Wet’suwet’en

February 2020

We now have our own version of Standing Rock here in Canada, involving real people who live as they have for millennia on unceded territory in British Columbia.

Under the Indian Act, it was decreed that there would be elections on reservations etc., to run those reserves and those who won the brass goose would be called elected chiefs.  Problem is that like almost every politician in North America, they are subject to the bribes or threats of the corporate powers whose only interest is money.  These elected chiefs in Wet’suwet’en,  for whichever of the above reasons, fell in line with the power structure (read corporate right and profit versus peoples’ rights) and here is where the whole problem arises. 

The elected chiefs are there to run their reserves as businesses and in accordance to the scraps given them by federal and provincial money, and even smaller scraps by corporate powers plundering their lands.

The Hereditary Chiefs are there to ensure that the way of life, the land, the waters and the air are not irreparably damaged for those yet to come. They too are the keepers of history and tradition and that includes sacred lands where their ancestors are buried.

The Hereditary Chiefs are not bound by threats of less money or the promise of more money as that is not their way.  Their way is the way of the land as it has been for thousands of years.  Because of their stewardship of the land, air and water it is all still there for their people and they are trying to make sure that it will be next year, next decade and next century.  Don’t try and tell them they can’t get by without money, for money is only a new imposition upon them since the foreigners attacked and stole some of this land a few centuries ago and introduced them to European ways of treachery.

Under the leadership of the Hereditary Chiefs, there are still animals to trap, water to drink and clean air to breathe and life experiences to be taught to the young people; that is all under attack by corporate greed with elected people from Canada and BC in full agreement.  

 Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realize that we can’t eat money  (Native American Proverb)

So what is happening in the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en is an affront to all those who agree with and have signed on to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Can you imagine the outcry if the Algonquin territory upon which our capital is built, was to be taken back and turned into a massive amusement park? Oh, actually I suppose it has already if you have a twisted sense of humour, for it is becoming more and more difficult to differentiate between politicians and willful children pretending to have fun.

 If this is what it means when the PM reiterates over and over again that the most important relationship the government has is with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis, then we are in a period of time travelling with Alice through her looking glass.

 What have we become Canada?

A new bigger cabinet for Canada or is it?

 

 

I watched the swearing of the 2019 Liberal Cabinet with some interest and some great disappointment.

First and most important the same old oaths of allegiance were made to the Queen of the Commonwealth rather than to the people of Canada. Two things on this. First, she doesn’t pay one single solitary penny (or now obsolete cent) towards those who are swearing allegiance to her or to her representative here in Canada who is also paid and a home is provided for by the people of Canada to whom she owes absolutely no allegiance. She is simply a figurehead.   Second, if these MPs are elected and paid for by the people of Canada why do they not consider us allegiance worthy?

As to the cabinet itself it was a huge relief to se that Freeland was removed from the Foreign Office which might indicate that Canada will once again have relationships with all countries, Clearly, Freeland has some very strong views about which countries were and are acceptable to Canadians and I would venture to say that she was wrong in asserting her own prejudices upon us all.  It was and is and should be very important to have some relationship with all countries, especially those with whom we have disagreements.  How will differences be solved if we have to use countries such as Italy for example to communicate our views?   Perhaps if Ms. Freeland had spent more time on diplomatic relationships with those countries instead of taking over trade agreements (really disguised investment agreements) when we had a Trade Minister perfectly capable of doing that job then we would have more friends and fewer enemy states. Our relationships to Russia, Iran, China and Venezuela to mention just a few depended entirely on her whims and prejudices and not necessarily the desires of the Canadian people.  Since we are trying for a seat on the Security Council again then we should have been making friends not exacerbating her enemies.  Her position as deputy PM fills me with concern.

Searching for ministers who had any ties to the west – Alberta and Saskatchewan really – is I suppose a political future reality, but in my view, those two provinces clearly banked on Scheer being elected and lost.  Too bad.  They will be looked after as they are still part of Canada but to pander to their needs when they are so clearly out of step with reality is nonsense.   Oil is different from bitumen, and bitumen is what is extracted from the tar sands not oil. CBC pundits such as Alison Redford and the ultra-conservative Christy Clark seemed to think that oil and gas is still the number one priority for Canada rather than developing clean alternatives asap.  I still have no word from any bitumen export promoters as to where these “new” markets are located.

When CN and CP were sold to private interests any clout with them disappears into corporate profit which is separate from the needs of the Canadian people.   Has everyone forgotten what happened after the Wheat Board was closed (against the grain farmers wishes) and then sold to the Saudis and so no-one ordered rail cars for the grain?  Now there is a strike based on personnel safety – which could end up with another Lac Megantic disaster if not taken care of – and those provinces are screaming for back to work legislation. Oh boy.

Another disappointment is that there will be no return to the use of our own public  bank – the Bank of Canada – to finance what we need as both the Minister of Finance and the PM are both puppets to the big banks, both domestic and international and their profits must be assured no matter how much it costs the people of Canada.

Then there is O’Regan who mishandled how many portfolios (3) s in the last parliament being given even more powers as Minister of Natural Resources of all things.  Must be nice to be a buddy to the PM what?   How he will deal with the likes of Kenny whose redneck, bigoted,white supremacist roots are plain to see will be interesting to watch. I expect him to retreat in tears very quickly.

Overall not a particularly impressing cabinet but I will wait to see what happens.

 

Jeremy

What the heck is going on?

