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#13 Enbridge conspiracy theory

Anne Cameron's modest proposal: If the Northern Gateway pipeline is world class and the best ever, put it where we can all enjoy it... right alongside the Trans Canada.

June 24th, 2014

Anne Cameron

Anne Cameron

A heavy mist. Gray sky. The dragon who lives in my spine tells me we’re going to get rain and a fair bit of it. Meanwhile I’ve been pondering…

You know what happens when I start to ponder.  I walk around looking like someone who’s been hit on the head with something large, hard and heavy. If I eat, I eat sandwiches, usually cheese-and-onion, slathered in mayonnaise. I drink coffee and I smoke endless hand-rolled cigarettes. And out of that mess often come the basic plots of novels…

Once I stopped raging about Harpy’s approval of a 1,177-km, bad-news pipeline, and once I stopped venting about the inevitability of a spill even worse than the Exxon Valdez, and once my blood pressure came back down to something approaching normal after thinking about clogging the “graveyard of the Pacific” with even larger tankers, I began to ponder why Harpy would want to approve something which will make the “War In The Woods” look like a mere tiff in a sandbox.

I get articles from many different sources, some of them are even reputable sources, and as I wandered around trying to figure out why Harpy would give himself the kiss of death, I got an article from an environmental group. I read it, and I pondered some more… You know how I love conspiracy theories; they don’t even have to be good conspiracy theories, bad ones will do just as well.


What if Harpy has a whole other different agenda?  What if he and the woman who heads up Enbridge and claims to be from Prince George have been playing their version of the old three walnut shells and one dried pea game?

So here’s my plot.

He who is arguably the most hated man in the country right now waits until all those opposed to the pipeline-tanker scheme have their ducks in a row and are all set to go to court, blockade, demonstrate, maybe even riot and then… he stands up in front of TV cameras and says, “My fellow Canadians, you have spoken and I have listened.  I’m only here to do your will. You have made it abundantly clear you do not want this project. Good enough. It’s scuttled. Finished.”

Loud cheers all over the place.  From Tahsis to Portugal Cove, Newfoundland, those in opposition to the dumb pipeline-tanker debacle cheer, dance in the streets, even sing for he’s a jolly good fellow, and then we all go home.  Harpy gets another majority government and waits for the Rapture.


In August 2009, while Congress was in recess, Barack O’Bomber approved the expansion of Line 67, sometimes known as the Alberta Clipper.  It’s designed to carry 450,000 barrels of oil a day but an expansion permit will allow it to carry 570,000 barrels a day. Line 67 connects to Line 6A which goes into a refinery near Chicago. This refinery has been re-tooled so it can refine larger amounts of tar sands.

And it connects to Line 61 which takes it to Flanagan, Illinois, the start of Enbridge’s FlanaganSouth pipeline.  FlanaganSouth can take crud all the way to Cushing, Oklahoma.  And from Cushing, the Seaway Twin pipeline goes to Port Arthur, Texas. Here the muck can either be refined or it can go by tanker to Europe and they can do with it what they want over there.

On June 6, 2014, 570,000 barrels of Alberta Crud arrived in Spain, the first shipment of this black muck to reach Europe.

And so the guy saying, “My fellow Canadians, you have spoken and I have listened,” can sit with his kittens on his lap and snicker up his sleeve as the tar sands crap gets piped to foreign refineries, and is sold to foreign countries, and we get, once again, the chance of a lifetime, to be hewers of wood, drawers of water, and patsies for the corporations.

So how’s THAT for a conspiracy theory?

It makes about as much sense as the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

Look at a map. These profit hungry lugans want to send a pipeline from “east” to “west”.  To do this they seem to have overlooked the fact the mountains run from “north” to “south”.  To get their tar and muck from where it is to where they want it to be they are going to have to gnaw through those mountains, span those rivers, cross those valleys, and then, by gawd, there’s the weather.

When they’ve spent all that money to do all that they will be in Kitimat, a town which is some 100 k. from the ocean. These wise guys want to stomp into virtually untouched wilderness, wreak havoc, piss off the FN, enrage environmentalists, make themselves as welcome as venereal warts in order to get their glup one hundred kilometers from open ocean and the massive tankers they’ll need to get their crud to market.

For far less cost, financial, moral, ethical, and societal, they could have gone to Prince Rupert.  It’s at least 500 kilometers closer to the Asian market they want to supply, and there are already roads, rail lines, and what they will insist on calling “infrastructure”.  When the pipeline cracks they can get there quickly, plug the holes, clean up the mess and get on with their doubtless important lives.

But, hey, there’s no need for any pipeline that will further despoil the land, pollute the water, kill off wildlife, and wreck the lives and futures of who knows how many humans. If they absolutely have got to lay pipe, why destroy all that water when anyone with two working brain cells knows water is gold and worth potentially way more than goo?

If their Obsessive Compulsive Disorder will only be calmed by laying pipe, lay it alongside the TransCanada highway. Think of all the eyes peeled to spot any break, any leak, any problem.  One cell phone call and the intrepid tourist could report the mess long before it becomes a huge problem.  Small problems are much easier to deal with than disasters are.  Just follow the TransCan to Prince Rupert.

With their claims of “world class” this, “world class” that, you’d think the buggers would be PROUD of their pipeline… so why hide it where nobody can see it, as if it’s a dirty little secret? If the Northern Gateway pipeline is world class and the best ever, put it where we can all enjoy it…right alongside the Trans Canada.

Meanwhile ethical scientists have been fired, others have been muzzled, Fisheries has been slashed, Coast Guard stations closed, archives have been looted and decades of research tossed into dumpsters, fresh water protections have been gutted… They’ve cleared the way, now bend over, do not expect a kiss, and no, there is no vaseline.

I’m off to make myself a cheese-and-onion sandwich, which I will wash down with yet another cup of coffee.


4 Responses to “#13 Enbridge conspiracy theory”

  1. Anne Cameron is what the Japanese would call a Living Treasure, an elder revered for talent, personality and longevity (despite all those roll yer owns). Theresa’s book idea for her columns is a very astute one. Write on, kick ass & count on many fans reading every word, myself included!

  2. theresa says:

    These regular Letters from Tahsis would make a terrific book in the tradition of Bruce Hutchison and Arthur Mayse, engaged citizens with lots to say about everything, including sitting prime-ministers and premiers. No bubble too sacred to be left unpricked… So think of this as a book in the making or maybe just don’t read Anne’s pieces if they trouble you! I think they’re punchy and thoughtful, quite honestly.

  3. M. Kennedy says:

    Alright already, we get it that you don’t like the Prime Minister and think he is personally responsible for everything wrong in the world from the high cost of vegetables to the rain in Tahsis. All very enlightening and very suitable for a letter to the editor in your local newspaper. But I come to this site to read about books. Do you have anything to say about books, particularly BC books?

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