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Pasted hereon is one of the funniest clips I have ever seen. It’s a spoof of an Enbridge pipeline video ad by Vancouver Province cartoonist, Dan Murphy. It’s brilliant and was on the Province’s website last Friday. It was pulled a few hours later after an enraged call to the Province by Enbridge.

I go back a long way with Dan, he and I both having drawn and written respectively for the late and much lamented Equity Magazine.

I have, over the Campbell/Clark years, complained that Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun and Mike Smyth of the Province were self-censoring with respect to the Liberal government. I could not believe that these two fine writers had not noticed the Liberal governments consistent egregiously bad behaviour on environmental issues like fish farms, rapacious private rivers, BC Hydro and, yes, the proposed Enbridge pipeline. I have always made it clear, as I do now, that if I were supporting a family I too would take care not to submit columns that displeased my boss.

A year or so ago, Wayne Moriarty, the publisher of the Province, phoned me and complained about remarks as I described above and seemed to alternate between anger and tears. His parting question, where I thought I detected tears, he asked “do you really think I order my columnists what not to write, Rafe?” to which I replied, “Wayne, you don’t have to – that’s the point.”

Watch the above marvellous spoof – several times because it’s that funny – and remember that when the Province got its marching orders from Enbridge, the Province immediately pulled it!

Then ask yourself, doesn’t this demonstrate, beyond any doubt, why the Postmedia papers, especially the Sun and Province, have flooded their op-ed pages with industry propaganda and have avoided like the plague anything critical of this government in the environmental field? (One also must ask whether the full-page ads Enbridge has been running in the paper of late influenced the pulling of Murphy’s cartoon).

Does it not tell you that the only logical conclusion one can come to is that Postmedia papers, in Vancouver at any rate, do indeed censor and that in all probability their columnists self-censor?

This is, I admit, a delicious moment for me for all I have been saying, no doubt ad nauseum to many, about censorship in the media, has been amply demonstrated.

To continue the Latin, you may remember in high school math, after demonstrating the truth of a theorem, you would write QED.

For proving my theorem I feel I also have the right to say Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

“Thus has it been demonstrated.”

3 Responses to “Province Newspaper Pulled Cartoon Under Pressure from Enbridge”

  1. john says:

    Rafe,
    Thanks for your piece on Dan Murphy’s cartoon on Enbridge. You say, “Does it not tell you that the only logical conclusion one can come to is that Postmedia papers, in Vancouver at any rate, do indeed censor and that in all probability their columnists self-censor?” As many have known since the corporate newspaper came into being so many years ago, this is not about a particular corporation. It is about the corporation itself. As Joel Bakan argues, Post Media is not a “bad apple.” As Dan Murphy had the courage to go to the CBC, so you, Rafe, can summon the courage (though, less is required in your case) to concede that the corporate model is the problem, not Post Media.

  2. e.a.f. says:

    I loved the cartoon. I think it is going to get more exposure because it was pulled. I saw it on Laila Yuille’s blog also.

    The Province may have kept their advertiser but they are loosing their readers. Without readers there eventually won’t be any advertisers.

    Too many media outlets are being controlled by too few corporations. We no longer have a free media. If it weren’t for bloggers I wouldn’t know half of the things which are going on in the province. I can see why Moriatry pulled the cartoon, if he didn’t he’d be out of a job with not much hope of getting another.

    Pulling these types of cartoons is like getting the old “banned in Boston” blessing.

  3. carl shalansky says:

    I agree that Enbridge is not the one I’d select to build a pipeline in my backyard..but pipelines are here to stay—all we ask is that we get the best organization,with impeccable credentials to do the job—let’s have an open process and invite all the major pipeliners to give us their proposals—remove tanker traffic from Douglas channel—instead build another ‘Sarnia’ at Prince Rupert (refineries,petrochemicals.LNG,etc.)—then it may worth the risk to proceed…I’ve sent the following to main stream media(MSM),politicians,etc. but scant response—but just enough to keep me in the fight..thanks

