Senator Duffy: are well-meaning Canadians serving American interests?

Senate inquiry hears "why are US billionaires so keen to 'save' Canada?"

It's an idea that wouldn't be out of place in a university textbook on international relations, or better yet, a spy novel. Are environmentalists who love Canada and who love the green Earth unwitting agents in service of American national interests?

It's not a question I pose, rather it has been asked by a member of Canada's Senate. Currently an inquiry led by Ontario Senator Nicole Eaton is underway to look into the "Involvement of Foreign Foundations in Canada's Domestic Affairs." It was during this inquiry that Conservative Senator Mike Duffy proposed the idea that the real goal of environmental protests against the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan expansion is to strengthen Canada's dependency on US trade routes.

In the past couple of years we've heard Canada's top spy, CSIS director Richard Fadden talk about how there were (are) BC municipal politicians acting as "unwitting agents of influence" for a foreign country. It's an extraordinary claim from public servant who is otherwise predisposed to keeping silent. Is BC's coastline the front line for a much larger struggle than our national debate on shipping petroleum to Asia?

It pays to be skeptical sometimes, which seems to be the approach Postmedia's Ottawa reporter Peter O'Neil took on this subject. O'Neil interviewed Vivian Krause after one of her Parliamentary committee testimonials last February, and decides to "leave it to readers to decide if her theories that have drawn so much attention have any plausibility." Krause is on the record suggesting that alternative "green" energy interests benefit from an oil sands blockade, recognizing that this also conforms with green principles.

Here is a link to the full transcript of Eaton's inquiry last week, and the remarks of Senator Duffy excerpted below:

Hon. Michael Duffy: Honourable senators, I rise to take the adjournment of this debate today, but having listened to my eloquent friend I have to throw in a few words.

I want to pay tribute, first, to the important work being done by Vivian Krause, the independent Vancouver researcher, who has done the nation a great service by bringing the facts to the attention of the general public. As a reporter, I found the most important question in a story was: Why? In this case, why are the Rockefeller brothers and their American billionaire friends spending hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars to help — and I put the word "help" in inverted commas — why are they so keen to save Canada? Could it be they have their own commercial agenda?

Financial experts tell us the amount that U.S. oil companies pay for Canadian oil. Rockefellers, oil; does it connect? Canadians are receiving between $20 and $30 less a barrel for Canadian oil going into the United States than we would receive if we had an alternative market in which to sell that oil, and we were able to sell it at a competitive price. Senator Moore, that would mean millions — billions, in fact — of extra tax dollars for Canada. Those dollars could be used for worthwhile purposes like social programs, senior citizens, medicare, food banks and all of those things. We would have money for that, but we are selling Americans oil at a huge discount. Why do the Rockefeller brothers not want us to have an alternative market for our oil? Could it be that it would drive up the price and allow us to receive the world price of oil?

Is that the real agenda here? Do they really want to keep Canada dependent on the U.S. market, where they get to dictate the price? Are these American billionaires using well-intentioned Canadians in pursuit of an agenda that has nothing to do with Canada's interests but has everything to do with the interests of big business in the United States?

Despite their protestations of innocence, we are learning more every day about how some of these groups are abusing the Canadian tax system. This is not only an abuse of the Canadian taxpayer, it unfairly casts a shadow over the vast majority of charities that do great work and that follow the rules. I salute Senator Segal for pointing that out; but these few who choose to flout the law are putting a cloud over the many who do important work every day.

We must bring these foreign-funded abuses to an end before further damage is done to the honest, hard-working, good, Canadian charitable sector.

On that note, I move the adjournment in my name.

– post by Mike


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About The Author

  • Karla Sofen

    What Senator Duffy and Vivian Krause need to know is that all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

  • Max

    Just as a side note: 22 out of the 45 FN groups that would be affected by the pipeline, support it.

    Something you don’t readily hear from the opposing activists.

    • DaveGlass

      Very interesting. The media is very quiet about this, but only passes the limelight to those FN’s wanting to bring religion and spirituality into government hearings.

  • Karla Sofen

    I’m pretty upset with myself that I missed seeing Vivian Krause’s testimony. But even from the excerpt linked in the article I can tell that Krause is one of those rare completely honest witnesses who can’t be successfully cross-examined.

    There is no point in questioning her authority as an expert. Her research in no way depends on her making any authoritative expert statements. The people questioning her focus almost completely on trying to establish she has some personal bias and/or is not an expert or a lawyer. Most of her questioners are lawyers and they know full well the legal implications of what Krause has uncovered.

    Likewise, misrepresenting that Krause has a “theory” and it’s up to the public to determine if the “theory” is “plausible” is likewise just an appeal to ridicule, not a logical or reasonable response to the cold hard facts Krause has exposed. I have no doubt that other commentators here will use the same kind of tactics.

    Another overlooked aspect to the issue is the complete lack of environmental charities addressing other real and legitimate environmental issues in Canada. Here’s a link to one of Krause’s blog entries where she expands on this:

    http://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/how-enviro-campaigns-miss-the-mark.html

    Any way you want to look at it, Krause has the goods and the truth is self-evident. It won’t stop the ridicule or violent opposition. Like the stages of grief, the stages of truth must be endured in order.

  • boohoo

    If only it were that black and white hey Karla?

    • Karla Sofen

      Translation: You got nothing.

      • boohoo

        Sure Karla. When you say things like

        ‘There is no point in questioning her authority as an expert.’

        you lose me. I don’t care how ‘reputable’ or full of ‘facts’ you think she is, when you are so blinded by your cause that you refuse to even think of questioning any more, you’re useless. This notion that she is somehow infallible is frankly stupid.

