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Enbridge's catastrophic spill in the Kalamazoo watershed in Michigan last year

How in hell can any British Columbian who cares for our wonderful – in the literal sense of that word – and unique province support the Conservative bunch after Prime Minister Harper declared his support for oil tanker traffic on our coast?


The position I take on my own and as spokesman for The Common Sense Canadian is not some sort of outdated 1960’s flower-child fuzziness, but is based upon the certainty that the proposed piping of oil from the Tar Sands to Kitimat and thence down the coast in huge tankers will have spills and that any spill will be disastrous.

First off there are two pipelines, one to bring the black ooze from the Tar Sands to Kitimat and another back containing the natural gas condensate needed to dilute and transport that black ooze (bitumen) that is extremely toxic.

A spill in our coastal waters would make The Exxon Valdez look almost helpful by comparison.

The company doing the pipelines, Enbridge, has a horrible record, including the spilling of 4 million litres of oil into the Kalamazoo watershed in Michigan last year.

The pipelines will go through the most sensitive wild country left on the planet. It is 1050 km, so that any ruptures would be unattended for days – it took days, for God’s sake, for Enbridge to attend to the Kalamazoo, which is in Michigan not the Great Bear Rainforest!

The danger here is not some left-wing teary fuzz but a matter of arithmetic.

Suppose you had a revolver with 100 chambers with only one containing a bullet. You can easily figure out the “risk” of putting the gun to your head and pulling the trigger once. You can figure out the risk if you do it 100 times…or for a 1000.

If, however, you will do this forever it is no longer a risk but a mathematical certainty waiting to happen. And when that reality happens, you have destroyed yourself.

Now suppose you put marshmallow in the chamber not a bullet – in that case no one cares because there isn’t a serious consequence.

The reality is that both with the pipelines and the tanker traffic you have a certainty waiting to happen and it isn’t marshmallow spilling all over our precious wild country and our coastline!

If you intend to support the Tories, know that they have absolutely condemned your province to hugely destructive spills both on your precious wilderness and your coastline – perhaps the world’s most beautiful and certainly one of its most dangerous. Every time you hear the company or the government saying “risk”, substitute “certainty”.

Prime Minister Harper has shown that he either doesn’t understand the consequences of the pipelines and tankers or knows them and doesn’t care.

Are we British Columbians going to put the fate of our great and untouchable wilds and coastline in the hands of Stephen Harper and his ilk?

I am scarcely a leftie. I served as a Socred in this province’s cabinet. I’m now simply an old man who loves his province and wants to leave it to his children, grandchildren and great grandchild as he found it and finds himself fighting greedy corporations who couldn’t care less if they destroy my province … with two governments determined to help them.

Please ponder on these words and vow that this destruction won’t happen on your watch if you can help it.

One Response to “Harper’s Outrageous Support for Oil Tankers”

  1. m says:

    type embridge michigan spill and see what you get

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