues that will likely be examined at the Cullen Commission.

In the first one I posted a video of Sean Holman’s 2010 interview with Coleman, discussing how and why the IIGET was disbanded. I dissect it at specific timestamps in the video, pointing out questions and contradictions in Colemans responses. Its a riveting interview, not just for how Holman refuses to back off, but how Coleman responds. The man does not have a poker face, no pun intended.

Watch the video and read the full analysis HERE:  Money and Corruption are Ruining the Land II 

But there is more, and that first video….along with responses Coleman started giving the press nearly 10 years later when Sam Cooper started breaking all the money laundering stories…..prompted me to look again.

That developed into the second most popular Coleman post ever on this blog, in which I take apart Colemans claim they did everything they could to crack down on money laundering.

You can watch those videos, and read that blog HERE:  The Coleman Files

I guarantee that taking the time to read those two blogs alone, and making sure you watch Sean Holmans video interviews posted in them, will convince you that Rich Coleman should be subpoenaed by the Cullen Commission.

But it doesn’t end there.

This January  Sam Cooper once again broke an amazing story, and it prompted me to take a chronological look back at how long people had been calling for a corruption inquiry…and why Colemans decisions needed to be scrutinised further.

You can read that post HERE:  Confidential RCMP report Reveals Chilling Details and Puts Even more Focus on Colemans decision to disband the IIGET 

I still feel strongly the province made the wrong decision to limit the scope of the Cullen Commission to money laundering.

The extent of corruption in this province goes far beyond money laundering in casinos, and I doubt – since the commission isn’t deemed to find fault – we may not see the full examination of how government itself allows it to flourish.

Remember,  The Enemy is Corruption, it doesn’t begin or end with a political party, when it is so entrenched.

If you want to follow the Cullen Commission hearings, check out their schedules and all information here https://cullencommission.ca/

We haven’t seen the last of Rich Coleman yet. I think he is cocky enough to bet that because there is no fault finding attached to the Commission, he might get through unscathed.

 

 

 

Party that refused to stop accepting foreign donations, complains about foreign funding…

The hypocrisy of the BC Liberals always astounds me – they truly have zero moral high ground over anyone in the legislature on pretty much every single issue.

But the faux moral outrage and drama they have concocted over ” foreign funded intervention in BC energy projects” takes the cake.

Seeing Ellis Ross and Shirley Bond and others go on and on about foreign donations and funding derailing policy right now, IS so hypocritical and cunning. Why? Because the BC Liberals came under fire prior to the last election, for refusing to stop taking foreign donations. Slow clap, hand them all an Oscar for that performance.

This was the BC Liberals in 2017

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-liberals-accept-foreign-donations-despite-ban-in-parts-of-canada/article34262549/

“British Columbia’s governing Liberal Party routinely accepts significant donations from foreign interests – a practice that is banned in many other Canadian jurisdictions. The party’s overflowing campaign war chest includes cash from offshore oil and gas companies, European pharmaceutical companies and Beijing investment firms.

British Columbia has no residency requirement for political contributions from individuals or companies, but provincial Justice Minister Suzanne Anton said Thursday in an interview with The Globe and Mail that it’s an issue “worth keeping an eye on.”…

…”It’s not something we are proposing to do at the moment. I don’t think it’s a big influence in B.C. politics”

Among the donations the BC Liberals accepted were ones from state ownedChinese companies, and Petronas who is a partner in LNG Canada. 

Huh. Imagine that.

This is the BC Liberals NOW… in 2020

https://www.mapleridgenews.com/business/b-c-liberals-call-for-ban-on-foreign-funds-to-pipeline-protesters/

As a gas pipeline protest camp continued to grow in front of the B.C. legislature Wednesday, Skeena MLA Ellis Ross called on the NDP government to end a “coordinated assault on the Canadian economy” financed by U.S. charitable foundations.

I’m told but haven’t the time to look, that Sandy Garossino has debunked this on Twitter. A couple of ENGO’S have formally reacted to it, detailing how inaccurate their specific claims to their organizations were.

Seriously, how do the BC Liberals expect anyone to take them seriously? It’s bad enough they turned a blind eye to money laundering ( a post on the Cullen Commission and Rich Colemans mouthiness there, soon), but now they are outraged over foreign money in BC politics? They used to LOVE foreign money as evidenced by the donations they accepted. Even then Justice minister Suzanne Anton didn’t object. And that went on for years.

If one wants to really look how foreign money influences Canadian politics in ways average people dont see, just look at the amount of foreign companies using foreign funds to pay for lobbyists to meet directly with elected officials and government staff all the time.

Specifically to influence policy and legislation that’s favourable to them  That’s why the Lobbyist Registry exists, to give an illusions of transparency.

And yet I dont hear the BC Liberals  complaining about that either.