        • Karla Sofen

          What fact has been revealed that depends on an expert opinion? She isn’t appealing to her authority as any kind of expert. She’s saying look at these records and documents – here ya go.

        • politics101

          “I don’t care how ‘reputable’ or full of ‘facts’ you think she is, when you are so blinded by your cause that you refuse to even think of questioning any more, you’re useless. This notion that she is somehow infallible is frankly stupid.”

          Isn’t there a blogger with the initials of AGT who also fits that description regarding BC Rail and a certain member for Vancouver Point Grey. – if you support an inquiry into BC Rail etc why not have one into her claims.

          • Karla Sofen

            The documents and tax records she has unearthed won’t change by “questioning” Krause’s “expertise.” Nothing in them is a matter of credibility or subject to alternative explanation. It has nothing to do with infallibility and nothing to do about “believing” her. Why do you believe that what is in dispute is a matter of belief, credibility or special expertise? Do you understand the issue in dispute?

    • DaveGlass

      Boohoo, how can one be more precise than supplying actual numbers filed by these organizations to meet taxation requirements?

      I think it is hard to try to hand waive facts and numbers here, like how the left usually does on other matters.

      • boohoo

        “like how the left usually does on other matters.”

        I see you subscribe to Karla’s sweeping generalizations and meaningless stereotypes as truth then?

        We really need a rolling eyes emoticon!

        • DaveGlass

          It’s a fact that the left are economic illiterates and abhor science when it does not agree with their ideology.

          And leftists are generally graduates of humanities and generally useless topics, and avoid getting a real and objective education in a subject that is worthy to society.

          They actually deserve that stereotype. Just look at the Quebec students — half of them were sociology and victim studies majors. And you know it.

          • boohoo

            wow. this blog sure is bringing out the crazy lately. Anyone else agree with Dave here?

          • Pat Johnstone

            Actually Dave, the majority of people with advanced education in sciences consider themselves “liberals”, and are 3-to-1 more likely to vote Democrat than Republican in the USofA.

            Here is my source:
            http://people-press.org/http://people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/528.pdf

            Where is yours? I note people from the right side of the spectrum rarely provide sources for these “facts”, and if they do, they usually track back to newspapers or Ruch Limbaugh- so try to provide a source that has some credibility?

  • Steven Forth

    The problem with this is how one-sided it is and the political agenda that is driving it. CityCaucus seems to have no issue with well meaning Canadians serving the international oil companies interests, or Norweigian fish farming companies, or US prison operating companies, or pharma companies, etc., etc. It is only when their economic strategy of betting Canada’s future on bitumen extraction is questioned that they have concerns. Well monied Americans have been shaping Canadian policy for decades, and the CPC is especially close to the nastiest parts of the US right wing movement (look at who runs their election campaigns). None of this seems to concern them. Instead, they are afraid that their ability to buy and sell Canadian policy might get compromised if there is a level playing field. I for one an happy to have US environmentalists helping counter US energy companies.

  • Steven Forth

    Out of curiosity, do Max, Karla, Mike etc. support Keystone XL and if there was a choice to be made between Keystone XL and Northern Gateway would they support one over the other? Are they curious that so many of these dastardly US environmentalists also oppose Keystone XL? The logic falls apart rather quickly if you poke at it.

    • Karla Sofen

      Pretty much a false dilemma Steven. Blocking Keystone XL is likewise an attempt to limit the market for Canadian crude so it can’t be sold at market price. It’s the same issue and motive. Can you just go ahead and explain the logic part that makes the argument fall apart? Not following your “reasoning.”

      • Reid

        Could you please clarify how blocking Keystone XL aids in limiting the market for Canadian crude? Isn’t Keystone XL supposed to deliver more Canadian crude to the US, thereby reinforcing Canada’s dependence on that market (and it’s lower price for oil)?

        • Steven Forth

          Logic is not Karla’s strong suit. Clearly energy interests in TX want Keystone XL to feed their refineries. The big internationals probably prefer Northern Gateway (at least the two I spoke with us about this do) as they prefer to have more access to China.

          • Karla Sofen

            Still waiting for logic Steven. Insulting me and repeating your claim isn’t working.

          • Max

            @Steven Forth:

            Question: Do you have any ties to Endswell/Renewal/Renewal2 ? Or is the mention of a Steven Forth and a pic on the web site another ‘Steven Forth’?

          • Steven Forth

            @Mac

            Could you send me a link. If there is a picture of me and my name being used I would like to know. I have not joined, given money to or received money from Endswell/Renewal/Renewal2. Nor have I ever visited Hollyhock, though I would like to go one of these days as many of their programs look excellent.

        • Karla Sofen

          You’ve answered your own question. The pipeline goes to the refineries in Texas and can completely displace all the crude being shipped in from Venezuela by tanker. The volume that can be piped there now is far less and since they can’t deliver the volume required, they have to sell what they can deliver at a discount. If they can deliver larger quantities it levels the playing field and thus equalizes the price. The US is the largest consumer of oil in the world, Canada can deliver all they need if the pipelines are built. Likewise, if you don’t have to import oil from dictatorships, money that would be going to fund dictators it goes into the Canadian economy. Canadian competitors are the only people who benefit if Keystone XL is blocked. No need to fight wars for oil if Canada can completely supply the North American market.

          • Pat Johnstone

            …so in your imaginary world, where Canada is supplying all of the oil the US needs, you want to increase current Bitumen Sand production by 10x ?

