01.10.2012 07:50 AM

Follow the money

…like Vivian does!

From her North Van digs, the ex-Conservative political aide attacks environmental groups about their funding and defends Big Oil. So let’s return the favour: let’s go after her for her funding!


  1. Marc L says:

    The tone of that makes it sound as if you support these environmental “activists” in their campaign to stop the pipeline and ultimately, destroy the oil sands. Is that the case? Has the Liberal Party gone so far left as to support extremists for whom — as the article correctly states — even a nuclear-blast proof pipeline would not be acceptable. And, yes, I too have issues with U.S. environmental lobbies who want to trash Alberta’s oil industry at any cost — after all, it’s not Americans who end up losing their jobs and it’s not the U.S. that ends up poorer, now is it?

    • Warren says:

      You are incapable of critical analysis of your fellow conservatives.

      • Marc L says:

        Not at all. I don’t actually support the Conservative Party. There is much I don’t agree with — tough on crime legislation, sucking up to the monarchy, elected senate (in which I support the NDP’s position), cutting the GST instead of income taxes among others. And I think their sucking up to the oil industry also goes too far. But that doesn’t mean that it makes sense to “close down” the oil sands as some of these “activists” would like to do. And talking about partisanship, the Liberal Party has always been very good at taking a stance — any stance — against the government whether it has merit or not. Remember, the Libs were against the FTA, against NAFTA, against the GST. If you are supporting these groups’ anti-Canadian oil stance, I think you are once again going down that road.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Nodbody is serious about “closing down” the Canadian oil industry. The oil in the tar sands is just too damn valuable to be “destroyed” as you say. What has to happen is that it has to be processed, transported and environmentally balanced-for in a way that inevitably will make it more expensive, too damn bad. There’s no going back on going big on the tar sands now, but it can be done far more responsibly. And if you want to drive an SUV that’s as big as a whale and is about to set sail, good for you– just pay more to fuel it.

  2. bigcitylib says:

    She got her start arguing that Suzuki and co were taking money from the Americans to shut down the West Coast aquaculture industry and protect Alaskan salmon fisherman. She used to be a player in that same industry.

    Ethical Oil are the guys who really need to be exposed. They share office space, for example, with McLennan Ross, who do work for oil patch companies.


    • Mark McLaughlin says:

      Lots of companies “share office space” with lots of other companies that have nothing to do with them (unless they rent the whole floor). Guilt by association because they may share a printer and a coffee machine. What a stupid argument.

      I share a flower bed with my neighbour. It doesn’t make me an optomatrist.

  3. Mark McLaughlin says:

    Most would have no problem with these US groups saying and doing whatever they want to delay and halt the Keystone pipeline. It’s in their country after all and they’re fine to fight for their opinion and interests all they want provided it’s within the law.

    It’s absurd that our own regulators are allowing these groups to involve themselves in hearings for a pipeline that stays within Canada’s own borders. Whoever theboneheaded bureaucrat is that’s running this thing should be replaced. She isn’t serving Canada’s interest. There are enough voices here against the thing that their perspective will be well covered. Whether they get funded by US interests or not is something we’ll have to live with but at least make Canadian residency a requirement for standing.

    Oh, and don’t think that there aren’t interveners in the BC pipeline that WANT the keystone one. They don’t want us selling our bitumen to the Asian markets. Follow the money, indeed.

  4. Paul says:

    I’m all for having a proper, arms-length review process for projects such as this pipeline.

    The problem is that said process already takes too long to begin with, and now there are activist groups (some of which are not even Canada-based) employing “mob the mike” stall tactics to stack the proceedings with thousands of recruited intervenors, turning the whole thing into what is essentially a filibuster and abusing the process in order to defeat the project.

    There should be some sort of meaningful process for qualifying who gets to testify at these things (i.e. first nations, landowners living on or near the route, representatives from communities and industries along the way that will be affected, etc. You know: ACTUAL stakeholders and not people just showing up “because they can” to disrupt and delay the process, or because they were mobilized by some activist group.)

    Some of the same people who oppose this pipeline are asking “why can’t we just refine the bitumen here?” Well, your answer is obvious: it takes many years just to get past the environmental and regulatory approval for a refinery, then one has to deal with the NIMBYs even after it is approved, then it takes years to build the damn thing. It simply makes more sense to pipe the raw material to somewhere where this has already been done and excess capacity exists.

    • smelter rat says:

      19 of over 4000 presenters are not Canadian based. Hardly a foreign invasion. Compare that to the Tar Sands promoters…all of which are foreign owned.