February 7th 2019

 

From: Rule of law, to breaking UN declaration, to recognizing a rebel as an interim president to giving $53 million to that same country.

“Regardless of what goes on in other countries, Canada is — and will always remain — a country of the rule of law,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday.

 No State or group of States has the right to intervene or interfere in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other States. … The right and duties set out in this Declaration are interrelated and are in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.Dec 9, 1981

From the PM’s official website:

News

  1. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Juan Guaidó, Interim President of Venezuela

Ottawa, Ontario – February 3, 2019

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with the Interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. The two leaders discussed the importance of the international community sending a clear message regarding the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime and the need to respect the Venezuelan Constitution. Both underscored the importance that free and fair Presidential elections be held.

The Prime Minister commended Juan Guaidó for his courage and leadership in helping to return democracy to Venezuela and offered Canada’s continued support.  The Prime Minister noted that the Lima Group meeting in Ottawa tomorrow will consider how the international community can further support the people of Venezuela, including through immediate humanitarian assistance.

Juan Guaidó conveyed his commitment to a peaceful transition to democracy, in line with the Venezuelan Constitution, and thanked the Prime Minister for Canada’s role in helping lead the international response to the crisis in Venezuela.

 

CPAC

HEADLINE POLITICS

Canada Pledges $53M in Humanitarian Aid for Venezuela

 

 

I could fully understand this behaviour from Donald Trump who probably wants to build a Trump Tower or Golf Course there and to whom the relevance of truth or consequences has no meaning, but to come from Canada?  

Where is the mandate from the people of Canada for this serial interference in defiance of the UN declaration?  Do we not matter when we are supposed to pay for this instead of real-time problems here at home?  

 Rule of law only applies when it is convenient maybe?

Of course how silly of me….it’s simply an extension of the Bev Oda / Stephen Harper bribery in South America on behalf of Canadian Mining Corporations.   See the “Ugly Canadian” by Yves Engler for full details on that corruption and how much it cost us. Remember that “Surprise” cartoon of Harper removing a Trudeau mask to reveal himself? 

$53 million would supply a lot of mobile homes to Cat Lake or any other reservation with housing mould problems.   It would create jobs for Canadian manufacturers – if there are any still in Canada, I think one somewhere in Ontario may still be building I am not sure or maybe Ford has closed them down by now.  But safe warm houses for our original people is not a priority whereas the future gross profit, at local inhabitants’ loss of rights and homes even their lives, for some Canadian mining corporations is.  

Sounds about right for a crown/corporation owned and run colony.

So what do we do about it?

Our taxes pay for those who make these very poor judgements so maybe we should refuse to pay for MPs who put corporate greed and profit over Canadian wellbeing – and I mean ALL Canadians which includes the First Nations, Inuit and Metis.   Tax time is coming so claim your refunds but if you owe do not submit one penny (?) extra until you get an accounting in writing from your MP as to why he/she should be paid by you and not the crown to whom they swore allegiance.

I hear you say that they will come after you for sure and yes they will, but if 20 million of us do it that would be a rather daunting task and would certainly make a strong point. After all, they like to get paid just as do you even if their $167,000 per year plus expenses (for a backbencher) is three or four times what you make.

When the election is finally called this fall, remember to vote for someone new with small party or independent status and get rid of these crown/corporation owned puppets.  Maybe even run yourself and help bring some semblance of reality to Canada.

 

Jeremy

Canada is back ?????

Sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and other political misfits listed below

Unist’ot’en, Cat Lake and Venezuela

I am very upset and frustrated at the actions taken by the RCMP on behalf of a corporation which has not and obviously does not feel the need to get agreement from all levels of aboriginal leadership before it destroys the livelihood and, eventually I am sure, the homes of those Canadians – the people of Unist’ot’en. What is happening in northern BC is indeed an insult to not only the people who live there, but also to all Canadians.

Even Lord Dufferin stated back in the 1800s that there was “an initial error” in the way BC dealt with the “Indian title” issue. In the talk he went on and said that in Canada, “Before we touch a single acre, we make a treaty with the chief representing the bands we are dealing with, and having agreed up and paid the stipulated price….we enter into possession, but not until then do we consider that we are entitled to deal with a single acre”.

We do understand that in swearing allegiance to the Crown (sic. corporate power and profit) and not to the Canadian people you have in fact abandoned all the Canadian people to please that Crown. Now you are going to ask us to vote you back in again so that you can swear allegiance to a foreign entity again and ignore us until 2023. No wonder you didn’t want anything but FPTP voting.

I cannot understand how thick skinned you must be to state over and over again that your priority is to establish a good relationship with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis, and yet here you are using a national rent-a-cop paramilitary force to stop them from accessing their homes and trap lines. At the same time, that force is protecting and even promoting the illegal actions of Coastal GasLink and their contractors. Clearly, you have no shame, no humility, no understanding of anything but bowing down to the corporate profit which guides what you do.

What is truly sickening is that any alternative government will do exactly the same as both those other parties are as controlled by the Crown and corporate wellbeing as are you. Even a minority government will no longer be a viable alternative, as all members will swear allegiance not to the Canadian people who vote for you and pay for you but to the Crown.

How many times do you have to be reminded that each time you refer to Canada as a democracy in our House of Commons you are showing us your ignorance at what a democracy is or should be, and you are at the same time misleading the House which is supposed to be against the House rules. Canada has never been a democracy and never will be under the present governmental stewardship. We have a parliamentary system that is indifferent to the people which is the exact opposite of a democracy.