            Yikes. Can’t imagine any downside to that.

  • Patrick

    Several years ago, when the anti-Gateway movement was in its heyday, I started looking into the various groups that made up the anti-Gateway 30/40 coalition. As I looked at each group, and followed the various threads of information, not only did I discover the same names popping up at the helm and on the boards of these groups over and over again, I also found that the funding sources for many of these groups often tracked back to American “directed giving” organizations like the Tides Foundation.

    As I looked deeper and deeper into this question, I began to wonder why so much American money was flowing into BC (filtered through organizations like Tides) to help groups that were aggressively opposing the expansion and modernization of BC’s port and transportation infrastructure — and ostensibly on environmental grounds.

    Then it dawned on me: Who would gain if BC’s west coast ports were severely crippled and unable to compete with American west coast ports? The answer seemed obvious to me but the thought seemed paranoid. Could it be possible that port interests on the American west coast were filtering money through organizations like Tides to BC environmental groups and making BC environmentalists the unwitting agents of American port interests? It was almost too crazy to even say out loud and I shared the thought with very few people.

    But as I continued to look into the question, the broader ramifications of this insight became apparent to me in relation to all of BC’s resource industries; for example, forestry and renewable clean energy. BC is rich in natural resources, and what better way to impair the competitive advantages BC has than for our competitors to sponsor agents of subversion. It’s a classic strategy of warfare.

    Now, as the work of Vivian Krause has brought to light, none of what I saw in the materials I was working with was at all far-fetched or unimaginable. The only explanation for the kind of money being poured into BC was a conscious effort to effectively cripple our resource industries and eliminate any competitive advantages we have. It’s covert economic warfare and it’s time we all opened our eyes to what has been going on.

    That doesn’t mean there are not legitimate environmental issues or considerations that need to be addressed as we extract and/or tap resources. I’d be the first person to say that’s essential. But we all need to put on our critical thinking caps and ask what is truly an environmental issue or value that needs to be addressed, protected and/or mitigated and what is merely subterfuge fuelled by infusions of cash from our competitors or those with other interests and/or agendas that differ from of conflict with our interests as British Columbians and/or Canadians.

    • DaveGlass

      Great comment Patrick.

      I am also coming to suspect the works of some of the more far-left radical organizations like Wilderness Committee who refuse to disclose their source of income.

      They only have about a 100 hard-core followers, but when you ask them, they claim to have 60,000 contributors!

      Obviously something doesn’t calculate. What are they hiding?

  • It’s frustrating to follow the media coverage of this witch hunt as it takes the focus off of the work these charities and non-profits are doing to draw attention to the incredible toll that pollution takes on our ecological life support system, and recasts them in some Tom Clancy-esque alternate reality of spies and nefarious green billionaires. Compared to foreign nationals in the business community whom CSIS has voiced public concern over they’ve been pretty open about why they want to “save Canada”.

    Canada is home to the last intact temperate rainforest on earth, it’s home to the 2nd largest drainage basin on the continent and it’s home to one of the vital lungs of the planet in our boreal forest. All of these are incredibly valuable, as valuable if not more so in the long run than oil, because rather than contribute to ecological ruin they keep us alive. All of them are degraded, depleted or seriously threatened by the (largely foreign owned) mining and energy sector in Alberta, which the Harper Government has seemingly built its entire national and international strategy around. A strategy that does not serve the interests of small and medium sized businesses across the country, which despite what some people believe, are the true economic engines of the County, not Alberta.

    It could be asked “Why Are Self Serving Politicians in Ottawa So Eager Not To Save Canada?”

    • Karla Sofen

      Is the only solution to keep nature exactly how it is forever? Is it truly impossible to make the impact as little as possible and the safety as high as possible? Why must this be all or nothing? How much good could be done with 17 trillion injected into the Canadian economy? How much evil could be prevented by denying 9 billion a day to dictatorships? Canada can do more as a force for democracy and freedom than it can as a Park Ranger. It’s up to us now because the people in the States have lost their ideals. Our chance to be the economic superpower in the world is ours. We have to do it right and not to do nothing at all.

      • Pat Johnstone

        Katherine, uh… I mean “Karla”… Your rhetorical wit is interesting, but built on such a quicksand of facts and twisted ethics that only a Lawyer could say it out loud without blushing.

        Yes, it is possible to responsibly develop the Bitumen Sands with little impact and as safely as possible, but the problem is that no-one doing the work seems all that interested in doing that. If someone goes so far as to suggest that this could be possible if we slow down a bit and make some rational choices about the risks, they are either tarred as “foreign-funded radicals”, or disbanded (like the National Roundtable on the Environment). The all-or-nothing rhetoric you seem to decry is mostly coming from the Mike Klassen types who say BC *must* approve this very pipeline or they are “slamming the door on all trade”.

        Nothing scares me more than people who threaten that Canada will become an “Economic Superpower” based on a hydrocarbon-exporting economy. Who the hell wants that? “Economic Superpowers” from Rome to Spain to Great Britain to the United States have all of the characteristics that go against Canada’s founding principles. By necessity, they have been militaristic, authoritarian, use their economic might to oppress people in other parts of the world, and use draconian anti-democratic measures to oppress their own citizens.

        How will Canada make rational decisions about resource extraction, taxation, and use, when a bit of oily sand in Alberta is the single leg propping up the stool our “Economic Supremacy” sits upon?

        • Karla Sofen

          Liberalism is vacuous. It’s empty. It doesn’t require substance. All it requires is intentions. You can’t examine their results. If you do that, you’ll see it’s a failure.