    • Mark McLaughlin says:

      It’s not just the regulatory process that keep refineries out of Canada (although it contributes). The primary refined product is gasoline and it’s volitile and dangerous to transport by pipeline. We don’t have a big enough local market to make use of it all, and the cost to transport it to jurisdictions that do is prohibitive.

      It’s moved to Texas because the southern US market can absorb it.

      The argument that we should be refining in Canada is a straw man. The enviromentalists would be howling just as loudly if someone wanted to build a CO2 belching refinery here too.

    • patrick deberg says:


      You conflate the opposition to the pipe line with crazy laws and Nimbys. Yes Pau,l the enviomental studies take a long time. That is because when you install these types of infrastructure they are there forever. The mining holes in the ground, the scarred permafrost do not get returned to their natural state. The reason for said laws and checks is because business NEVER cleans up after itself. And when you try to implement a cost to hold in trust ahead of a project the industry screams bloody murder. ” anti business, anti free market etc, etc ad nauseam ” Think of this, if business cleaned up properly we would give them free reign. But they are short sigthed and prone to laziness. Wy bother spending billions cleaning up when you can spend a few millions it on ads with cute little oil honeys in print ad and puppies romping? Any real expenses get funneled to the lawyers. Professional beggers like Ezra hit the jackpot with oil companies for they pay little to have these losers muck up the water. Give a lump of cash to a group and name it something like “friends of the Earth and turn the Ezra’s of the world loose to spout bullshite and pretend the Seirra club are the devils minions. Some news for you. If you come over to my backyard and crap all over my lawn you won’t be my freind long. The honest truth of the matter is your crowd hate government intervention in any form unless it takes over the clean up at the countries expense of toxic sites. So while Peggy Dewitt was busting the unions in yellowknife and winning businesswoman of the year awards and walking away with her 4 million severence she never showed up to help contain the Arsenic tailing pond she created. Hopw about the irving whale and guess who paid to clean it up? Here’s a test Paul. A well head device would have stopped the spill in the gulf but at half a million was considered too expensive. The cost of the spill is still being tallied but tell me of the hundreds of wells still in the gulf how many have them installed now? I thought so. 78 of the most toxic gold mine leach pits in the world are here in Canada Paul and Government didn’t build them .
      But Government is on the hook to contain them forever cause it’s nasty stuff Paul. So don’t climb on the “ethical ” bull Paul for surely you will get bucked off. So maybe I don’t want your friends in my back yard Paul but that is because they are dirty and inconsiderate and they will lie to your face. And I for one am tired of it.

      • Paul says:

        Derp Derp Derp. Was there even anything of substance in that hysterical rant of yours? Perhaps there was, but it was impossible to read. Have you ever heard of paragraphs and/or sentence structure?

        You and the rest of the environmental movement seem long on complaints, but short on viable solutions. How are we going to power a 21st century lifestyle in a northern country where the distances between us are great, where we freeze in winter and wither in sweltering heat all summer?

        Hint: solar and wind providing barely a fraction of the energy we require, even with massive government subsidies. We could cover all the prime farmland in southern Ontario with wind turbines and their output would not even power Toronto, much less the rest of the province. Add in the extra demand on the grid to charge electric vehicles and the shortfall becomes even more apparent.

        And oh yeah, don’t forget those natural gas co-generation facilities for when the wind doesn’t blow (or indeed when it blows too fast so the turbines need to be locked off lest they rip themselves to pieces…) and the sun does not shine. We end up paying twice: once for the feel-good window dressing of “green” energy and again for a fossil fuel-based backstop.

        • patrick deberg says:

          Great rebuttal. You can’t write. Address the argument not the man. But it’s easier to tilt at windmills and turbines. From your statements you utter the same tired arguments all you nutters spout. You and your ilk should be forced to move to a housing compound on the tar sand waste. Or hung from the limb of a 300 year old white pine…….

          • The Doctor says:

            Sorry Patrick, but you sound more like the nutter in this particular exchange. You ought to go get a bib to catch the foam coming out of your mouth.

          • Darren says:

            As a fuel source for power generation, oil wouldn’t likely be missed since very little electricity is generated by burning oil (coal and natural gas, yes. Oil, no), so you can’t really compare oil to wind or solar as it relates to electricity generation. If you wanted to get technical, you could compare energy densities, where oil easily provides more energy per unit. But where oil becomes more critical to society is in the wide variety of products that either require oil or oil byproducts to create or products that require oil or oil byproducts to transport to consumers. If you live in an urban area, chances are 100 per cent of the food you eat burned gasoline or diesel (oil byproducts) to get it to your table.

