Information for Citizens on Tankers, Pipelines and Energy Policy

On Monday, February 13th, 2012 in Issues

We held eight Town Halls in January, on every one of the southern Gulf Islands in the riding and in three locations on the Saanich Peninsula. I am so grateful to all of the citizens of Saanich-Gulf Islands who came out (in some nasty weather to boot) for our first-ever MP availability sessions. All told, about 600 people took advantage of the opportunity. Democracy is alive and well in our community!

TownhallWhile the issues raised varied from one area to another, the number one issue in each community was the threat posed by the Enbridge supertanker scheme. British Columbians by a margin of 70-80% object to lifting the 40 year oil tanker ban on our coastlines. The next most frequently raised concern was our health care system and particularly the Prime Minister’s latest “take it or leave it” offer to the provinces. In every meeting someone raised health care as a concern, along with the threat to the wild salmon fishery, First Nations rights, and the Kyoto Protocol, among others.

I decided to dedicate my recent newsletter to constituents to an in-depth look at the top issue of concern, the threat of oil tankers.

I hope this primer on tankers, pipelines and energy policy is informative and helpful to you. If you agree with the concerns I have raised, I invite you to take a few minutes to print, sign and return – postage free – a petition against the Northern Gateway Pipeline that I will table in the House of Commons. You can also take part in a survey and, as always, contact me with your questions, concerns or comments at anytime.

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  • Val Tilley

    I cannot believe there are no comments related to this issue. My greatest fear is that those who do care will give up trying. What would we do without people like Elizabeth May, David Suzuki, Robert Bateman, and the others who try to educate the population and do the right thing on behalf of the rest of us.

  • Dave Reid

    Do we really need to keep extracting oil? Is it possible for hemp to replace oil ?? Completely renewable and could offset loss to tobacco farmers & easier on the soil than corn !! We as a culture need to tread a little more lightly on our planet/country!! Thanks, yours truly Dave Reid

  • Christopher Peter

    Thank you Elizabeth. You are easily the most well informed and effective Member of the House of Commons. Further to your most recent letter to constituents, the reason why Canadian refining is languishing while bitumen exports increase is that bitumen is not crude oil. Its long molecules have to be hydro-cracked to break the chains into segments small enough to run though a conventional refinery process. This means adding large amounts of hydrogen, a process which uses heat and natural gas as inputs. Alternatively its excess carbon must be removed in a delayed coker. Both of these processes require sulphur removal and energy inputs and are carried out in an upgrader. The capital and input costs of such upgrading render the refined product economically marginal, particularly, as you point out, if it is carried out in the hyperinflationary environment of the Athabasca region. Not only is Dutch disease brought on by this rampant exploitation of the tarsands but it may actually be impoverishing the rest of the economy.

  • Werner Rhein

    When will we stop the Oil & Gas insanity, We do not need this any more, Why invest in a dead horse. Put the money where your mouth is invest in Alternative energy and stop the GHG accelleration. Carbon taxes or trading won’t do any thing either to reduce GHG it will just give a permit to keep on going. The moneys from the tax or trade flows back to the oil & gas industry and will need a huge bureaucracy.

    Setup local Co-ops for alternative energy like Dawson Creek did, or how it is done in Europe all over the place. Diversify not Mulltify, smaller is better than bigger.

    Pipelines in any direction just prolong and increase the pollution of our environment.
    I more and more believe that the Green Party is a Wolf in sheep skin.

  • ABCanuck

    The Westridge terminal in Burnaby, B.C. is the only marine crude oil
    loading facility in Canada connected to a federally-regulated pipeline.

    It is in the national interest for one such facility to be maintained, and further developed, on Canada’s West Coast, but only at the Deltaport near

    Vancouver’s central harbour is most defintely not the place.

    And of course at least one, and ideally several, such terminals must be developed on Canada’s East Coast – at the Saint John, NB Canaport and at the Canso, NS Superport at a minimum.

    Finding a way to allow access to a Deltaport marine terminal for VLCC-class oil tankers, which have more than three times the allowable capacity of the Aframax-class tankers currently navigating Vancouver’s harbours, would reduce the additional number of tankers navigating the Salish Sea by more than

    However, the pipelining and marine shipping of dilbit must never be allowed for reasons thoroughly documented in “A ‘Canada-First’ Canadian Energy Strategy found at:

  • R. Bridgeman

    We have been here before. I am trying to find my copy of:

    Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland. The Report of the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry: Volume One Mr. Justice Thomas R.Berger who came up with a very different result than the planted commission that lately ruled in this pipelines favour – against aboriginal rights and all the rest of it – environment included. Just reading William Kilbourne’s book Pipeline to get a sense of what a pipeline actually means to government at all levels and of course people and the environment.

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