          Canada’s resources can make us a superpower for at least 500 years. And we’ve got 5000 years of natural gas after that. I somehow doubt that humanity will last that long, but it means a lot of prosperity for all of us in Canada and will certainly pay for social programs for any foreseeable generations to come.

          With that kind of time and prosperity, I and those who follow me in the task will have unlocked the secrets of the universe, assuming we are not blown up by the dictators and tyrannies you want to buy oil from instead of Canada.

          Earth has not just renewable energy, but unlimited energy. Who will figure it out? That country will be Canada. We’re the smartest and the best. The USA is a write off now. Only we are left to really save the planet rather than the poseurs like Elizabeth May who can only complain and insult people.

          It’s the nobodys in this world working behind the scenes that will make the real difference. The people who really count in the world are the doers, not the mere critics – the one who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the one who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done. Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the ones who look on and say how the fight ought to be fought, without sharing the stress and the danger.

          Canada must act and ignore those who say we should do nothing.

          • Pat Johnstone

            Kathryn… uh..I mean Karla… get off your high horse, and back on your meds.

            Quoting Rush Limbaugh verbatim:

            “Liberalism is vacuous. It’s empty. It doesn’t require substance. All it requires is intentions. You can’t examine their results. If you do that, you’ll see it’s a failure.” – http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/05/15/pearls_of_wisdom )

            is an embarrassing admission of failure in any debate…

          • Steven Forth

            You truly live in a fantasy world. It reminds me of the company that gre wood for the Swedish navy and delivering it 200 years later found there was no need.

            We do indeed live in a world awash in energy but I doubt we will be using any petrochemical as a major fuel in 50 years. There will be no need. It will remain a useful resource for many uses of course, but the whole energy/natural resources superpower play is very risky and I believe likely to fail. None of the major economic powers will allow themselves to be held hostage to any single source.

            On TX and Keytsone XL, some version will likely go forward, Northern Gateway likely will not, and TX will continue to import as much Venezualen crude as they can as it is far easier to process than bitumen. They will then export to global markets, including China, and given the failure to build refinery capacity in Canada they will probably export to Canada as well. So I hope some environmentally sane version of Northern Gateway can be built as I think it would be better for Canada to have more options.

      • Steven Forth

        Please provide somre real evidence for the $17 trillion number. And there is enough demand that not a penny less will go to brutal dictatorships. Find some real arguments.

  • Max

    Funny, if you read the bios of the people that ‘manage’ Renewal/Renewal 2 (Endswell) there seems to be quite a few Americans listed – including the Executive Assistant.

    Funny, lots of Canadians looking for jobs and yet, they give the jobs to Americans.

  • I’ve been telling people in the Occupy movement for months that the pipeline protest seems to be more a case of the US vs. China than an environmental issue. Let’s hope that Canada doesn’t become the new Belgium…

    • Max

      @Greg:

      Good to here from you!

      Greg, anymore word/whispers on June 21?

      Did Bob Mackin get a hold of you?

      • It sounds to me like June 21st is still planned- got some more confirmation on that this weekend. That said, if we can get enough attention to the matter, hopefully we can get them to cancel their plans.

        Did you see this article about No One Is Illegal and their involvement?

        http://genuinewitty.com/2012/05/04/is-no-one-is-illegal-organizing-a-treasonous-uprising/

        • Max

          @Greg:

          I recognize three of the people in that Native Youth video – even though the one had her face partially covered.

          As for No One is Ilegal and Harsha W. – she is totally racist – got that the first time I listened to her speak.
          She is anti ‘white’, especially if you are a ‘white anglo-saxon male’….. What I also found distrubing was the fact that the NDP’s Libby Davies was recorded attending the meeting on the use of Black Bloc tactics – their use of violence. This was prior to the Olympics and the riots that took place.

          I would be very curious to know how these FN groups feel about their own people that have invested in resorts (Osoyoos), mining (New Afton opening in 2013), hydro electric power…… There are lots of native groups involved in mining and forestry – so what is their stance on that, or, is it acceptable as it is FN groups?

          • Other than Jayson Fleury, I’d be interested to know who the other people are in the Native Youth Movement video. Any group that sings songs like “Take back the land, kill the white man” obviously needs to be stopped. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing here, please message me offline.

            I’m also totally curious to see the video where Libby Davies is in a meeting about Black Bloc! She’s been on my target list for a while, and it is about time to write an article about here. (Had too much Judy Rebick lately, Libby would make for a good change! lol)

            From what I see of the First Nations groups, most aren’t impressed with Harsha Walia and her group of thugs. It was a little over a week ago when a member of the Musqueam made a very bold announcement to the Occupy community that they “will NOT TOLERATE VIOLENCE!” I believe this was a direct message to Harsha’s people.

            It seems to me that while Harsha’s FN are loud and get most of the attention, there are a lot of realistic and good-hearted people in the FN community who don’t buy into all of their hate. An interesting coincidence is that all of her FN in Vancouver seem to come from out-of-province, just as the FN who came to Occupy Toronto were the same.

            The sacred fires at Occupy Vancouver & Toronto are great examples. Vancouver’s was started by two men from Ontario, and Jayson Fleury was managing the fire in Toronto! The connections between these two incidents are too coincidental to ignore… (many David Eby connections here too!)

            http://genuinewitty.com/2012/05/09/occupy-toronto-and-the-dtes-fauxhawks-sacred-fire-featuring-harsha-walia-david-eby/

            -Greg

          • DaveGlass

            Corrections – First Nations have not “invested” a penny in hydroelectric projects. What they have was given to them and extracted by force and against the will of the energy business. And the one or two small projects that they truly did invest in was paid by tax money.

