Protests cost billions, but vigilantes are the problem? Seriously?

portvancouver
Portesters block access to Port of Vancouver

Only in Canada would the shutdown of rail transportation by protesters spark fears of a surge in white supremacism and vigilantes.

It’s absolutely bizarre when you stop and think about it.

Here we are, after all, suffering economically at the hands of protesters who side with five Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs against the majority of their own people and the danger is that the protests might see a rise in white supremacists.

Seriously?

What provoked this fear?

Well, a group of residents here in Alberta dismantling a blockade that had been erected on a rail line outside of Edmonton.

Whoa. Scary stuff.

What’s truly scary is the impact the blockades on the national economy. It is costing us billions of dollars.

After all, the blockades could not have come at a worse time.

People need to understand that the rail lines have a finite capacity. They can only move so many trains at any given time. Cold weather sees shorter trains, slower speeds and more congestion. All this is happening at a time when farmers are moving grain to market.

It’s worth noting too that fully three quarters of the country’s manufacturing capacity is located in the eastern region. According to the Canadian Manufacturing and Exporters Association, $450 million of goods per days have been stranded as CN Rail canceled 500 trains.

The disruption to rail traffic is causing considerable damage to economy, with economists forecasting the blockade could shave nearly a half percentage point off this month’s economic output.

That’s billions of dollars.

So bad is the disruption that there are reports now the country’s three largest ports have tens of thousands of containers sitting immobilized.

And there are additional reports that Port of Vancouver has a total of 50 vessels last week at anchor waiting to be loaded.

It will take months upon months to clear the backlog.

Yet somehow the real threat is from frustrated citizens who cannot believe their elected representatives are powerless in the face of a handful of malcontents.

Is it any wonder so many of us have concluded Canada is broken?

World demand for fossil fuels growing

horizon
CNRL Horizon oil sands upgrader near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

There is a growing misconception among policy makers in Canada that demand for oil has peaked and, as a consequence, large scale projects such as Teck Resources Frontier oilsands mining project are obsolete.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are, of course, a sizable number of people who wish to see demand for oil end tomorrow and the world embrace the so-called low carbon future of wind, solar and electric vehicles.

From their prospective it is just a matter of persuading or coercing people to change their habits, invest more money in renewable energy and abandon the internal combustion engine.

The problem is the demand for oil is what economists term relatively inelastic. Oil is the lifeblood of an economy, providing gasoline and diesel for transportation and feed stock for a host of indispensable products of the modern age.

So inelastic is demand for oil that studies show that even a doubling of price will reduce demand by a mere 10 per cent.

The most realistic studies suggest that global oil demand will reach about 126 million barrels per day by 2050 from current levels.

That sounds reasonable inasmuch as demand for oil increased by about 30 per cent in the past 20 years.

Underpinning those studies are some hard investment numbers. Investors are currently pouring $1.8 trillion into fossil fuel development annually in anticipation of returns over the next 20 to 30 years.

There is no doubt, of course, that demand for all types of energy will grow over the course of the next three decades. Global demand will grow by leaps and bounds as nations develop their economies. That is the reason China and India are building thousands upon thousands of coal fired electricity plants, nuclear power plants and as well as renewable energy projects.

But demand for fossil fuels will continue to grow. Natural gas, for example, is seen by many analysts as the transitional fuel of choice as we move forward (?) to the so-called net zero carbon economy.

What will be Canada’s role in meeting the demand for oil and natural gas in the decades to come?

Given our immense reserves of oil locked in the oilsands and equally immense reserves of natural gas, we ought to be well placed to benefit from the global demand for both fuels. There are literally trillions of dollars to be made in the coming decades.

Yet here we are at an impasse with urban ecofanatics pushing their zero growth ideology in the guise of indigenous land rights.

The irony, of course, is that the very indigenous people they purport to represent and champion support resources extraction projects such as TeckFrontier and CoastalGasLinks because they are the best means of lifting their communities out of poverty.

It is truly mind boggling.