The truth is foreign funds and foreign companies have influenced our politicians, economy and policy for years. Especially when it comes to oil and gas policy. But not one of these hypocrites will mention that because ita “different” when they don’t.

And I have yet to see any reporter ask them why their stance on this has suddenly changed.

 

Motherlode or Fools Gold ? 2 Things that will have you questioning the push for BC LNG

** updated below post Feb 20, 2020. CGL pipeline has applied for a federal loan to help build the pipeline.**

 

With Wetʼsuwetʼen supporter blockades and demonstrations ongoing, no one can miss the barrage of pro LNG industry advertising popping up everywhere heavily promoting Coastal GasLinks natural gas pipeline.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline begins in BC, ends in BC and if finished will transport natural gas to LNG Canada’s plant when its completed in approximately 2025. Industry groups and Premier Horgan have both said this project is critical for British Columbians and will bring prosperity and revenue into provincial coffers for decades. 

For the average, non political person, these ads – viewed without knowledge of global LNG market problems or how subsidized the industry is – do make it sound like the motherlode of all opportunities for BC.

But a deeper look at some industry reports I came across recently, really has me shaking my head at the public relations campaigns from the BC LNG Alliance and Resource Works. Even industry reports are transparent about the need for subsidies to even make LNG happen in BC.

This all won’t be sexy info for most people, admittedly. But British Columbians are on the hook for a lot when it comes to  LNG. And they should be asking why.

It’s of no news to anyone, least of all John Horgan, that the spot price of LNG right now is at a historical low.  There has been a glut of LNG flooding the market for some time, and due to a warmer winter than normal and China’s Covid-19 outbreak, it’s a bit of a nightmare for LNG exports right now. 

Prices are sitting around the $3.00 US per mmBTU in Asia, down from $20 six years ago. 

However alarming that is for gas producers, it isn’t the current price of LNG we need to worry about. LNG Canada’s plant won’t open until 2025, so it is the price of LNG in 2025 that analysts look towards as one factor in viability.

This is where it gets interesting. One would think that with LNG prices at rock bottom prices, there would be no where to go but up, and those with skin in the game will do anything to make you believe it will . After all, their jobs depend on it, to be blunt.

 

But a new report indicates the opposite in fact, that another glut in a few years will ensure prices stay low: 

…But while the glut is set to come to an end, which should lift rock-bottom spot prices, the race to give the green light for new projects has intensified, the analysts said. The winners in the next race would be low-cost producers with clear funding plans and some LNG service companies.

“Competition to sanction the next wave of LNG projects has intensified risking another glut in the mid-2020s,” Bernstein said.”The seeds of the next cycle are already being planted.”

“With a further 110 million tonnes per annum of potential projects the competition for market space will be intense,” Bernstein said.

That article should be read in full as it details other projects coming online mid 2020’s when LNG  Canada will be online.

This anticipated future glut is a big reason Chevron is trying to shed its stake in Kitimat LNG, the other potential LNG plant on tap for Northern BC. 

Now, the likelihood of another LNG glut in the global market in the mid 2020’s could spell disaster for the LNG Canada partners…or spell disaster for the provincial and federal governments. Let me tell you why.

The Canadian Energy Research Institute issued a report July 2018, on the viability of LNG in Canada, West coast potential projects versus East coast projects.  You can read the full report here: https://ceri.ca/assets/files/Study_172_Full_Report.pdf

From the report:

The cost competitiveness of an LNG plant is in relation to the destination markets. A project with
certain supply costs and transportation costs needs to ensure that the price offered at the
destination market over 20-years will cover those costs. Otherwise, the LNG owners risk a loss.
In this section, the landed costs of LNG in Canada and competing jurisdictions are compared with
prices at the destination markets. Further, the section presents ways to improve cost competitiveness for Canadian projects. ** note, improving cost competiveness = more government subsidies, LY**

Key observations:
1. Western Canada and Eastern Canada LNG landed costs are more expensive than the
current spot price in Japan (for Eastern Canada LNG, northeast Asia is not a priority
market). The difference between Western Canada LNG landed costs and spot price is
$0.80 at the time of writing (May 2018). ** spot price at the time of this report was $8.20..its sitting far lower now at $3.00ish**LY
2. Under an oil-linked contract ( which many Asian buyers prefer), a Western Canada LNG project will need an oil price of
approximately $80 or higher over the life of the project to break-even (contract price is
assumed at 11.5% of Brent contract; break-even costs include a return to investors).
3. The total liquefaction costs of Western Canada LNG (all costs except for natural gas) are
higher than for the US GoM-based project.

Do you see the issue now? These calculations for viability,while approximates, actually included the provincial governments ‘incentives’ aka subsidies, at an LNG price that was much higher than it is now.