  • Thought of The Day

    “The Krause Brief…”

    I would put Vivian not in between, but next to Erin Brockovich, Darby Shaw the fictional character in John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief” and the fonder of the Body Shop – Anita Roddick.
    Erin because she was on her own during her fight with the medical system, and against the Big Pharma, Darby because she had a great mind and an even greater filtering system, and Anita because at the base of her small business philosophy were these words:
    “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.”

    Vivian is all of the above, in one. From the very beginning, years ago, before she became a Coast to Coast sensation in the fight against Foreign Intervention disguised as Environmental Concern, I was on her side. Big supporter.

    Looking back, I still can not believe what a stupid and/or incompetent Government we have here in Canada! Not to take notice of all this… for years?
    At least now some of them, apparently, woke up, thank goodness.

    Vivian’s work should be commended not ignored and/ or ridiculed.
    As a matter of fact those who are trying to ridicule, in most of the cases, they are the ones having the most to lose.
    You want to find holes in her research, I say, go ahead, make… My Day! 🙂
    This is a war of logic and perseverance.
    People should be looking at this web of Lies and Diversions as they look at a Game of Strategy.
    Unfortunately, most people are too busy in their egocentric lives, too caught in their Real TV reality, to pay attention or to let themselves be bothered with things and news like this.
    Sheep.

    I want you to put this into perspective:
    All these “Environmentalists”, brought nothing to Canada other than themselves. The very people orchestrating the “enviro” campaigns, most of them implants from down South. No other jobs, no revenue, for years, nada… they produced nothing other than “empty, scary words, words, and more words” oh, yeah, and moved “cash”. Living like kings and queens in the process, I may add.

    When your US “Charity” Supplier, par example, pays you, on a yearly basis, for decades, say… cca. 1$Million… out of which you “keep” $900,000 (90%) for your “staff+expenses” that’s not charity that’s… something else. Last I’ve heard, there is a $10,000 limit that one can bring into Canada legally, and one has to fill out a Custom Declaration Form.

    Anyhoo.
    Back to the Oil. The Truth is in Vivian’s Reports, read between the lines, connect the dots.
    Some of you will chose to look away, others would see nothing, some would try to make you see what they want you to see, some would be able to see the 3D stereogram in full, though.
    It’s a start.

    This is only the beginning. Dunno about you, but I won’t look away. I’ll keep poking at the Thing.
    I never fancied them leeches, to start with.

    Starting next year, courtesy to Lady Clark and Entourage we’ll have a new holiday in February, I believe. If you ask me, that day I would like to be a day dedicated to people like Vivian Krause, as…

    “She is a rebel. She is a fighter. She is a mother. She is a woman. She is you and me.”

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

    • Karla Sofen

      Wow! Well said. Amen!

    • I wouldn’t have got half as far as I have without Vivian’s research. Not even infiltrating Hollyhock got me as much information! The non-professional protesters in the Occupy movement owe her are great big thank you. It is because her work that we’ve been able to uncover the Soros/TIDES influence that has been tearing us apart.

      Here’s the article that started it all for us:

      http://genuinewitty.com/2012/03/13/follow-the-money-dave-vasey-taylor-chelsea-work-for-the-1/

      Soon we may even begin to speak about the banks! lol

      • Max

        @Greg:

        I did some work at a shelter in the DTES for a period of years. The two women used to come in. Drug & alchohol abuse – for both.

        The other is an older male that I still see from time to time when I walk the DTES.

        As for Libby Davies – she is in one of the videos that HW and No One is Illegal did. I think Eby was sitting beside HW in the video, will have to go back and pull it up. The video pans the crowd of attendees and she is seated there – the camera rested on her face for a bit.

        I was shocked as HW was talking about the Black Bloc tactics and the use of violence/destruction of property.

        • Is that the Harsha Walia Gone Wild! video? If so, can you tell me at what part you see Libby Davies? I (thankfully) don’t know her that well, so it is hard to tell…

          Thanks!

      • Steven Forth

        Tearing who apart?

    • Steven Forth

      The key word being ‘fictional.’

    • DaveGlass

      Environmentalism’s roots are in German fascism of the 1920s.

      Both these ideologies put the land, nature, and their purity ahead of man (people). People can be sacrificed so that land, animals, and nature remain intact. So what that society is replete with the weak and poor. To be progressive means one should take care of the land and water — and forget the downtrodden.

      Frankly, whenever I run into an environmentalist, I try to fathom their depth of hatred for the common man, and their elitist self-righteous but wobbly value system built on the purity of the land.

      History is indeed repeating itself but in different guises.

      • Steven Forth

        You guys get better and better. Now we are German facists, one of the most intensely industrial governments in history. Oh well.

        • DaveGlass

          Wrong — the industrialization of Germany was due to expansionism, not due to environmentalism. Otherwise the pre-war German elite were generally environmentalists who were quite anti-capitalist because they felt capitalism destroys the harmony that a pure nature provided. Just like today’s adherents to the religion of nature.

          Read about it.

          • Steven Forth

            Where do you suggest I read about it? I have read a reasonable amount on the origins of environmentalism so the focus should probably be sources on how the modern environmental movement arose from Facist Germany. I don’t read German so English-language sources are preferred.

          • Higgins

            Exactly and they were then as they are today the same… Jerks! Go figure. It seems they learned nothing from history.