            If Patrick is going to expect Paul to be forced to move to a housing complex on the tarsands wastes then Paul could expect Patrick to be forced to live in a housing complex built entirely without any oil/byproduct-based materials, any materials that required transport by hydrocarbon-based transportation to get it to the site and is neither heated nor powered by hydrocarbon-based sources.

          • The Doctor says:

            Oh, I forgot: environmentalism is next to Godliness. Environmentalism and environmentalists can never be questioned, ever. To do so is heresy. My bad.

      • que sera sera says:

        @ patrick deberg:

        Great rant!! LOVED IT!! Oh so true.

    • Cameron Prymak says:

      I would have thought there are fewer such roadblocks for developing new refinery capacity in some parts of Canada, Alberta or Saskatchewan?? I would think a more distributed refining capacity makes a lot more sense for energy security.

      The fact that we’re transporting it to the Gulf presents a real question – how much of that product will eventually be exported?

  5. VC says:

    It’s rich how the right would vilify some group that is opposed to them even though their actions are non-violent and completely consistent with how the right regularly conducts its own business. Now that the left has a well-organized and what appears to be an incredibly well-financed cause, the right just calls them ‘radicals,’ ‘extremists,’ or whatever. When you open borders to free the flow of foreign money, don’t be surprised that foreign investment may take the form of ideas and domestic influence.

  6. CQ says:

    We wouldn’t want Northern B.C. to turn into another pipeline ravaged Alaska. (And btw, where does that oil get refined?)

    • smelter rat says:

      Something about the Exxon Valdez is ringing a bell for me…

      • CQ says:

        And they never recovered!
        Sure. You bet’cha.

        • smelter rat says:

          Actually that ecosystem has not returned to it’s original state. What’s your point again?

        • CQ says:

          Some Canadians are simply against any economic development – as long as America is already doing its own heavy lifting for us. It’s time we grew up and started developing our resources half as prominently as the U.S. does.

          • smelter rat says:

            @CQ: Actually many Canadians and Americans are against poisioning our environment for generations to come. The solutions to our energy problems are complex and will be expensive, but doing the same thing over and over again in the face of overwhelming evidence that we’re slowly killing the planet is, by definition, insanity.

  7. Darren says:

    First of all, the lack of the Gateway pipeline won’t “kill” the oilsands. The region is doing quite well and will continue to do quite well as long as the price of oil remains high. As for Saudi Arabia, most of its fields are mature and they generally lack the capacity to ramp up production to sufficiently reduce the world price of oil. Also, bitumen/heavy oil isn’t priced the same as conventional oil, there’s a price differential. That heavy oil differential is what makes upgrading it to a variety of lighter-end hydrocarbon products economically viable.
    Second, what’s lost in this whole thread is one simple question – is she right? If her numbers are wrong then that’s more than enough criticism but if they’re right then there’s not a lot her detractors can say (particularly those who criticized the Tories for using US consultants years ago, decrying the perceived US interference in Canadian politics). Go after Vivian for her own funding, that won’t change whether her numbers are correct or not. After all, if the positions of the project opponents are valid regardless of who pays their bills then can’t Vivian’s position also be valid regardless of who pays her bills?
    Third, while the length of the process may be a problem for some, that’s sort of the system we live in. By its very nature, democracy is a very inefficient form of government so a lot of money is going to be spent on a lot of lengthy processes designed to allow people to provide input. Grin and bear it.

  8. Derek Pearce says:

    The Liberals (and I am one) wrote off Alberta long ago– and may be in the wilderness for a while yet– but sucking up to Tar Sands Big Oil will have zero to do with the Libs once again being a viable national party. Au contraire, fighting against the tar sands will only help them regain ground in central Canada.

    • Curt says:

      Derek, You just wrote off the west …the economic engine of Canada for a cheap political sound bite. Shallow talk like that will keep the Liberal party “in the wilderness” for more than a little while. I detect “Calgary Envy”.

      • The Doctor says:

        The thing is, this is way more stupid than what Trudeau did. At least when Trudeau screwed the West, it was a revenue grab. That at least has a prima facie economic rationale. This time, it’s kick Alberta in the nuts for no concomitant economic gain to be had anywhere, including Central Canada. In fact, it’s just less revenue — way less revenue — for the country as a whole. The LPC really ought to think long and hard about this one before mindlessly throwing their lot in with the Dippers and the Greens, but I fear that they won’t.

  9. allegra fortissima says:

    Environmentalists are “radicals” and “foreigners”? Then read this – they live there!


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