This Week on GR
elcome back to a new year here at the University of Victoria; though many future UVic students will NOT be in class this week, post-secondary education will carry on in British Columbia. Also carrying on is Big Energy's never-ending struggle to avoid environmental strictures designed to rein in the sector's worst practices.
Case in point: the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Pacific Pipeline project.
The Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Limited Partnership you'll likely remember is that other controversial pipeline hoping to twin its current capacity to transfer Tar Sands bitumen across the rugged Rocky and Coastal Mountain ranges, delivering to Vancouver's Burrard Inlet the stuff Alberta's dreams are made of.Listen. Hear.
Getting approval for their scheme shouldn't be too great a problem, at least where receiving the National Energy Board's necessary imprimatur to forge on is concerned, as the federal regulator is already greasing the skids.
is a researcher, author, and former corporate executive who has held many executive positions in the private and public sectors including President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Vice-President Finance for Parklane Ventures Ltd., and Senior Economist for B.C. Central Credit Union. She recently produced and released the report: 'The National Energy Board Guaranteed Kinder Morgan a Fund to Push Pipeline Expansion Through Regulatory Review' an examination of the National Energy Board of Canada's relationship with Kinder Morgan and its decision to allow the company to pre-fund the "projected" future expansion of its Trans Mountain Pipeline ambitions.
Allan also served as the Economic and Financial Adviser to the Barrett Commission of Inquiry into the Quality of Condominium Construction in British Columbia and has taught Money and Banking, Public Finance and Micro and Macro Economics at the university level. She has too written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines including the Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Business in Vancouver and Enterprise Magazine. Robyn Allan is author of the book, 'Quest for Prosperity: The Dance of Success
' and recently provided evidence on economic and insurance issues related to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline Project currently before the National Energy Board.
Robyn Allan in the first half.
And; as toxic spills go, the Mount Polley tailings dam failure is unprecedented in Canadian history. In fact, it's the single biggest environmental disaster of its kind anywhere. But according to British Columbia's minister of mines, it's all no different from damage caused by any one of the scores of landslides the province sees annually. Oh yeah, that and the more than 10 million cubic meters of toxic mining waste dumped into one of the B.C.'s most important environmental areas. But, in the days following disaster, Bill Bennett and the ruling BC Liberal party, the same that received huge campaign contributions from the operator of the mine responsible, Imperial Metals, deemed the water supplying residents of Quesnel Lake and environs safe to drink. Upon reflection, local health officials reinstated previously lifted drinking water ban, sending concerned residents mixed messages.
is co-founder, with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, a web news site helping to fill the Canadian news media void. He's also a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker focusing on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - and working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. His film credits include: 'Fractured Land', 'Oil in Eden: The Battle to Protect Canada's Pacific Coast,' and numerous shorts featuring British Columbia's beauty and the imminent threats industry pose to its unique environment. Gillis is too a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.
Damien Gillis and clearing the turbidity of the Mount Polley Mine tailings spill in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft
will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us news from our city's streets, and beyond there too. But first, Robyn Allan, the Trans Mountain Pipeline project, and National Energy Board promises made to Kinder Morgan.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
Created on Monday, 08 September 2014 20:32
Written by Damien Gillis
Mount Polley Whistleblower Lost Job, Then Home
by Damien Gillis
- The CanadianL
arry Chambers warned Imperial Metals that its tailings pond was bound to fail – and he was fired for it, the Likely, BC resident told media in Vancouver earlier today.
He and his wife, Lawna Bourassa-Keuster, have now lost their home on once-beautiful Quensnel Lake – too afraid to drink the cloudy and discoloured water, which they brought with them to Vancouver in a jar.
“Christy Clark did come to Likely and at that time, she informed us that she would make sure that Quesnel Lake would be brought back to its pristine state,
” said Bourassa-Keuster.