    • Higgins

      Glad I scroll down all the comments…
      This message is for GR.
      Thanks Glissando!
      In this crowded back and forth punching ring, … here comes a nice comment that’s good for future saving. Nice Vivian tribute.
      Classic!

  • Brilliant

    @Max-Still from Steven I see. But of course he was really, really open to voting for the NPA last November dontcha know. LOL.

    • Steven Forth

      Actually did vote for Mike and Sean. But it was pretty clear I was not going to vote for Anton and that I was going to vote for (i) people opposed to the casino and (ii) people who supported bike and pedestrian.

  • Richard

    Seriously people, this is a real distraction from the real issues facing this country. I expect that is the point. For better or worse, the federal government between elections pretty much has absolute power in this country between elections. The environmental groups have little direct influence over the current government. The PM and ministers even refuse to meet with them while they are more than willing to met with foreign controlled oil companies.

    Clearly, if you know how decisions are made in Canada, the claim that environmental groups with foreign funded or without foreign funding are having undue influence is ridiculous. To have the government in power making these claims is even more ridiculous.

    The moves by this government to audit environmental groups is clearly intimidation to stop voices that disagree with their polices. As such, all Canadians, regardless of their views on these issues should be outraged. Democracy is based on the ability to debate and for people to get their views out into the public discussion.

    • DaveGlass

      Last time I checked we were still a democracy.

      If the government has to cater and crater to each and every whining foreign or domestic paid enviro-radical group, that would be quite anti-democratic.

      In democracy you don’t serve special interests — your responsibility is to the electorate.

      And the electorate has spoken.

      Environmentalism has common roots with fascism. The first true environmentalists were the proto-fascists of Germany circa 1920s. And now we see comments demanding that democracy become beholden to the environmentalists. Where did we see such illiberal demands before?

      • Steven Forth

        That seems a bit simplistic. Canadian governments from all parties have always consulted widely and listened to input from many different ‘special interest groups.’ And the oil industry itself is a special interest group and should have a seat at the table. As should environmentalists, and manufacturers, and first nations, and anyone else who is directly impacted. At the end of the day, the government is responsible for making decisions, but they will generally make better decisions if they listen to a wide variety of differing points of view.

        “The first true environmentalists were the proto-fascists of Germany circa 1920s.” How would you go about documenting this claim? Were there no environmentaists in 19th C England, or New England for that matter. Where do you think national park systems fit into this? Or fishing regulations on the English part of the North Sea in the early 19th C?

        • DaveGlass

          The oil industry does not mobilize mobs who go and blockade or turn a government hearing into a circus.

          Your simplistic equivalency is wrong. Pressing your needs with your representative is entirely different than recruiting thousands into political and anti-democratic activities like the left does. And then on top of that they receive money from shady sources to work against Canadian democracy.

          Last time I checked, the oil lobby was not attacking our democratic tradition or resorting to violence or brainwashing 5 year olds to act like fish and pretend-die.

          The problem with most socialistic arguments is that they resort to a cheap equivalency argument without understand the need to make an apples to apples comparison.

          • Steven Forth

            Neither do most environmental groups. So is your issue only with groups that demonstrate or engage in direct action?

      • Richard

        Seriously Dave, the government won’t even talk to the environmental groups. All the government is doing is trying to suppress voices that disagree with its policies. That is fundamentally anti-demographic.

        None of the people in the environmental groups were alive or at least adults back in 1920. To link anyone to that is ridiculous. Now how about sticking to the issues instead of attacking the messenger. Attacking the messengers is really a sign that you don’t have much of an argument.

        If you think that massive expansion of the oil sands is good for the economy or the environment, lets see your evidence. This is an important conversation worth having. The nonsense in this post just distracts from that.

        • DaveGlass

          Generally there is a 5 year process that a project goes through and the special interest eco-activists (many who are foreign funded) have ample chances to argue their case and influence the case, in fact it is built into the process.

          On the other hand, the proponent cannot mount a campaign for its own interests because that would discredit its application and result in a rejection bynthe authorities.

          Obviously you have zero idea how a project gets an environmental permit. It can easily cost $100 million and 5 years. And you call that “efficient” and complain that there is no scrutiny?

          An assessment can easily run into 10,000 pages. have you seen one?

          You are the one claiming that the oil sands is detrimental to the environment despite the billions of dollars of reclamation and mitigation. Proof is on the claimant.

          Here, read for yourself:

          http://www.ecofascism.com

          • Steven Forth

            Fascinating website. I will spend more time reading it. I encourage others to do as well as it helps explain a lot about where @DaveGlass’ ideas come from.

            By the way, companies that propose projects do mount campaigns to promote their positions and fund others to support them. And there is nothing wrong with that as long as it is disclosed.

            I am a bit confused by your comments above though. Are you in favour of environmental reviews and and assessments?

  • boohoo

    Wow, I thought the other thread was going crazy, little did I know about this one…

  • Karla Sofen

    Last comment on this topic: “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” – H.L. Mencken

    • Bill

      Well said.

  • This news story is getting a lot of hits, so there is worldwide interest. While bicycle-enthusiast Steven Forth believes we’ll be off petroleum fuels in less than 50 years, he has no idea what that fuel will be or how it will be integrated into our infrastructure.

    As one of the many people actually working on developing that magical fuel all the environmentalists want and believe exists now, I can tell you it’s going to take a few hundred years – dozens of generations at least before it can occur. But, I can promise all reading this now that it will occur. Canada’s resources will give Canadian scientists the time needed to do it.