Politicians need to be clear: is it a case of can’t or won’t tell police to uphold laws?

police
Ontario Provincial Police prepare to remove Mohawk protesters.

Throughout the protests in support of the hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs, the Trudeau government has hid behind the principle of police independence, asserting it cannot simply order the RCMP to go in and arrest protesters.

On Monday, however, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said that provincial police would “… be moving in and responding to the injunctions that have been put in.”

OK. So what gives? Do the police take direction from the government or not?

It’s a serious question given the level of protests we’ve seen during the past two weeks and the billions of dollars these protests have cost the economy, to say nothing of the thousands of layoffs.

Most Canadians would like to think that the police are there to uphold the rule of law and that the government can direct police to make arrests.

Up until earlier this week, the Trudeau government has hid behind the principle of police independence, arguing that it would be inappropriate for the government to direct the day to day operation of the RCMP.

Is that really the case?

Yes and no.

Police independence has a long history in British common law and there have been a number of high profile court cases that have defined what the principle means in operation.

Yes, the police are independent of the government and are bound by their duty to uphold the law.

What that means in practice is that the police are not subject to partisan machinations. The responsible minister cannot order the police to arrest a political opponent. For that matter, the government cannot order arrests of anyone.

But, no, the police are not a law unto themselves. There are also federal and provincial statutory regulations and laws that set out what a government’s chief public safety minister can tell police to do.

The RCMP Act, for example, says directions from the minister cannot require the RCMP to disregard any of its lawful duties. Secondly, any directions cannot infringe on the independence of the RCMP regarding their law enforcement functions and, thirdly, directions cannot be so broad in nature as to reach beyond federal jurisdiction.

The RCMP, however, can be directed to uphold the law. That, after all, is one of their primary functions.

Since there are more than enough laws that would apply in the case of the more flagrant protests, asking the police to uphold the law and defend the law from the illegal acts of protesters would surely fall under a government’s obligations to its citizenry.

If it does not, then federal and provincial legislatures need to take a serious look at the statutory framework governing law enforcement. No one wants to live in a police state, but at the same time law abiding citizens need assurances that their elected representatives are permitted to act in the best interests of democracy and the rule of law.

The real Western civilization emergency

Newton

Authored by Melanie Phillips

A few commentators have begun to stumble towards the fact that the policy of becoming “carbon neutral” by 2050, as adopted by the UK and the EU, would undo modernity itself.

On Unherd, Peter Franklin observes that, if carried through, the policy will have a far greater effect than Brexit or anything else; it will transform society altogether.

“It will continue to transform the power industry, and much else besides: every mode of transport; how we build, warm and cool our homes; food, agriculture and land use; trade, industry, every part of the economy”.

Franklin is correct. Even so, he seems not to grasp the full implications of the disaster he intuits – because he thinks there’s some kind of middle way through which the imminent eco-apocalypse can be prevented without returning Britain to the Middle Ages.

Read more

 

Canada, world needs to get its priorities in order and it’s not climate change

farm
Rise in CO2 has benefitted crops around the world.

There is a reason the Left is pushing the idea that climate change is an “existential threat.”

An existential threat, after all, is literally a threat to life and thus mandates defensive action that one would be loathe to take under normal circumstances.

For example, if someone charged you with an ax, shouting that he was going to kill you, you would well within your rights to shoot him dead.

That is self-defense. It is a natural right.

If that same man approached you yelling vulgarities, you could not shoot him.

Without a clear existential threat, there is no justification for violence.

It is no different with climate change.

The charge is being made that climate change is an existential threat that is caused by CO2 emissions.

And as a consequence, we must do everything within our power to reduce those emissions.

The trouble, of course, for those us who are skeptics is that the alarmists have been predicting the end of the world since the 1980s.

Back then there were Canadian scientists who said Prince Edward Island would be bisected by now because of rising sea levels.

Those same sea levels were also to inundate New York.