Combined that with your acceptance of an upstart as the new president of Venezuela you have demonstrated again to the Canadian people that you are out of touch with us, that you are out of touch with what Canada should and could be, or is this what you really meant by: “Canada is back”..

No State or group of States has the right to intervene or interfere in any form or for any reason whatsoever in the internal and external affairs of other States. … The right and duties set out in this Declaration are interrelated and are in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.Dec 9, 1981

What right, I ask you, do you have to complain about another country’s government and its perceived bad treatment of it’s people when here at home in Canada we have deliberately kept our First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in poverty and squalour on reservations not of their choosing, living without drinkable water and in moldy houses as now is shown to be the case in yet another reservation – Cat Lake. Instead, you self-righteously take your orders from foreigners and their corporations before you deal with the problems we have right here in Canada.

Did you not learn anything by our actions in that disastrous and horrendous war on the people of Libya on behalf of the IMF? American military intervention means bombing what they consider to be an offending country into rubble and oblivion without regard for the civilians killed as happened in Libya. Do you want to take us there again?

All your grand words and talk of perceived atrocities in another country means nothing when you treat our original inhabitants of this fantastic land like vermin, to be pushed aside and extinguished all for the sake of a few worthless pieces of paper.

Yes, I am angry and absolutely disgusted.

I am too old to assist physically but I have and will again donate to and support the Unist’ot’en cause and their right to live unmolested on their un-ceded traditional territories which, up until the European settlers came with gold lust and power in their hearts, have supported their way of life for millennium.

Jeremy Arney

 

“Trudeau, Justin” <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>,
“Goodale, Ralph” <ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca>,
“Wilson-Raybould, Jody” <jody.wilson-raybould@parl.gc.ca>,
“Bennett, Carolyn” <carolyn.bennett@parl.gc.ca>,
“LeBlanc, Dominic” <dominic.leblanc@parl.gc.ca>,
“Freeland, Chrystia” <chrystia.freeland@international.gc.ca>,
“Sajjan, Harjit” <DND_MND@forces.gc.ca>,
“Sohi, Amarjeet” <amarjeet.sohi@parl.gc.ca>,
“O’Regan, Seamus” <seamus.ORegan@parl.gc.ca>,
“Rodriguez, Pablo” <pablo.rodriguez@parl.gc.ca>,
“Lametti, David” <david.lametti@parl.gc.ca>,
“Horgan, John” <Premier@gov.bc.ca>,
“Eby, David” <AG.Minister@gov.bc.ca>,
“Mungall, Michelle” <michelle.mungall.mla@leg.bc.ca>,
“Donaldson, Doug” <doug.donaldson.mla@leg.bc.ca>,
“Fraser, Scott” <IRR.Minister@gov.bc.ca>,
“Farnworth, Mike” <pssg.minister@gov.bc.ca>,
“Scheer, Andrew” <andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca>,
“Bergen, Candice” <candice.bergen@parl.gc.ca>,
“Cullen, Nathan” <nathan.cullen@parl.gc.ca>,
“Angus, Charlie” <charlie.angus@parl.gc.ca>,
“Ashton, Niki” <niki.ashton@parl.gc.ca>,
“McLeod, Cathy” <cathy.mcleod@parl.gc.ca>,
“O’Toole, Erin” <erin.OToole@parl.gc.ca>,
“Bezan, James” <james.bezan@parl.gc.ca>,
“The Tyee.ca” <editor@thetyee.ca>,
The Hill Times <news@hilltimes.com>,
News CBC <yournews@cbc.ca>,
CBC <national@cbc.ca>,
ctv <news@ctv.ca>,
Globe & Mail <letters@globeandmail.ca>,
Toronto Star <city@thestar.ca>

Foreign Affairs and a useless Pipeline

22nd April 2018

 

To the right honourable Chrystia Freeland,

Minister of Foreign Affairs for Canada.

 A few simple questions for you:

1

As a result of two people being poisoned (?) in the UK which was promoted, without proof, as being done by the Russians, you expelled some Russians from Canada without any proof that they had any part in this event nor that they had done any harm to Canada.

Where was your mandate for this Minister, or was it simply that your instructions came from Israel, the UK and the USA and fitted with your obvious hatred of Russia?

Should your job not be to create goodwill between Canada and all the other countries of the world Minister, rather than follow the dictates of others?

 2

Concerning NAFTA.   Have you agreed to swap the elimination of Chapter 19 for the elimination of Article 605 of this investment agreement?

As long as they are both in force we are in double jeopardy.

Article 605 clearly states that we cannot ship any Bitumen anywhere in the world except the USA.    They have been given 100% of our production and if we try to ship any anywhere else we will be taken to a tribunal under NAFTA chapter 19 and all of Canada will have to pay for this.

Has the Minister of Finance agreed that he will be able to pay as there is nothing in his budget about it?

 3

Re Kinder Morgan and their pipeline to Burnaby:

We are told many misleading “facts” in the House as in the emergency debate which took place on 16th April.  We were told ad infinitum by two of the five parties in the House that the product of the “oil” sands are what is at stake here, and yet although I wrote to every MP asking for help to determine where these “oil” sands are located as yet I have not had a single reply. The job figures that are floated are almost identical to and as mythical as those promoted by Joe Oliver concerning the Northern Gateway pipeline.