The report mentions how governments could make it more competitive by offering more incentives. (I recently explored the amount of lobbying going on by CAPP and other industry groups here : https://lailayuile.com/2020/01/29/lng-lobbyists-policy-why-big-money-is-still-a-very-big-problem-in-bc-politics/ )

The questions surrounding the economics alone are unsettling. BC LNG projects require much higher LNG prices AND an oil price $80 just to break even. To make a profit it would have to be even higher.

This is why those LNG lobbyists are all busy lobbying right now. They want better policy for them and more subsidies to ensure the industry can make money.

It’s even been questioned why LNG Canada would even go ahead with such challenges. Some analysts speculate it’s just a way for LNG Canadas partners to lock down a dedicated gas supply for 40 years. Pretty much on BC taxpayers dime.

Marc Lee touches on this in his dissection of the LNG subsidies given by our current government. I suggest you read it if you haven’t. https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2019/05/CCPA_BC%20Critiquing%20the%20LNG%20Canada%20agreement_FINAL_190506.pdf

Further food for thought on the challenging economics and viability of LNG can be found here, in this Oxford Energy Study: https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Challenges-to-the-Future-of-LNG-NG-152.pdf?v=3e8d115eb4b3

One thing before I go. Boosters keep pushing the save China from air pollution and coal line. Frankly, it’s bunk. Yes, LNG is used overseas and it will continue to be. But coal is very cheap right now and will be used heavily for years to come. Right now Japan is racing to build new coal plants, despite knowing how environmentally unsound it is. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/climate/japan-coal-fukushima.html

And China is not only building more coal plants, it is also financing others in less developed countries who can’t get financing for them anywhere else. 

Any LNG we produce is not going to displace the impact of all these new coal plants overseas.

Now we are in a spot where the ndp government has focused so much on one project and industry just like the BC Liberals did, that zero work has been done to diversify and create resilient northern communities that don’t bust when the resource disappears.

A lot can happen in the next few years. Many countries are moving past LNG right to renewables. Investors are wary and just this week the headlines declared worlds top LNG producer is in trouble.

LNG in BC. Is it really the motherlode…or is it just fools gold? Only time will tell.

*** update Feb 20, 2020.

CGL pipeline has applied for a loan or grant from the feds. In essence taxpayers loaning money to help build a pipeline to LNG Canada, a project that isn’t viable without billions in government subsidies.

https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2020/02/20/federal-crown-corporation-considering-giving-loan-to-coastal-gaslink-amidst-ongoing-wetsuweten-protests.html

 

It’s time for Horgan to tell Coastal Gaslink to use an alternate route to bypass Wet’suwet’en territory.

** updated at the bottom

Article 10 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states: Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.

On November 19th, 2019,every party stood in the legislature to applaud as  the BC government adopted legislation to implement and align BC’s laws with UNDRIP.

This….is not that.

20200207_17023720200207_1326013

One month ago today I, along with many others, publicly called for all eyes on Wet’suwet’en in this blog post detailing the ongoing impasse: https://lailayuile.com/2020/01/07/all-eyes-on-wetsuweten/

In this post I explain how the Delgamuukw/Gisday’wa Supreme Court decision made in 1997, acknowledged Indigenous rights and title where no treaty had been signed.

The Delgamuukw case was framed around traditional hereditary leadership.(currently several Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs do not consent to Coastal Gaslinks pipeline on the territory)

Delgamuukw is a chief’s name in the Gitxsan Nation, passed down through generations, and Delgamuukw was one of dozens of plaintiffs in the case, composed of hereditary chiefs from both the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Nations.

The lands in question in that landmark case, are the same lands in which these screen captures were taken from a live stream publicly aired today during the ongoing RCMP enforcement of the injunction.

Solidarity rally’s and demonstrations have sprung up all over Canada at times shutting down the Vancouver Port, and rail lines back east.

The BC Ndp caucus response has largely  been to pretend it’s not happening and scheduled two major press conferences two days in a row to distract press and public when the RCMP injunction enforcement began. (Very little news mainstream coverage  was dedicated to the enforcement itself, press didnt seem to get interested until they too were blocked from entry to the legislature)

As I write this, I’m unsure of the status of what’s going on, my info is gleaned from public facebook pages, and the feeds of Ricochet media and Unist’ot’en camp itself, online. There have been arrests today but gate occupants have been peaceful and have asserted many times they have no weapons.

It appears though now, that RCMP have been blocked inside the exclusion zone as detailed by this reporter.

https://mobile.twitter.com/pieglue/status/1225928107971842049

Screenshot_20200207-171850_Samsung Internet

Premier Horgan made a grave error I believe, not in implementing the UNDRIP legislation, but in then declaring it is forward looking only and doesn’t apply to this project or any other underway.