Created on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:06
Written by Tom Engelhardt
How Not to Win Hearts and Minds in Africa: Hushed Pentagon Investigation Slaps U.S. Africa Command’s Humanitarian Activities
by Nick Turse
- TomDispatchDAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania
ovie night in Mouloud, Djibouti. Skype lessons in Ethiopia. Veterinary training assistance in Garissa, Kenya. And in this country on the east coast of Africa, work on both primary and secondary schools and a cistern to provide clean water. These are all-American good works, but who is doing them -- and why?
As I sit in a room filled with scores of high-ranking military officers resplendent in their dress uniforms -- Kenyans in their khakis, Burundians and Ugandans clad in olive, Tanzanians in deep forest green sporting like-colored berets and red epaulets with crossed rifles on their shoulders -- chances are that the U.S. military is carrying out some mission somewhere on this vast continent. It might be a kidnapping raid
or a training exercise
. It could be an airstrike
or the construction of a drone base
. Or, as I wait for the next speaker to approach the lectern at the “Land Forces East Africa” conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, it could be a humanitarian operation run not by civilians in the aid business, but by military troops with ulterior motives -- part of a near-continent-wide campaign utilizing the core tenets of counterinsurgency strategy.
The U.S. is trying to win a war for the hearts and minds of Africa. But a Pentagon investigation suggests that those mystery projects somewhere out there in Djibouti or Ethiopia or Kenya or here in Tanzania may well be orphaned, ill-planned, and undocumented failures-in-the-making. According to the Department of Defense’s watchdog agency, U.S. military officials in Africa “did not adequately plan or execute” missions designed to win over Africans deemed vulnerable to the lures of violent extremism.
This evidence of failure in the earliest stages of the U.S. military’s hearts-and-minds campaign should have an eerie resonance for anyone who has followed its previous efforts to use humanitarian aid and infrastructure projects to sway local populations in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. In each case, the operations failed in spectacular ways, but were only fully acknowledged after years of futility and billions of dollars in waste. In Africa, a war zone about which most Americans are completely unaware, the writing is already on the wall. Or at least it should be. While Pentagon investigators identified a plethora of problems, their report has, in fact, been kept under wraps for almost a year, while the command responsible for the failures has ignored all questions about it from TomDispatch.
Created on Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:43
Written by Chris Cook
What a Difference a Decade (or so) Makes: Canadian Forces to Iraq
by C. L. Cook
- Pacific Free PressF
resh from the NATO confab in Wa
les, Stephen Harper announced Canadian troops will be sent to Iraq, ostensibly to aid in the fight against ISIS.
Days before 9/11's 13th anniversary, and nearly eleven and a half years after George W. Bush's declaration of "mission accomplished" in America's war against Saddam Hussein, Canada will finally, (officially) have 'boots on the ground' in that benighted nation.Candidates for the Canadian Special Operations Regiment train in Kamloops, B.C. (Lt(N) Meghan Marsaw/Combat Camera)
It's a move resisted in bygone days by former prime minister, Jean Chretien, and opposed vociferously then by his Liberal party and the left-leaning New Democrats. But, why is the official opposition, and the unofficial government-in-waiting now on board with the PM; and, what will Canadian Forces be doing when they get over there?
Read more: The Difference a Decade (or so) Makes: Canadian Forces to Iraq
Created on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 17:26
Written by Robert Parry
Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ on Ukraine?
by Robert Parry
- Consortium News I
f you wonder how the world could stumble into World War III – much as it did into World War I a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire U.S. political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats vs. black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason.
The original lie behind Official Washington’s latest “group think” was that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis in Ukraine as part of some diabolical scheme to reclaim the territory of the defunct Soviet Union, including Estonia and other Baltic states. Though not a shred of U.S. intelligence supported this scenario, all the “smart people” of Washington just “knew” it to be true.
Yet, the once-acknowledged – though soon forgotten – reality was that the crisis was provoked last year by the European Union proposing an association agreement with Ukraine while U.S. neocons and other hawkish politicos and pundits envisioned using the Ukraine gambit as a way to undermine Putin inside Russia.