Last time I looked neither prediction has come to pass.

ec-tracker_nh_swe (6)
RECORD SNWFALL

Snow, too, was predicted to be a thing of the past by now and yet we have seen record snowfall in the past few years.

greening
 GREENING WORLD

We were supposed to have run out of food by now as well, but CO2 fertilization has produced abundant crops and is greening the deserts of the world.

So it is difficult to accept at face value the predictions of doom now. The track record of the alarmists is just too bad to take them at their word.

If climate change is not an existential threat, then we need to adjust our priorities. There are more than enough problems that need addressing.

Slavery, for example, still exists. Women are denied their rights in less developed countries. Child poverty is still endemic. Pollution is rampant in Asia.

Here in Canada, we have a drug problem that is the root cause of violence and mental illness. We have a homelessness problem.

We also have indigenous people who have been left out of the wider, non-indigenous economy and society.

It’s a matter of priorities. Climate change is just not one of them.

Obsession with climate makes solving more pressing problems impossible

KenneyCT
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney can claim victory with Court of Appeal ruling on federal carbon tax, but the fight is far from over. Supreme Court of Canada needs to weight in.

While Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took a victory lap after the Court of Appeal sided with the province, ruling the federal government’s carbon tax was an unwarranted intrusion into provincial jurisdiction, the race is far from over.

In a 4-1 ruling the province’s high court ruled that the carbon tax is essentially the camel’s nose in the tent.

The majority decision noted such things health care, minimum wages and justice are all national concerns but are administered by the provinces. For something to be a national concern within federal jurisdiction, it would have to be beyond the scope of provincial powers.

The justices said the carbon tax law gives the federal cabinet “endlessly expansive” powers.

“Conspicuous for its breadth, the act allows the federal government to intrude further into more and different aspects of lawful daily life.”

High courts in other jurisdictions, however, have ruled that the division of powers as laid out in the Constitution are not applicable because environment was not a concern then. At best, the carbon tax merely acknowledges joint responsibility. At worst, it represents the need for national strategy.

So the issue will be resolved by the Supreme Court of Canada in a few months time.

It’s hard to see the country’s high court ruling against the carbon tax when so many are obsessed with CO2 emissions.

That obsession, of course, is at the root of so many of our political clashes.

It’s a divisive issue not only for the global political sphere, but for the various national and local spheres as well.

This obsession with fossil fuels is standing in the way of resolving the indigenous question, with some natives siding with environmentalists and others siding with proponents of resource development.

And it leads to provinces attacking each other. British Columbia and Quebec vs Alberta immediately comes to mind.

It also leads to countries toying with the idea of imposing tariffs on those countries which have refused to embrace the Paris Accord. Think the European Union vs the United States.

Making matters worse are the timelines. The 2030 goals set out in the Paris Accord are not achievable and the ultimate goal of net-zero by 2050 are simply impossible. We would need to basically build hundreds of thousands of wind turbines per day to achieve those goals. It’s not happening and it will not happen.

The ultimate insult, of course, all the while we here in the West or North were doing this, developing countries such as China and India would be adding thousands of coal fired plants to create electricity, rendering all our emission cuts pointless.

So much so that China is predicted to the single largest emitter of CO2 in2050. Its share of emissions will be fully 50 per cent of global emissions.

And India would not be far behind.

In the real world, life is all about priorities. You need to have a roof over your head and food on the table before you can even begin to dream about a fancy set of clothes.

The Trudeau government’s priorities are askew. We have more important problems to solve – indigenous poverty, poor economic growth, staggering debt loads, to name but a few – before we can even begin to tackle global issues.

And with Canada contributing a mere 1.8 per cent of global CO2 emissions, it does not matter what we do. We could cease to exist tomorrow and our loss would not be noticed.

Perhaps the Supreme Court Justices will force the federal government to temper its ambitions. That would be the best outcome. But it’s also the least likely outcome. The entire world is obsessed. Why should our justices be any different?

Loss of Teck’s Frontier project reveals the real racism of the Left and the CBC

agreementmapHave you ever heard of Mike Deranger?

No? In a few moments you’re going to understand why that is a travesty.