    I am begging all local environmentalists to focus on supporting Canada – the only peaceful and democratic major energy producer with a chance to make a real difference in the world. Let Canada build the infrastructure as safely as possible and with the absolute least impact on the environment – not do the bidding of Canada’s competitors and tyrannical dictators who are manipulating you and taking advantage of your compassion and desire for stewardship of our natural environment.

    If you REALLY want to save the world, support Canada, because the greatest scientific minds are here and actively working on exactly what you want. We need time.

    Don’t be a tool. Don’t waste effort on defending canards. Pressure Elizabeth May and any other influential green people you know to be thoughtful and realistic about your efforts because your goal can be achieved, but it can’t be achieved by opposing all progress and with knee-jerk opposition to oil resource development. You’re losing a lot of people who would support reasonable and realistic environmental efforts.

    ipse cogita

    • Steven Forth

      I am impressed by your ability to know what I do and do not know. I am even more impressed by your ability to predict the future several hundred years out, something noone else in history has been able to do. If you are so confident of your ability to predict the future why not post your LinkedIn profile here. Mine is http://ca.linkedin.com/in/stevenforth

      I am happy to debate you on the future of energy. CityCaucus could even do it as a post if they like.

      And as it happens I am one of the enviromentalists who does believe we can build acceptably safe infrastructure for transporting and refining bitumen and other oil products. It is not going to be easy. It is not going to be perfectly safe (but that is an impossible standard). Of course some will say that this means I am not an environmentalist at all.

      I find the idea that there will be one ‘magical fuel’ in the future wrong headed. There are and will be many sources of energy.

      • Karla Sofen

        Translation: you got nothing.

        • Steven Forth

          So you want to have a debate? As an alternative, we can place some bets on longbets. Perhaps Mike Klassen will stand in as your surrogate so you won’t need to reveal yourself. I suggest we bet on (i) energy mix in BC in 5, 10, 20 years, (ii) energy mix in Japan in 5, 10, 20 years, (iii) global warming in 5, 10, 20 year and some other topics you can suggest. No point for me in going much beyond 20 years.

          • He who is unaware of his ignorance will only be misled by his knowledge.

  • Von Dresen

    Karla’s last comment before her last comment, before what will surely be her last comment until her last comment is the last comment.
    “I am begging all local environmentalists to focus on supporting Canada – the only peaceful and democratic major energy producer with a chance to make a real difference in the world. Let Canada build the infrastructure as safely as possible and with the absolute least impact on the environment..”
    Canada is neither peaceful nor democratic.
    The oil industry has no safe infrastructure, and the tar sands are having a catastrophic impact on the environment as the pipelines surely will; there is ample evidence for that the world over.
    What’s really astonishing on this page is the tenacity of lunacy and spin.

    • Bill

      “The oil industry has no safe infrastructure”

      Please share your secret – how do you get by without consuming oil?

      • It’s going to be the dillweeds like “Von Dreson” that will cause what the environmentalists say they want to avoid. Harper will be forced to make it a matter of national security and it will be done anyway and any input reasonable environmentalists could have contributed will not be heard or acted upon. Thanks a lot dillweed. You’ve screwed the pooch.

      • Steven Forth

        You can understand that the oil industry has no safe infrastructure and also understand that you need to consume oil in the current economy and will need to for at least a while longer. But no energy infrastructure is completly safe and we need energy to live. I think the argument is around the tradeoffs and what kinds of protection make the most sense.

        I think we could generate far more of our energy using lower impact distributed systems and smart grids. We could also reduce our consumption using some common sense technologies, like braking systems that store energy and waste heat recycling systems. Or we could design buildings that need much less heating and air conditioning. Lots of things to do.

        We can also move to economic growth patterns where there is more wealth created for unit of energy consumed. I think we trail the OECD on this measure. Actually, I am pretty sure we trail China, which is a sad comment on our economy.

        • Bill

          Steven, first you say “I am one of the enviromentalists who does believe we can build acceptably safe infrastructure for transporting and refining bitumen and other oil products” and a couple of posts later “the oil industry has no safe infrastructure”. You can’t have it both ways.

          • Steven Forth

            Yes, there is no safe infrastructure so we have to accept and manage risks. To refuse a project because it has some risk is not realistic as all sources of energy have some risk. To claim that a project has no risk so it should just be accepted is to deny reality.

          • Bill

            Steven, not to get hung up in semantics but if you say something is safe then it means it carries an acceptable level of risk, not no risk. Conversely, something that is not safe is something assessed as being too risky. So when you say no oil infrastructure is safe implies it is too risky to undertake. This just plays into the hand of the no-growth brand of environmentalist.

          • Steven Forth

            Hi Bill – I don’t think it is a question of semantics. When you say something is safe then then you create the perception that we don’t have to worry about it or that we are in good hands. I don’t think either is the case when it comes to the bitumen sands. I think great dilligence is required, especially if we are going to consider building a pipeline across BC, hopefully increase refinery capacity and change technologies, and increase shipping on a dangerous coast. That does not mean that given the right governance, risk allocation and technology that we should not proceed. Just that we need to be very careful and dilligent.

  • Steven Forth

    Interesting chart on per capita GDP and energy intensity. Need to check the source data though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gdp-energy-efficiency.jpg

    • Bill

      Did you notice that the graph is stretched on the x-axis (2 to 1) to visually bias energy efficiency over GDP per capita?

      • Steven Forth

        Or perhaps just to fit the form factor of the typical laptop screen. Doesn’t change the facts.

