Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mulcair, Oilsands, Dutch disease - Politics and the Media

This has been an interesting week in the propaganda war surrounding the development of Alberta's tarsands. The latest round began with Thomas Mulcair, the new NDP leader, pointing out that the high value of Canada's dollar - primarily due to oil exports - is highly damaging to the manufacturing industry and he compared this to "Dutch disease" (the economic impact of Holland's gas exports on the rest of it's economy in the 1970s). His comments were immediately condemned by Alberta Premier Alison Redford who stated that Mulcair was engaging in divisive politics and suggested that he was ill informed about the oilsands. She went further to indicate that he should not be allowed to comment until he took the time to visit Alberta and see the development for himself.

In the wake of this war of words, Alberta's Pembina institute released a report containing economic analysis which largely supported Mulcair's claims. In turn, Ethical Oil launched an attack on Mulcair which condemned him for not seeing the difference between Canada and Nigeria. This was met with a response by Christoper Majka which analyzed the economics and politics of the various positions.

Alberta's oilsands development has obviously become a very heated topic and there are billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in the balance - not to mention the environmental impacts. No matter what your current position on this issue, I would ask that you look at these links and ask yourself the following questions.

Does the story contain factual analysis or simply opinion?

Are the statements designed to convey information or trigger emotional response?

What are the motives behind the statements? Who wins and who loses?

Also consider that Mr. Mulcair has followed through and made a visit to Fort MacMurray. Unfortunately, Premier Redford was not there to meet him - as she was committed to attend a meeting of the Bilderberg group instead.

And finally, it might be worth mentioning that the Alberta Government's 2012 budget documents confirm that the manufacturing sector has been seriously challenged by the high value of the Canadian dollar - which clearly confirms Mulcair's earlier statements.

Since everyone clearly agrees, what is all the fighting about?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gitxsan Crisis Update May 14th - Afternoon - Please share!!

The GTS (Gitxsan Treaty Society) - and a small minority of Gitxsan chiefs (3/30) are siding with Enbridge and using the Canadian courts to overturn the will of the majority of the Gitxsan nation. Warrants were issued today to arrest key leaders of the Gitxsan Unity movement and the results are recorded here in this inspiring example of non-violent peaceful resistance. 
It is clear that the Gitxsan people - who have never ceded their territory to the Canadian government- are resisting this pipeline development. Unfortunately, the media is not covering this story because it goes against the corporate interests that are so clearly backed by the Harper Government. The best defense that the Gitxsan have is a well-informed public because if/when the government resorts to violence to achieve Enbridge's agenda their actions will be clearly exposed.
Please share this widely.
Gitxsan Crisis Update May 14th - Afternoon - YouTube

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Enbridge Pipeline increasingly represents a clash of conflicting Realities

 The conflict over the Enbridge Pipeline proposal to ship Alberta's bitumen across BC and First Nation territory  is quickly becoming a clash over opposing world views. For Stephen Harper and many privileged Canadians- the earth simply represents resources that can be taken and sold to the highest bidder. Their experience is that their water comes from a tap (or plastic bottle) and their food comes from a grocery store and they will defend to the death this economic system because they (mistakenly) believe their lives depend on it. 

First Nations people - and an increasingly wide range of informed Canadians- realize our food comes from the land and our water comes from the streams - and we must fight to our death to defend the Earth's natural living systems because they truly give life to us all.

Canada News: Walkom: Northern Gateway pipeline faces ‘unbreakable’ wall -

(Thanks to Derrick Jensen for this powerful insight) 

Original Quote:
"If your experience is that your food comes from the grocery store and your water comes from the tap, then you are going to defend to the death the system that brings those to you because your life depends on them.  If your experience, however, is that your food comes from a land base and that your water comes from a stream, well, then you will defend to the death that land base and that stream."