Deranger is an indigenous leader in Fort McMurray and the owner of Derantech, a 100 per cent indigenous owned business.

deranger
Mike Deranger

What Derantech does is train indigenous men and women to work in the oil and natural gas industries.

Deranger’s goal is to train 150,000 tradespeople over the coming years to take the high paying jobs that the sector produces.

His broader goal is to develop a national indigenous trades training strategy, using his recruiting, training, and mentoring techniques, which would be implemented across the country, with a special emphasis on isolated northern communities.

For those of us who follow the energy sector and care about indigenous people, Deranger’s work was vital.

After all, the indigenous labor force is in excess of 1.3 million, most of whom live in the West, primarily on the prairies.

They need jobs. They need good paying jobs. They need the kind of jobs that would lift them and their families out of poverty and provide for generations to come.

Those kind of jobs were lost when Teck Resources withdrew its application to construct a $20 billion oilsands mining operation.

Teck Resources had spent the past 10 years working with indigenous communities to secure their partnership. It spent the past 10 years ensuring the operation would meet all environmental regulations.

Yesterday, Teck Resources pulled it’s application, laying the blame squarely at the feet of the Trudeau government which is opposed to all new fossil fuel development.

So today 14 indigenous communities have been denied their opportunity to share in the country’s wealth.

Now, you know nothing about Deranger and you know nothing about the hundreds of indigenous communities who support energy development because the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, whose job it is to inform Canadians about the vital work of Canadians chooses not to tell success stories such as Derantech.

You know nothing about how energy extraction is vital to the future of indigenous communities because the CBC and the rest of the mainstream media choose to tell you about five hereditary chiefs opposed to Coastal GasLinks and not the thousands who support it.

And because of that the ecofascists, the Left, the degrowthers, the phony environmentalists get to tell their story unopposed.

This is the real racism.

Why deny indigenous peoples their chance to succeed economically?

coastal mapSooner or later indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada are going to have come to grips with the fact that attempts to rectify the past do not produce benefits today or into the future.

That’s the blame game. It’s a favorite of ideologically motivated activists and guilt ridden liberals. But it’s game where there are no real winners and a lot of losers.

There is no question that indigenous people have suffered at the hands of colonialists. Too many indigenous communities have a standard of living that is sub par.

So how do indigenous communities improve their standard of living? How do they provide for jobs, for education, for social benefits that the rest of Canadians take for granted?

This goes to the heart of the national debate that the actions of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

A literal handful of the latter are trying to make the pipeline protest about sovereignty and indigenous rights in British Columbia.

Yet the example of highly successful indigenous communities says that those which focus on economic development and establishing trade in goods and services with their non-indigenous neighbors succeed.

Ironically, the top 20 most prosperous indigenous communities in Canada are mostly located in British Columbia which lacks the very treaties activists are demanding.

top21

The Musqueam Indian Band, the Shuswap Indian Band, the Tsou’ke First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, the Osoyous Indian Band, to name but a few, are all doing well.

But those communities have taken advantage of the opportunities presented to them by virtue of location or resource wealth and improved the lives of their citizens. They are economic players in real estate, in tourism, in services, in resource development among other things. They are fully engaged with the wider, non-indigenous world.

In fact, not one of British Columbia’s 11 indigenous communities in the top 20 can be compared to the impoverished First Nations in the northern parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, which are often only reachable by airplane or winter road.

All of which makes the protests and blockades over the stand of the hereditary chiefs so utterly pointless.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline will provide for the Wet’suwet’en the jobs and revenue that other bands in the province have enjoyed for decades.

That a handful of hereditary chiefs would seek to block development that would directly benefit their people because they feel left out of the governance of the territories boggles the mind.

That outside activists and agitators would exploit this dispute to push their anti-development agenda is shameful.

The challenge facing the two senior levels or government is to find ways of promoting the kind of economic development seen in B.C. in the rest of the country so that indigenous people can prosper.

Indigenous and non-indigenous people are in this together and only thing that is going soothe the wounds of the past is the balm of economic development.