    • Bill

      I am surprised you fail to appreciate the significance of scaling in presenting graphical information. It is like displaying a std def television show at 4:3 on a wide screen at 16:9. The show is the same but the actors all look overweight.

      As well, I think if you graphed population density against energy consumption per gdp you would get a fairly good relationship. Add in climate and I think you would have the most significant explanations of differences. (Bangladesh is one of the most dense countries and Canada one of the least)

      Given these limitations, I really don’t think this graph has much value. I suspect you probably are aware of this and you are just suffering a bit of confirmation bias.

      • Steven Forth

        In this case I disagree. The basic point is that Canada has an energy intensive and very poluting economy per unit of GDP generated. Your point about population density is an important one. Greater population density generally gives higher economic productivity per unit of energy consumed. This is one reason that people everywhere, including Canada, are gathering into increasingly dense cities. In regards to climate I think you are saying that Canada is cold therefore we use more energy. I have had people in Texas and Arizona say the same thing only inverted, because their climate is so hot they have to use so much energy. In any case, good design and contrsuction makes it easy to cut heating and cooling costs signifiacntly, but we don’t do so when energy is cheap. If you prefer look at the data in tabular form not as a graph, you get the same result.

        • Bill

          A higher consumption of energy per GDP does not mean “very polluting”. Surely you are not suggesting that China, India and Bangladesh are less polluting than Canada just because they consume less energy per GDP produced.

          Take a look at this chart. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density

          then compare it to your chart of energy consumed per GDP. Even from a cursory view it is obvious that there is a clear correlation between energy efficiency and population density. What is your solution – import a few hundred million people to get our density up?

          As for your comment about climate you chose the US which is only slightly better than Canada in energy efficiency. I believe that our generally colder climate has a bearing on our energy efficiency.

          And I still can’t believe you are dismissive about the graph’s scaling as the visual impact is why a graph is constructed in the first place. Look at the impact Mann’s hockey stick graph has had on the discussion of climate change. Even though it has been thorougly discredited it still shows up to support alarmist positions because it is so visually compelling.

          • Steven Forth

            Yes I am suggesting that India, China and Bangladesh are less polluting than Canada at this time. In China and India pollution is increasing rapidly driven by economic growth and that is a huge problem. But this does not change the fact that today the average Canadian causes more polution than the average Chinese.

            Menawhile, Canada is raising its effective density by concentrating its people in urban areas. The fact that we have a vast empty north is irrelevant. It is the density in the areas of economic and human activity that matters.

            An economy based on resource extraction has historically been more polluting than an economy based on advanced manufacturing, design and services. I don’t think this is a given though. I think Canada has the brains to develop new technologies for resoruce use that can make oureconomy more productive and more energy efficient and that should be our goal.

            Looking at the grapgh again, you are completely wrong. If you want to change the x-axis go fram GDP per million Btus to GDP per 1,000 Btus. In any case, it is the data that matter and the data confirm that Canada has only a reaosnably productive economy but is energy inefficient. It is worth debating why it is energy inefficient, but one cannot deny it is energy inefficient.

  • Steven Forth

    Of course there is the larger question, is GDP or even Per Capita GDP really the best thing to optimize?

    • Bill

      Let’s optimize Gross Domestic Happiness instead of GDP and we can compete with Bhutan for the title of happiest country on earth. Yak butter tea anyone?

  • Steven Forth

    People interested in hearing the other side of the ‘hockey stick’ story may want to read http://www.amazon.com/The-Hockey-Stick-Climate-Wars/dp/023115254X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337471658&sr=1-1 This is not the black and white issue that Bill says it is, unless your mind is already made up.

    • Bill

      You really have drank the kool aid, Steven, when you reference a book supporting the Michael Mann hockey stick authored by Michael Mann. From the synopsis you referenced it appears that focus of the book is to attack the motives of those who challenged his methods rather than defending those methods.

      This appears to be his MO now as he appeared as a speaker at the recent Orange County Water Summit. You can read about his performance at WUWT( http://wattsupwiththat.com/ ) where he refused to answer one of the most serious criticisms of his graph – he stopped using tree rings as a temperature proxy in 1960 because after that date they showed temperatures should be decling. (origin of “hide the decline” in Climategate.) Perhaps more seriously if it holds up, McIntyre has obtained the full tree ring data set which might show the data for the tree rings themselves were cherry picked to get the hockey stick shaped graph.

      Finally you say “This is not the black and white issue that Bill says it is, unless your mind is already made up.” So let me get this straight. We should keep an open mind on a graph that purports to prove that AGW is a black and white issue (the science is settled). So you are suggesting that we should have an open mind about having a closed mind on climate change instead of a closed mind about having an open mind on the causes of climate change. Progressives never fail to amaze in their ability to twist logic into a pretzel but this is in a class of its own.

  • Von Dresen

    Substitute climate change for “war,” and ecologists, for “pacifists,” and this quote applies perfectly.
    “Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
    ~~~ Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reich-Marshall at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII
    Learn from history and you’re less likely to be fooled by shills and Con men.

    • ned

      Oh please, Von Dresen
      It sounds exactly the same. Laughable.

  • Von Dresen

    The question of Canadian consumption is moot. The pipeline, and the increased development of the tar sands are not for the benefit of Canadians; both are expressly for Asian markets. The investment is foreign, and the jobs will be “fast-tracked” to foreign workers.
    The real cost, of environmental destruction and the inevitability of spills, however, will be incurred by current taxpayers and paid for by future Canadians.
    This is a Con job.