We are also told that there will be two large tugboats travelling with these super bitumen tankers which indicates that even those in favour of the bitumen pipeline acknowledge that there is a risk of damage and spillage.  If that does happen where will this (these) supertanker(s) be towed still spewing dilbit enroute?  Where will these super tugs come from and who will pay for them?   Have you told the endangered pod of the Southern Orcas that they will have to hide from the noise of these three large ships twice a day?  Do you have the approval of the State of Washington concerning the potential damage to their part of the ocean and coast?

To which countries do you intend to send these giant bitumen tankers anyway even if it contravenes Article 605 of NAFTA?

 4

Where is the proof that the Syrian government used gas on civilians even though they were winning that part of the domestic, but foreign instigated and inspired, war and had no need for such use?   Where is the logic from their point of view?  Why did you not wait for the inspection by the UN to take place before you jumped in to condemn Syria?

 5

When are you going to reprimand Israel for their soldiers using playing Palestinian children for target practice?   Perhaps you personally and your government agree that this was alright, but the vast majority of Canadians do not agree with you.

 6

Will you take a year to answer this email as you did my previous request for information about CETA, and the then TPP, concerning some definitions in those investment agreements allowing“enterprises” (corporations)  of a foreign country to have equal rights as “persons” here in Canada?

Propaganda? Well yes

23rd March 2018

Just by chance today I happened to watch part of a panel session on CPAC called: INVESTING IN CANADIAN INNOVATION.

 One of the members of the panel (an American scientist) asked Justin Trudeau to explain the Kinder Morgan Pipe Line and what emerged was the usual total bullshit about carbon taxes and the meeting of mythical targets set in Paris.

 Once again there was the spectacle of our PM stating that we had to find new markets around the Pacific for our Alberta Bitumen.   In theory that may be fine but in practice that is simply not possible.

 As I have pointed out to Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Fisheries and Oceans, Natural Resources, Justice and the Environment as well as Trudeau himself, we are controlled by NAFTA in particular Article 605 which states:

“Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

  1. the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

Clearly, we have no room to send any bitumen anywhere except to the USA.   Rachel Notley told the Economic Club of Canada in November of last year that the USA was a monopoly buyer of Alberta’s bitumen, and she should know.  This being the case how can we bypass the above article?   Even sending one thimble of bitumen anywhere except to our southern neighbour will trigger a NAFTA tribunal claim.  What this means is that we would construct a pipeline to Burnaby, ship that thimble, to say Malaysia, for the benefit of Alberta and then all of Canada will have to pay a NAFTA tribunal claim by the US based on Article 605.

 None of the above Ministers have offered any explanation of how they will avoid this issue, and I do not expect to hear from them until 2019, based on the timing of the occasional and eventual previous answers.

At the same time, Trudeau expounded again in vague terms about the money to be invested in ocean, fish and whale protection against a spill.   Once again, I am amazed and annoyed at his total ignorance of the fact that we are talking bitumen here, not oil, and any attempts at a cleanup in the event of a supertanker mishap such as recently happened in the south China Seas is doomed to failure.   Bitumen is heavier than water and will sink in clumps to the ocean floor, and the gases that make up the dilutant will escape into the atmosphere and depending on the site of the mishap will cause harm to all living things that breathe downwind.

I live on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and know that the winds in the Georgia Strait and the Strait of Juan da Fuca blow in all directions.  Thus, again depending on the site of the collision, Vancouver, Richmond, White Rock, Bellingham, Everett, Seattle, Port Angeles and Sequim not to mention Victoria and the San Juan Islands could all be devasted.  Whales, sea lions, seals, gulls, eagles and many more flying birds and bees etc., will all suffer or perish as well.

I was refused permission to attend and address the so-called public hearings on the basis that I would not be affected.  This was to be expected from the Harper regime, but we were promised sunny days and sunny ways and what it appears we are now being promised is the possibility of mass poisoning.  From one who came to Canada to raise a family and now have 4 generations established here on Vancouver Island I thank you for your complete indifference to our health and wellbeing Prime Minister.

Is it worth it?  Are we willing to sacrifice all this and those living creatures simply to donate some extra money to the USA through a NAFTA tribunal claim, and a couple of bucks to Alberta?

Today two MPs from the area were arrested at Burnaby doing what they believe is right and supporting their constituents and first nations of the area in their refusal to grant permission to have this pipeline do irreparable damage to this beautiful land and coast which we are here to protect for our children and grandchildren and generations to come.

There are many things Canada has done which shame us such as the residential schools and the complete destruction of Libya; our undying support of The State of Israel no matter who they kill and our incompetence in managing our own financial affairs since 1974 and now this wanton act of submission to corporate greed is another example of where we could have done soo much better.

Sunny days – my aunt fanny!

Jeremy

Kinder Morgan TransMountain Pipe LIne

An Open Letter to Canadian Minister of Natural Resources,

The Honourable Jim Carr,

“ That, given the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the national interest, will create jobs and provide provinces with access to global markets, the House call on the Prime Minister to prioritize the construction of the federally-approved Trans Mountain Expansion Project by taking immediate action, using all tools available; to establish certainty for the project, and to mitigate damage from the current interprovincial trade dispute, tabling his plan in the House no later than noon on Thursday, February 15, 2018.”

During a speech you made in the House of Commons on Monday 12th February 2018 concerning the above Conservative motion on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipe Line you said this and I quote from Hansard and make some comments in italics after the statement:

“…….The project represents a $7.4 billion investment and thousands of good, middle-class jobs, a project that stands to benefit Canadians across the country, just as the existing pipeline has done since 1953, creating new access for Canadian oil to global markets and world prices.”