    1) WE ARE CONCERNED THAT ENBRIDGE’ PIPELINE ‘INCIDENTS’ WILL BE REPEATED HERE
    There are millions of miles of pipeline in the world and more millions will be built. What I want to see is a commitment from the Enbridge Board, stating clearly, that they mean to minimize the probability of a pipeline failure, everywhere(yes, on existing pipelines also) ; starting today, and 10 ,20 , or 50 years hence ! This Enbridge commitment to be included in a PUBLIC STATEMENT by the Board of Directors.We want them to assure us that their ‘Board approved commitment’ will be fulfilled to the best of their ability! Yes-this Northern Gateway proposal will be reviewed at the upcoming Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) Hearings—The NEB must understand that we don’t want a pipeline that mirrors what we can read about Enbridge online . FYI: The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)will be releasing a summary report(July 10,2012) about the probable cause of the 2010 Enbridge, Michigan(Kalamazoo River) incident . We(VOTERS) want to let our politicians know that we’re leery of this Enbridge bunch!!The recent reviews by (U.S.) National Transportation Board NTSB and others leave Enbridge with a tarnished ,even scary image? If they plan to build in my backyard then I want to see what I call an OPERATIONS SAFETY EPIPHANY by the Enbridge Board of Directors.If Enbridge is not prepared to make this type of full commitment for their operations then Enbridge should just GO HOME—If our leaders still are convinced that we need the revenue from this pipeline then they should invite proposals from the pipeline industry at large..and Enbridge can resubmit a proposal for evaluation in an open process.
    2) REMOVE the Major area of concern.
    Enbridge’s detailed (online) project information is impressive. Lots of tech stuff which is good? However when I looked at the marine charts I did wonder how it would be POSSIBLE to navigate through the tortuous channels between the many islands , during a howling gale, without contacting some hidden underwater objects . The best plan would be to minimize the probability of a shipping failure,by relocating terminal outside of the Douglas Channel—why not Prince Rupert?.

    Enbridge say that this 50 or 60 km pipeline extension(to Prince Rupert) is ‘too difficult’. -what? They’re planning to traverse 1100/1200 km of rugged mountain country with major tunneling,difficult river crossings etc. on the way to Kitimat!
    There are other opportunities for Canada?Why not upgrade the bitumen oil in Canada–build petrochemical plants/refineries (beside LNG Plants) here, for domestic use and export .. I’d guess that huge market awaits in Asia,US,etc. —then it may be that this proposal could be worth the RISK.–
    3) DEALING WITH INEVITABLE SYSTEM FAILURES
    The first obvious step would be to minimize the probability of pipeline and facilities failures.
    A Chief Technical OFFICER***(CTO) who must have direct access to the Board should be responsible to keep THE CORPORATION informed about international progress in similar facilities and operational practices; and to advise the Board about ‘AREAS OF CONCERN’ WITHIN OUR PHYSICAL PLANT and COUNSEL ‘HOW AND WHEN’ TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION! The CTO and staff would sit on National and International Committees during development of Engineering Codes and Standards, Government Regulations ,and Specialty groups involved with Operations TRAINING and Safety Practices ,etc. This would be the first step in ensuring that an operation can minimize the probability of a failure; by keeping your key operations personnel involved as participants and leaders in all the ‘developmental fields’ of our business …Outside consultants can help—however our your own TRAINED people will be the first to know about the AREAS OF CONCERN ON THEIR SYSTEM-and it’s certain that areas of concern will be discovered–soon!!—-so TRAIN,develop and LISTEN TO and HEAR the message from your own people and initiate appropriate,TIMELY action .
    Think of Enbridge Michigan/Kalamazoo oil pipeline mess ,the BP Gulf of Mexico nightmare, Ocean Ranger oil platform loss,EXXON VALDES calamity ,Space ship Challenger disaster,Walkerton E-Coli fiasco,Ford Pinto ‘bean counter’ exercise,etc.,etc. A question goes begging–was there a Chief Technical Officer present in these disaster situations and if so did anyone pay any attention to the CTO’ recommendations?? A Board’s DELAYING of action can be the most costly ‘action’?. Will Enbridge survive this Kalamazoo nightmare?- they probably will survive? I’m hoping to see an operations safety EPIPHANY by the Enbridge Board.I am hopeful that the NEB will retain the highest level of expertise to cross examine the Enbridge team—let the public hear and decide if Enbridge,NEB,and politicians have received our message—and finally we should see an NEB report convincing us that this pipeline meets all reasonable expectations. Transcripts of NEB Hearings proceedings are typically available daily—so we nervous folks can observe ‘unfiltered’ information about how the Hearings are progressing…

    ***Corporate Technical Officer(CTO)
    The CTO would be responsible to counsel the Board of Directors as to International best practices for new and existing plant facilities ,etc….in my opinion this should improve the quality of physical plant facilities and operating practices. The Board can agree or disagree with the counsel received but at least the Board gets an opportunity to decide…based on best information available, –although still NOT without some risk! The Board then should assume the responsibility for the associated risks. With this in mind I’d guess that Board members would ‘listen hard’ to CTO recommendations!The bottom line is we all want to see ‘best effort’ as a minimum requirement when building systems that may affect the Canadian public. Then the Enbridge Board will be ‘judged’ on their decision (was their decision reasonable or lacking and was there reasonable amount of time and resources put into arriving at that decision.—seems fair enough..the obvious and desired result would be that better operating decisions would be expected with minimum failures.

    Carl Shalansky, P.Eng.(retired)
    3359 Redfern Place
    North Vancouver,B.C.,V7N3W2

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