Canada OKs Oil Pipeline to the Pacific Coast

By ROB GILLIES Associated Press

Canada’s government on Tuesday approved a proposed pipeline to the Pacific Coast that would allow oil to be shipped to Asia, a major step in the country’s efforts to diversify its oil industry.

The approval Tuesday was expected. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a staunch supporter of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline after the U.S. delayed a decision on TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Enbridge’s pipeline would transport 525,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific to deliver oil to Asia, mainly energy-hungry China.

There is fierce environmental and aboriginal opposition to the project and legal challenges are expected. About 220 large oil tankers a year would visit the Pacific coast town of Kitamat and opponents fear pipeline leaks and a potential disaster on the pristine Pacific coast.

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said in a statement that Enbridge must meet the 209 conditions Canada’s regulator imposed on the pipeline. The company has previously said it would.

“The proponent clearly has more work to do in order to fulfill the public commitment it has made to engage with Aboriginal groups and local communities along the route,” he said in a statement.

The Keystone XL pipeline and the Northern Gateway project are critical to Canada, which needs infrastructure in place to export its growing oil sands production. The northern Alberta region has the world’s third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves.

Harper has said Canada’s national interest makes the pipelines essential. He was “profoundly disappointed” that U.S. President Barack Obama delayed a decision on the Texas Keystone XL option, and spoke of the need to diversify Canada’s oil industry. Ninety-seven percent of Canadian oil exports now go to the U.S.

Majority of British Columbians oppose Northern Gateway pipeline: poll


Dogwood Initiative executive director Will Horter said pipeline opposition is always stronger in polls when tanker routes and the possibility of oils spills are mentioned as part of the Northern Gateway project.Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD , THE CANADIAN PRESS
Dogwood Initiative executive director Will Horter said pipeline opposition is always stronger in polls when tanker routes and the possibility of oils spills are mentioned as part of the Northern Gateway project.

Results not surprising in survey commissioned by environmental groups

By Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun February 5, 2014

Nearly two thirds of British Columbians are opposed to the $6.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline and the tankers it will bring to the northern coast, according to a poll commissioned by environmental groups.

Conducted between Jan. 13-19, the Justason Market Intelligence poll of 600 people also found that 64 per cent (the same number that are opposed) believe the project will definitely or probably be built. The margin of error of the combined telephone and online poll is plus or minus four per cent.

The survey showed that 92 per cent were aware of the project, which will carry diluted bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to Kitimat for transport by tanker overseas to open up Asian markets.

The poll was commissioned by the Dogwood Initiative, ForestEthics Advocacy, Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research and West Coast Environmental Law.

The Enbridge pipeline project received approval last month from a joint panel federal review of the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Several First Nations and environmental groups have already launched court action against the panel decision.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has until the middle of this year to grant approval.

The findings showed that four times as many of those surveyed “strongly” oppose the project (50 per cent) than who “strongly” support the project (12 per cent). Another 17 per cent somewhat support the project.

The majority-opposition finding is not an unusual for a poll commissioned by environmental groups, which generally highlight in their questions the introduction of super tankers and the possibility of oil spills.

Dogwood Initiative executive director Will Horter said opposition is always stronger in polls when tankers are mentioned as part of the Northern Gateway project.

“People have very strong concerns about oil pipelines, but have deep, deep concerns about the oil tankers,” said Horter.

Business and industry-commissioned polls, which tend to highlight the economic benefits of Northern Gateway, usually find higher support for the project.

A B.C. Chamber of Commerce-commissioned poll released in December found nearly 50 per cent support for Northern Gateway.

The Justason poll also found that 51 per cent distrust the joint review panel process, while 32 per cent trusted it.

If Premier Christy Clark’s five conditions for supporting heavy oil being transported through B.C. are met, 49 per cent said they would be a lot or a little bit more supportive of the project.

The B.C. Chamber poll had found that should the project meet the five conditions, support increased to 63 per cent.

Clark’s conditions include the passing of an environmental review, creating world-leading marine and land spill prevention and recovery systems, addressing First Nations’ rights and receiving a fair share of economic benefits.

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© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Rape Pandemic: Assaults in Asia, Pacific Close to Rate in Indian Country

Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

The United Nations conducted a study on men and violence in Asia and the Pacific, surveying more than 10,000 men at nine sites in six countries: Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.

About 23 percent of men at the survey site in China said they had committed at least one rape. At the Papua New Guinea site, 61 percent of men admitted to rape.

National crime statistics already indicate that 1 in 3 American Indian women will be raped in their lifetimes, and new clarification of the definition of rape by the Obama administration—to include women, men, and children—reveal the incidence of rape in Native communities may be much higher.

RELATED: Rape Data for Indian Country Has Failed to Capture Complete Picture

Rachel Jewkes, the lead technical adviser for the UN study, explained to National Geographic the probable reasons for the high occurrence of rape in Asia and the Pacific. The areas where the study was conducted mirror some of the conditions in Indian country affected by rape, namely persistent poverty and high alcohol and drug use.

Speaking in regards to Asia and the Pacific, Jewkes said, “Sexual entitlement is the most common motivation across all of these countries. I think that very, very strongly points to the root of rape in gender relations, and the fact that rape is really legitimized in so many of these countries.”

Jewkes elaborated on sexual entitlement:

“Sexual entitlement means feeling that you ought to be able to have sex with a woman—essentially, if you want it, you can have it. The flip side of that is [the idea] that it’s a woman’s responsibility to make sure that she doesn’t have sex when she doesn’t want it. If a woman is raped, she would be blamed for putting herself at risk for being raped.”

Jewkes attributes the high incidence of rape in Papua New Guinea to an “extremely patriarchal” culture and one that “is extremely accepting of the use of violence in a whole range of different circumstances. It’s not just gender-based violence, but also very severe and frequent use of violence in childrearing, and a lot of fighting in the community between men.”

Jewkes ultimately determined that rape is comparatively less common in more peaceable countries.

“The two countries that really spring to mind are Bangladesh and most of Indonesia. Alcohol use is much lower in Bangladesh and in Indonesia, too. They are both Muslim countries, they both have relatively strict social mores around sex, and one way or another child abuse is less common in those countries. Child abuse really is strongly associated with rape and violence later on.”