On The Left Side

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Who exactly is misleading and withholding information on Pipelines in British Columbia?

Kevin Logan (with Christine) A Cowichan Conversations Contributor

Kevin Logan (with Christine) A Cowichan Conversations Contributor

Over at the Common Sense Canadian I have documented the many twists and turns of the BC Liberals.

Christy Clark, having shuffled through at least three sets of communications staff, seemed to change her position each time a new scribe was propelled to her office.

On her first day as unelected Premier “Northern Gateway was job one.” Midway through her term she said right in question period. ” With respect to Northern Gateway, this government is pro-pipeline.”

Then of course, after the NDP positioned solidly against the Enbridge proposal, we saw Clark change her tune, and begin to put “BC First.” This involved fighting for more money by putting the heat on her Albertan counterpart Allison Redford and laying out 5 ridiculous, hollow and meaningless demands.

This was an effort to reposition once again, but this time for a final time, with her latest communicators, and it was all designed to portray Christy as a fighter for British Columbians against big oil.

However, now that Christy has worked to take the heat off her flip flopping and put it squarely on Adrian Dix with the bold claim that Adrian is keeping information from British Columbians, its time we rehash exactly who is in fact keeping information from and misleading British Columbians.

First up LNG.
There are at least 15 of the worlds largest oil and gas companies on our doorstep, scheming amongst themselves about the future of our coast. If that is not daunting enough, several of them have “non disclosure” agreements with this government.

That’s right, gag orders. Legal agreements that dictate our government cannot publicly discuss what they are planning for us and how they are shaping the future of our Province.

Questions for Christy

Who exactly is withholding information from British Columbians? The guy who made public his personal decision on one project, impacting nothing and affecting precisely zero British Columbians, or your Government who has established numerous gag orders with international oil companies that affect us all?

Since you cannot tell us what the future holds based on these deals you are negotiating in secret, can you at least tell us how many gag orders are in place and with which companies?

Next up TILMA/NWPA

In 2006 the Liberals invoked closure on a very heated debate that attracted involvement from interest groups, municipalities, labour organizations, business groups and think tanks throughout the land.

TILMA built on an existing agreement called the Agreement on Internal Trade, mostly it involved adding clauses lifted from international trade agreements that hand cuffed all levels of government within BC and were very punitive.

For the purposes of this piece and for the sake of brevity I will post the single most relevant clause, but do feel free to
Read through the agreement
 and discover the many other clauses that are applicable to the facilitation of the oil and gas agenda at the expense of our Province’s sovereignty and public purse.

On page 2 of the agreement under General Rules Article 3 you will find this title:

“NO OBSTACLES”
and it plainly reads;

Each party (BC/Alberta) shall ensure that its measures do not operate to impair or restrict trade between or through the territory of the Parties. (emphasis added)

As I have written previously this ties the hands of British Columbians on the pipeline projects and specifically renders Christy Clark’s most recent claims that she will stop the pipeline a complete fraud. She said she would block pipelines through the permit process or by restricting the required power.

Clearly, if Clark delivered on her promise of stopping the pipelines in this fashion, British Columbians would be fined up to 5 Million dollars and it would be meted out by 5 people she herself appointed.

Question for Christy: Why do you continue to mislead British Columbians and constantly claim oil pipeline proposals must be meet your ludicrous conditions, or will be refused despite the fact that the 5 people you appointed would mete out severe penalties of 5 million dollars per infraction?

Last up the “Equivalency Agreement”

In June 2010 the BC Liberal Government had the audacity to forfeit our Provinces right to properly review, assess and decide on the future of major oil and gas projects in the Province.

Questions for Christy: Why do you continue to ignore the existence of the June 2010 Equivalency Agreement? And why, given the fact we can pull out of that agreement at any time with no penalty, do you not just terminate it?

You do realize that all the claims you have made on pipelines are rendered void as a result of the Equivalency Agreement and TILMA, so why do you continue to mislead British Columbians and withhold this information from them?

Mainstream media has ignored these issues, for over a year. They have been readily available to report on and are published all over the internet. All of them are factual, backed up with government documents and no one has ever made any valid effort to refute them.

Former ICBC CEO Robyn Allan has written about them in detail and has approached the Premier directly to no avail.

Instead of the mainstream informing British Columbians on these pivotal issues, we are treated to an interrogation of the opposition leader on his personal conclusion with respect to one project.

Had the press gallery been as aggressive and interested in what is really going on with the actual government responsible for these things they would have asked Christy the questions outlined in this piece a long time ago.

So at Monday’s leaders debate when the media and the Premier attack Dix for his personal musings, and claim he is lying and misleading the public while withholding information, remember the Gag-orders, the Equivalency Agreement and TILMA because all of these actually exist and the reason most don’t know about them is because the government has lied to and misled the people, while withholding information critical to our future.

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