The world, after all, always looks better on a fully belly.

Read more about First Nation economic development.

Real racists are those who would consign natives to hunting, fishing

millermohawks
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has accused Canadians of racism.

The racism inherent in the Left and the liberal toadies in the media is truly mind boggling.

Take the current narrative being pushed in the mainstream media that there is a conflict between resource development and indigenous rights.

There’s hardly a day that goes by that there is not some disingenuous story about how the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have the support of indigenous people across the country in defence of the land.

Activists push the narrative that indigenous people are against resource development and it is generally accepted by ignorant journalists.

News stories and commentaries keep pushing a view of indigenous people that is racist and bigoted, that they are victims of big, bad business, victims of the energy industry that is raping the land.

Enough already. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The vast majority of indigenous communities are actually heavily involved in natural resource development.

  • Over the past few decades, indigenous communities have signed close to 500 agreements with mining companies.
  • About 60 per cent of communities have contracts with forestry companies.
  • There are about 30 indigenous communities producing oil on their reserves.
  • There are about 40 producing natural gas.
  • Twenty indigenous communities approved and signed on for the CoastalGasLinks pipeline.

Let that sink in.

None of this will come as a surprise to anyone involved in the energy business. They know full well the extent of indigenous participation in the resource extraction industry.

What the general public does not know is that the resource industry hires twice as many indigenous employees and pays them twice as much as any other sector.

It is any wonder the Wet’suwet’en communities along the route of the Kitimat pipeline are supportive? Their people stand to make millions upon millions of dollars. That’s money which opens doors for them and their children.

Here’s the really sad part about all of this. Whenever pro-development chiefs and other native individuals approach Ottawa to support development (as they did with the canceled Norther Gateway pipeline) they are labeled sell-outs by activists and special interests by the government.

Now, you tell me who are the real racists. The activists, the media and the politicians who would rather have indigenous people living on handouts and in poverty or the chiefs and their supporters who have to build businesses and grow their local economies?

The Left have an agenda. It is socialism. It is certainly not pro indigenous people and it’s certainly not pro environment.

Trudeau and the dangers of trying to be the Great White Father

bellegarde
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde greets Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

If only 2020 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had traveled back in time to meet 2015 candidate Trudeau, we might not be at loggerheads with indigenous groups today.

In 2015, Trudeau fancied himself the great white saviour of the First Nations. It was he who would finally set things right with indigenous people. It was he who bring about the Great Reconciliation.

Recall that it was Trudeau who told a town hall that he would repeal legislation that did not respect the rights of indigenous peoples. He told them he would give First Nations a veto over development in their territories.

The Great Saviour Trudeau also promised to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on indigenous residential schools.

During the election campaign, the Great White Father also said he would increase the funding for First Nations schools by billions of dollars.

First Nations voters came out in droves for Trudeau come polling day. Some polls even ran out of ballots.

Trudeau’s election was seen as the first necessary step in Reconciliation. Optimism was high. Hope was high.

Fast forward to 2020 and we can all see that that there is a danger to over promising – a big danger.

Many reserves today still lack clean water, decent schools and precious little in the way of job opportunities.

And when hope dies, it is quickly replaced by anger.

That much is clear today. Hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs are demanding exactly what Trudeau promised them – a veto – and native activists are shutting down the country to back up their demands.

Trudeau was foolish to have promised them a veto. The Supreme Court of Canada never ruled First Nations had a veto over development. All it said was that indigenous people should be consulted.

So here we are at an impasse that really has no resolution. Instead of a serious discussion on improving the lives of indigenous people AND developing our resources, we are facing an insurrection.

In a few more days, the blockades will really begin to hurt, as cities, companies, people and entire regions run short of much needed supplies. The economic damage will be severe if the blockade goes on long enough.

Sooner or later, the blockades will have to be taken down by force if necessary. There is simply no getting around that fact.

It’s doubtful, too, that Trudeau can talk his way out of this crisis. Everyone knows his promises are worthless.