 

It pains me to have to remind MPs, especially Ministers who should know better, that the goop to travel through this pipeline IS NOT OIL.  It is something called Dilbit – diluted bitumen or diluted tar – from the Alberta Tar Sands.   Once again, I remind you of Article 605 of NAFTA which does not allow us to decrease the percentage of our bitumen production to be exported to the USA or Mexico, and as Rachel Notley stated in November to the Economic Club of Canada, the USA is a monopoly purchaser – which means that they take 100% of our bitumen.  How then are you going to export even I barrel of dilbit anywhere else, even to Mexico, without causing the USA to take us to a NAFTA tribunal for breaking Article 605?    Are you in essence saying that the benefits that Alberta might accrue by this ‘illegal’ exporting will outweigh the price the whole of Canada will have to pay for that inevitable tribunal fine?  How can you with a straight face say that this fine will be good for Canada?  By the way it is also estimated that after the line is built there will be 40 full-time jobs in BC, so where will the rest of the “thousands of good jobs” be?   Unwelcome memories of Joe Oliver and his promise of ‘hundreds of thousands of jobs’ from Northern Gateway come flooding back.

 

*

“We understand that one of the biggest concerns on everyone’s mind is the potential oil spill. We share that concern, which is why we have developed a plan that puts in place every safeguard against a spill happening in the first place.

Through the oceans protection plan, the Canadian Coast Guard now has more people, more authority, and more equipment to do its vital and necessary work. For the first time, two large tow vessels will be on call on the B.C. coast. Several Coast Guard vessels will be equipped with specialized toe kits to improve capacity to respond quickly. Primary environmental response teams, composed of specially trained personnel, will further strengthen the Coast Guard’s existing on-scene operations.”

This may be the case for an oil spill, but again this is not oil so do you really believe this for bitumen?  You claim that the Coast Guard will have a greater capacity to tow damaged vessels should a collision happen, but make absolutely no mention of how the bitumen will be cleaned from the floors of the Georgia Strait or the Strait of Juan da Fuca   You do not even mention that as it is not oil but heavier than water tar it will sink to the bottom, and that the dilutant consists of toxic gasses which will be released into the atmosphere.  Depending on the winds at the time, and there are always winds in both of those Straits, and the location of any crash those toxic fumes could have a very damaging affect upon the people of Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, Victoria and the Lower Vancouver Island, the San Juan Islands, or even Bellingham, Seattle, Port Angeles, Sequim or the US Military base at Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Obviously, you haven’t thought of that nor have the other members of the so-called environmental protection ministries, or do you simply not care and are the people of Washington State aware of that same lack of concern for them as you have for the people of coastal BC?

Naturally, our air-breathing friends from the ocean, whales, seals, sea lions, otters and coastal birds along with the fish which will be unable to swallow the bitumen clumps do not factor into your reasoning either.   It’s all to do with corporate money and profit isn’t it Mr. Carr?

*

After your speech there were, as usual, some questions two of which stand out:

Mr. Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, CPC)

Madam Speaker, I listened attentively to the minister’s intervention and, again, it was all flowery rhetoric. The Liberals govern by saying yes, but in truth they actually govern with a no. Every act they take leads to less investment in our communities. It has been estimated that just in one week, because of the price differential Albertans, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia are experiencing, one school and one hospital are being built in America and are not being built in Canada, all because the Liberals will not do anything about it. The minister talked about borrowing the land and environment from future generations. Absolutely the Liberals are borrowing huge, vast sums of money to finance their deficit spending and then not replacing it with investments.

On the TMX, the Trans Mountain expansion application was put in on December 16, 2013. We are five years and the line is still not built. I blame the government for doing this. I blame the government’s delays, talking a good game, but not doing anything. Another generation, the greatest generation, was able to almost fight World War II and win it and we are still waiting for a pipeline to be built, all because of the current government.

What does the minister have to say to my constituents about the government’s absolute failure to get energy infrastructure in the national interest built in Canada?

[Expand]

Hon. Jim Carr

Madam Speaker, I would say to the hon. member’s constituents that the Government of Canada believes we strike a balance between energy infrastructure development to job creation and environmental stewardship. We believe we have struck that balance through the approval of very important pipelines. The point should not be lost that it is very important to Canada to expand its export markets, that 99% of our exports in oil and gas go to one country, the United States. That is not good for our country, which is why, for a variety of other reasons, we think TMX is in Canada’s interest.

It is true in other sectors of the economy. We know that 99% of our exports of softwood lumber from Quebec go to one country, the United States. Therefore, I think the hon. member’s constituents would feel that the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of expanding in those markets, creating good jobs, and also of doing it in a way that is sustainable in the long term.

Quite apart from the sheer partisan nonsense posed by this eventual question –(“ Another generation, the greatest generation, was able to almost fight World War II and win it”… does that mean we were almost able to fight it or almost able to win it?) – and yet your answer was equally ambiguous referring to 99% of natural resources going to the USA with no reference to Article 605 of NAFTA and the problems that causes, and Minister Freeland has not even bothered to tell me if that is up for the re-negotiation of a Trade agreement which should be scrapped.   How can we export anywhere if we have already committed 99% of our production to the USA?  The Canadian Action Party has believed that NAFTA is good for the USA but not for Canada and Mexico, and we would signal our intent to scrap it immediately, and trade as we can with who we can at a mutually beneficial pace.