You cannot have it both ways when some of the hereditary chiefs whose rights and title on this territory has been acknowledged by the Supreme Court of Canada….are now at the mercy of a  BC court ordering them not to impede the pipeline work. On their own territory where permits are still under review!

This is not going to go away, nor should the NDP caucus expect it to.

And it sets an alarming tone in trying to move forward when the expectation is Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who are still opposed, are not important enough to consider as the ones in favour, and a peaceful resolution to government actually just means they agree to allow the pipeline.

Let me state clearly now, that I oppose the expansion of LNG in BC, along with the LNG Canada project. I always have, long before the NDP took power.

I don’t support this pipeline.

I will continue to write about the folly of such focused dedication to this lng industry. I have detailed the faulty economics and environmental issues here so many times, supported by lng future price forecasts in my most recent post.  I even detailed how the seeds for another glut of LNG hitting the market right when LNG Canada opens, are being sown right now..I don’t think this entire project will even be economically feasible when it’s done… if it is even completed: https://lailayuile.com/2020/01/29/lng-lobbyists-policy-why-big-money-is-still-a-very-big-problem-in-bc-politics/

But I can only think of what is happening of the Wet’suwet’en who are opposed , some of whom have high powered tactical rifles pointed at them and their supporters, and how to resolve it.

This government is all in on LNG. They will not stop the project or the pipeline.

Several Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs want RCMP and Coastal Gaslink to leave forever.

I believe further talks between the two will be fruitless, personally.

However, early last year,then MP Nathan Cullen suggested an alternate route be taken by Coastal Gaslink around Wet’suwet’en territory.

https://www.terracestandard.com/news/move-natural-gas-pipeline-mp-suggests/

Coastal has already moved a small portion of this pipeline once ( the approved southern route) so clearly it can be done.

Coastal does not want to change the route, but I also know Coastal doesn’t want any more issues. They avoided even discussing further alternate routes with the reporter in the link above.

Instead of sending Cullen to meet with hereditary chiefs knowing full well they will not leave or be bought off, premier Horgan should have called Coastal Gaslink to his table. And it can still be done.

Premier Horgan, you are on the wrong side of history on this issue. Even the BC Federation of Labour is calling for removal of RCMP and new discussions as of an hour ago. https://bcfed.ca/news/statements/bc-federation-labour-statement-situation-wet%E2%80%99suwet%E2%80%99en-territory

You implemented legislation to right wrongs of the past and create a new path forward. Ignoring the SCOC court acknowledged title and rights of the hereditary chiefs is not in the spirit of implementing UNDRIP.

I urge you to immediately call on Coastal Gaslink to use another route. They will whine. They will make excuses why they can’t. But you are the premier and you have an opportunity here to back up your big talk on reconciliation.

The Wet’suwet’en territory will be left untouched.

You will have your economically unviable pipeline.

The nations who have signed agreements must have their deals and benefits protected.

And it will show that you too can reconsider that it is not too late to right a wrong underway.  That is what leadership is all about.

I call on all who support Wet’suwet’en, to join me in this call for Premier Horgan to call on Coastal Gaslink to use  an alternate route.

Call, email, share online. Those with access to the premier, please use your position to urge him to act now.

*This video was shared with me online.  The background: 

” It was written and recorded on unceded Sinixt tum-ula7xw in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs protecting their lands. This song is addressing John Horgan, David Eby, RCMP, Coastal Gas Link, TC energy and all others involved in this oppression. We invite you to sit down and listen. This is an appeal for you to really ask yourselves if you feel good about invading Indigenous lands and ripping people from their territories. Is this the legacy you want to leave? Is this the best contribution to the world that you’re capable of making? Will your grandchildren be proud of you?

*** UPDATE Feb 16th, 2020***

Andrew Kurjata of CBC did some digging into alternate routes. His twitter thread  detailing how and what he researched is here:

https://mobile.twitter.com/akurjata/status/1228844031729373191

And his article is here : https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5464945?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar&__twitter_impression=true

Yep. I was right again. They can reroute. They just dont want to.

” To change the route to avoid Wet’suwet’en territory at this date would require major environmental assessment work, which would not be feasible under the timelines to which we have committed….”

Coastal Gaslink does not run this province.  The government is beyond ridiculous trying to get Wet’suwet’en to agree to let the pipeline through instead of telling Coastal Gaslink to reroute. That this government just sided with the company is appalling.

Horgan and Trudeau need to tell Coastal to reroute.

*** update Feb 16, 10 pm.

A significant development..

The Mohawk leader tehonikonrathe says the CN blockade will continue for some time until the Wetsuweten Hereditary Chiefs let them know they have negotiated an agreement or  otherwise state they do not need their support.

A very well spoken man. And seemingly a historic moment.