 Then a question with implications of grave concern:

Mr. Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South, NDP)

Madam Speaker, the minister said, irresponsibly, to a group of business leaders that he would use military defence and police forces to push this pipeline through. Will he stand in the House today and say that he will never do this, that it would never be considered, that he would not use the army and the police forces against British Columbians in their own communities, on the reserves, and in their municipalities? I would like him to stand today and say that is not an option on the table.

(1255)

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Hon. Jim Carr

Madam Speaker, I am glad to respond to that. I am both confused and disappointed as to why the hon. member continues to bring that up since I have apologized and said I had misspoken. Within a few days of having said it, I realized it would invoke images that were not healthy to the debate, and I apologized to indigenous leaders. I will say again, as I have said many times over many months, that I apologized and misspoke.

A question which asked for a yes or no answer and neither was given.  An apology for having “misspoken” – a phrase coined by Peter Van Loan in defense of Brad Butt’s outright lies to the House in the last parliament – though perhaps required at another place was not an answer to this question  very  much on the minds of all BC as we possible are facing a recurrence of what happened at Standing Rock right here at home from our own army and the rent-a-cop RCMP.   The assumption here is that you cannot answer with either a yes or no and that the people of BC should be prepared for any eventuality.

War Measures Act over a pipeline anyone?

I am sure that the good people of Winnipeg must be wondering how safe Lake Winnipeg might be under this government’s carefree blindness to the realities of their health and indeed even their lives.

 

Jeremy Arney

ps  a copy of this was sent to Jay Inslee, Governor of the Washington State and was replied to immediately

OH CANADA, WHERE ART THOU?

 

 Every day in our House of Commons, MPs stand and spout the word “democracy” over and over and occasionally – very rarely actuality – “sovereignty”.

There is no doubt in my mind that none of them have the first idea what either word means, but they are buzz words that seem to imply that they are working for Canadians.

This simply is not the case.

Sovereignty: (Canadian Oxford dictionary)

“the absolute and independent authority of a community, nation etc.,”

If we had sovereignty really, then why would all our political representatives have to swear allegiance to the Queen of England rather than to the people of Canada who elect and pay them?  Why would we have to abide by so-called Trade Agreements and surrender our environmental protection and laws to international corporate profits?

 

Democracy: (Canadian Oxford dictionary)

“a form of government in which the power resides in the people and is exercised by them either directly or by means of elected representatives”

The claims are made that we elect politicians to represent us, but actually, most Canadians will tell you that they vote for the party, not the person, and even worse they vote for who they want to be the most powerful person in Canada.  We all hope, in vain it turns out, that that person will actually work for Canada and Canadians.   They do not.  The two parties which have ruled Canada since it began are almost interchangeable today, and the fact remains that party politics require that all MPs vote with their party leader, not on behalf of their constituents, their hearts or their heads. What we have had over the years are two parties which respond to the national and international corporations and banks and we would be better described as a corpocracy, not as a parliamentary democracy

So much for democracy.  

                                                                           *

 

Stephen Harper announced in 2006 that we would not recognize Canada when he was through with it, and proceeded to make parliament completely dysfunctional.   Corporate welfare and investment deals were his things.  He made a point of announcing major decisions overseas, usually on a Friday night; committees of the House of Commons were routinely disrupted by his minions, with the most classic being by John Baird, a Minister and therefore not eligible to sit on any committee, on June 4th 2010

His budget implementation omnibus bill of 2012 gutting or repealing some 70 Acts, simply to make life easier for his corporate friends and donors was an action as contemptuous of the Canadian people as was the behavior that caused his to be the first government in the history of Westminster style parliaments to be defeated on the grounds of contempt of parliament.  To prove the contempt point he promptly accused the opposition of causing an election the Canadian people did not want over an already defeated budget.   There are many of us who thought that any member of that government should be barred from standing in the following election, but the people of Canada bought into his lies and gave him that final right to destroy Canada without opposition interference.

Democracy?   Not on your life.   Dictatorship? Absolutely.

 

Justin Trudeau came in with a fanfare and promise of “sunny days” which most of us thought were for us, but naturally, we were wrong again.  Those sunny days were for the corporations at home and more particularly from abroad, which would reap the benefits of a continued surrender of sovereignty through investment deals disguised as Free Trade Agreements.   Both CETA and TPP (or whatever the new name is) give foreign ‘enterprises’ or ‘entities’ the same rights as Canadians are supposed to have under the Charter of Rights and freedoms, and yes this was confirmed in writing by the current Minister of Trade.

From CETA under definitions:

person means a natural person or an enterprise;

person of a Party means a national or an enterprise of a Party;

This means that Daimler-Benz or Fiat, for example, under CETA have the same rights in Canada as do you and I.  Well, that is, if you know how to obtain those rights which you can be sure they do.

                                                                                 *

Now we have a federal government which has deliberately created a real rift between British Columbia and Alberta over a pipeline which can in fact not be used for exporting bitumen by boat to anywhere except the USA.

You may ask: “What?  How is this possible?”

NAFTA.

Article 605 of that agreement states that we can increase the percentage of production of any natural resource, but particularly petroleum products, to either the USA or Mexico, but we cannot later reduce that percentage to either country.   Since we only have one customer for the bitumen from Alberta as, according to Rachel Notley the Alberta Premiere, the USA takes 100% of our bitumen production so it follows therefore that all those proposed supertankers from Burnaby BC must head for an American port and not as claimed to another country or customer.

What happens if they try and go anywhere else?  Then the USA will take us to a NAFTA tribunal and it will cost Canada billions.  In an attempt then to give Alberta a few extra bucks the Canadian people will have to pay through the nose. That is described as being good for Canada.  I find it hard to agree with that.

As long as we have two interchangeable political parties in Canada which simply switch the colour of the ruling party every now and then we are doomed to sink further into the abyss both financially and morally.

Thus my question:  Oh Canada where art thou?

If we must retain the party system and obtain any form of democracry then we must have a minority government with a large number of small party or independent MPs holding the balance of power who can and will represent their people and will force amendments to bad bills, support good bills and really hold the government of Canada to account on behalf of the Canadian people.   Could we do this?    Yes, if the people want it we can.   Canadian apathy, however, will stop any change.

I left the UK in1967 and came to Canada to have and raise my family.  There are now four generations of Canadian Arneys on Vancouver Island, and I fear for their future, especially if BC remains part of a Canada which is becoming increasingly hostile to this province.

Where do we go from here?  It’s up to us, not those puppets of big money currently bragging that they listen to us when they do not.

 

Jeremy

Pipelines, Albertan tar and NAFTA

Premiere Rachel Notley of Alberta.

13th January 2018

 I was cruising CPAC the other day and I came across your address to the Economic Club of Canada from 21 November 2017 concerning amongst other things the need for pipelines from the Alberta tar sands to tidewater.

 You said and I quote:

 “…..we need to be able to sell that energy from that energy industry to more than just one client.

Right now, all our energy infrastructure is built for export to the United States.  They are a monopoly buyer.”

 I will not argue with that at all, but there is a catch to what you are saying.

 I am referring to NAFTA, and in particular Article 605 which I quote below:

 

NAFTA

Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

  1. a)the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

 

From this, it is clear from what you are saying that we are exporting 100% of the bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the US and we cannot reduce that percentage without the approval of the US.  As long as that Article of NAFTA, or indeed NAFTA itself, remain in effect there is no way that even a “barrel” of tar can be shipped anywhere except to the United States, which in essence owns 100% of your tar.

It is also clear that you are suggesting that the disputed Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby is to transport that diluted tar intended for export by super oil tankers to, amongst others, China.

Clearly, Minister Freeland, to whom I have written numerous times on this very Article 605 with absolutely no response, chooses to ignore this important NAFTA  article even if it must be clear to her that we have a serious problem.

What both of you are suggesting is that a claim in front of a quasi-legal trade tribunal is of no importance to you as the people of Canada will be happy to pay the millions in lost profit which the US importers of this Canadian tar will claim against us as soon as you ship so much as one kilogram of tar somewhere else.

Perhaps you have a way around this?

If so I would be very pleased to hear it.

What I personally hope is that President Trump does actually go ahead and cancel NAFTA and you can then at least contemplate exporting your tar elsewhere in the world and, I would suggest, through a port in Alaska.

Incidentally the concept that supertankers do not get into trouble, never accepted by the coastal people here in BC, is under a black cloud of smoke right now as there is one on fire in the China Seas after a collision, and there is no way that any spill of diluted bitumen in either the Vancouver Harbour, Georgia Strait or the Strait of Juna Fuca can be cleaned up any more than was that mess in Michigan. 

It is unfortunate that in your desire to make things better again for Alberta, you should choose to trample over British Columbians in the same way our original settlers did to the then long-time inhabitants of what we now call Canada. 

Strange how history repeats itself isn’t it Ms Notley?

Jeremy Arney

 

Ps,

We are a long way from this and getting further away each day

 

When the Landscape is Quiet Again.

Governor Arthur A. Link, October 11th, 1973.

We do not want to halt progress; we do not plan to be selfish and say North Dakota will not share its energy resources. We simply want to ensure the most efficient and environmentally sound method of utilizing our precious coal and water resources for the benefit of the broadest number of people possible.

And when we are through with that and the landscape is quiet again, when the draglines, the blasting rigs, the power shovels and the huge gondolas cease to rip and roar and when the last bulldozer has pushed the spoil pile into place and the last patch of barren earth has been seeded to grass or grain, let those who follow and repopulate the land be able to say, our grandparents did their job well. The land is as good and in some cases, better than before.

Only if they can say this, will we be worthy of the rich heritage of our land and its resources.”

NAFTA renegotiations a joke? Maybe…

It really is time to get serious with what our ex-Trade Minister and now Foreign Minister has and is still doing about our investment agreements, misnamed Free Trade Agreements.

Right from the start, Ms. Freeland ignored all requests and pleas not to sign on with the TPP, or CETA with their crippling investor-state profits protection clauses.  She ignored all those and went ahead and signed both of them with those clauses in place.

Now she, not the International Trade Minister, is negotiating the revamping of NAFTA, which is an offshoot of the infamous FTA between a had been actor and a drunk.   This is where the investor-state clause came into play and has in effect greatly limited our ability to make and uphold the laws in Canada which will serve Canada and the Canadian people rather than foreign (and now domestic) corporations and their perceived profit losses if they run afoul of our laws.

 From the Toronto Star:

As reported by TONDA MACCHARLESOttawa Bureau reporter

Wed., Aug. 16, 2017

“Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters Wednesday, “We believe that just as good fences make good neighbours, a good dispute settlement mechanism makes good trading partners.”

 It is comments like this that make me realise we have someone negotiating for us who has no idea what the difference is between a Trade Agreement and an Investment Agreement.   Chapter 11 of NAFTA is nothing to do with trade but everything to do with investments and perceived profit loss from those investments which run contrary to Canadian laws. 

 Further down in the article there is this about the $205 million paid out by Canadian taxpayers so far:

“….and most of that came when a panel awarded $130 million in damages in one case: AbitibiBowater’s $500 million claim against the Newfoundland government which expropriated its water and timber rights and hydroelectric assets in the province after the company closed its last mill in that province and laid off 800 workers…..”

I added the bold and explain why:

It should be pointed out that those water and timber rights were granted to Abitibi in early 1900 provided that they had a working mill employing Canadians. When that mill was closed and the Canadians were laid off their claim on those water and timber rights ended. How can you expropriate something which returns to you by default anyway? This claim by Abitibi was not presented before a NAFTA tribunal because Stephen Harper quietly paid them $130 million of our money to “go away”. That this was one of his first acts and that it exceeded the total cost of the “sponsorship” scandal (which, with the connivance of the RCMP, allowed him into power) by some 15 million dollars is an indication of the contempt Harper had for Canada and Canadians.

This is all very pathetic, but bear in mind that there is a claim for $250 million from a Canadian Company – yes you read that correctly – Lone Pine Power of Calgary, Alberta (incorporated in Delaware, USA) had their proposal to drill and frack the St Lawrence River in Quebec turned down because a proper environmental study had not been conducted by Quebec or the Federal Government.

This information is readily available on the Government of Canadian Website:

http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/topics-domaines/disp-diff/gov.aspx?lang=eng

We can also expect a claim from Enbridge (also incorporated in Delaware) for the rejection of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and most likely Kinder Morgan if BC stands by its citizens and the courts overrule Trudeau and refuse to allow this monstrosity to be constructed.

Chapter 19 of NAFTA is to do with dumping etc., and this is where we are constantly under attack for our softwood lumber.   I do not understand this at all.  If the Americans want to pay more for our lumber let them, and if they do not want to pay our price do not supply them.  Can it be simpler than that?    American protectionism is at play here again and the fact is that they do not have enough home-grown lumber to supply their own needs so they would be forced to get the extra from somewhere. Insisting on Canadian producers charging more through countervailing duties makes little sense to me.

Since I wrote the above I found a House of Commons Trade Committee hearing at which Ms. Freeland appeared before the NAFTA negotiations started this summer and frankly I was more puzzled, annoyed and concerned than ever.  The Trade Minister was nowhere to be seen so he is, I suppose, just male window dressing to her Cruella De Vil. 

The Liberal and Conservative MPs offered questions that were pure pablum, (it did not seem to matter that she waffled so much and didn’t answer those pablumatic questions anyway) leaving it to Tracey Ramsay of the NDP to ask about the investor dispute mechanism to which the reply was just as it is in CETA; that is to say nothing changes. There was some talk of there being a European court to deal with CETA disputes, so an undefined but new European court with no clear jurisprudence or base of operation would have decided on Canadian law?  Yeah right, Freeland, Right!   As it reads now same old same old tribunal of corporate lawyers with no actual court of any kind of law in sight to decide on the value of our laws against perecived corporate profit loss.

After a question about Quebec electricity charges and supply to New England states and New York was neatly sidestepped  Ms. Ramsay asked about the percentages of energy production not being able to be reduced even in an emergency.

From NAFTA

Article 605: Other Export Measures

Subject to Annex 605, a Party may adopt or maintain a restriction otherwise justified under Articles XI:2(a) or XX(g), (i) or (j) of the GATT with respect to the export of an energy or basic petrochemical good to the territory of another Party, only if:

 

  1. the restriction does not reduce the proportion of the total export shipments of the specific energy or basic petrochemical good made available to that other Party relative to the total supply of that good of the Party maintaining the restriction as compared to the proportion prevailing in the most recent 36month period for which data are available prior to the imposition of the measure, or in such other representative period on which the Parties may agree;

So the real answer to that Quebec Hydro question should have been clear.  Not only can the supply not be lessened, but lack of payment for that hydro cannot be the reason for stopping the supply.  Ask BC, they have not been paid by California for about 20 years but are stuck with the supply, and the people of BC are paying for this.

Once again here is Freeland wanting to keep this when for nearly two years she has not been able to come to an agreement about our softwood dispute, so I can be forgiven if I state that I do not trust her at all, anyway why is she in charge of this not Champagne our actual trade minister?   Maybe it’s to keep her hatred of Russia under control…….

Since consultation have been held about NAFTA with Universities, think tanks, Chambers of Commerce and Labour and Corporations it is clear to whom Freeland feels responsible. “We are listening to Canadians” is the Liberal war cry and I know I have written to her about 19 times now and have not received any response at all.   It is abundantly clear to me that the Canadian people do not figure in her mind at all, and whatever the international corporations want she will do her very best to give them at our expense.

 “Sunny Days” Trudeau supports her completely and as we have learned those sunny days and sunny ways never did apply to those Canadians who voted for him but do to international corporations which so far do not vote.    Wonder when that will change?

Jeremy

Mr. Michael Marsh:

    I guess the argument is that democracy is not just about majorities; it’s about minorities. It’s about blending minorities to make political decisions, and that’s quite difficult if the minorities are not represented.

For the minorities read Canadian people……