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Wed, 2014-11-26 11:08Carol Linnitt
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Edelman and TransCanada Part Ways After Leaked Documents Expose Aggressive PR Attack on Energy East Pipeline Opponents

Russ Girling TransCanada

Last week internal documents from Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, were leaked to Greenpeace, exposing an aggressive strategy to target opponents of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline.

The release of the documents brought TransCanada under fire for using dirty public relations tricks to manipulate public opinion and divide communities on the issue of the company’s 4,600 km Energy East pipeline that will carry 1.1 million barrels a day of Alberta oilsands crude to one small refinery and to export facilities on the east coast.

Today a press release from Edelman confirms the firm is parting ways with TransCanada after “attention…moved away from the merits of TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline project.”

According to the release, “Edelman and TransCanada have mutually agreed not to extend Edelman’s contract beyond its current term,” which completes at the end of December.

The release also states the communications strategy Edelman devised was meant to “drive an active public discussion that gives Canadians reason to affirmatively support the project.”

Tue, 2014-11-25 12:15Carol Linnitt
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Energy East Opposition Fund Swells Past $300K After Crowdfunding Campaign Makes Headlines

Energy East fundraiser Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois

Perhaps it’s the charming student activist, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who donated his $25,000 Governor General’s Literary Award to the pipeline fight, or perhaps it was the scandalous documents leaked last week that showed pipeline company TransCanada has teamed up with one of the world’s most powerful PR firms, Edelman, to manipulate public opinion surrounding the Energy East pipeline.

Or maybe it’s the fact that at least two-thirds of Quebecers oppose the construction of a 4600km pipeline that will carry 1.1 million barrels of oilsands crude through their province (and five others) for export. Maybe onlookers, disturbed by the 50 arrests on Burnaby Mountain, have felt compelled to prevent a similar situation from erupting east of Alberta.

Who knows?

But what is becoming clear is the firestorm of public opposition that is committing to the fight against Energy East. Twelve hours after Nadeau-Dubois announced his $25,000 donation on the Radio-Canada talk show Tout le monde en parle on Sunday donations surpassed $140,000.

Mon, 2014-11-24 14:04Scott Vrooman
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VIDEO: Maybe the People on Burnaby Mountain Aren't Who We Should Be Worried About

Scott Vrooman, burnaby mountain, kinder morgan, protest

This video, by comedian Scott Vrooman, originally appeared on the Toronto Star.

American energy corporation Kinder Morgan filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against five pipeline protestors in Burnaby, B.C., because apparently nobody told them the average income of a pipeline protestor.

The National Energy Board  an anagram of “regulatory capture” — ruled that the City of Burnaby can’t stop Kinder from carrying out its work, so now the protestors are accused of trespassing in their own city’s park. Kinder solved the Not In My Backyard problem by taking the backyard.

The company also claims that protestors’ angry facial expressions constitute an assault on their workers. They’re arguing that freedom of expression doesn’t extend to your face. So I assume that if protestors draw angry faces onto their butts and display those towards Kinder Morgan workers, that won’t constitute assault. And I encourage every protestor to test that theory.

All of this comes within the context of a wider attempt to delegitimize protest itself. The University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy which just installed a new oil feature in their garden it’s lovely  they recently held a conference on “social license,” where the case was made that protestors undermine the rule of law by claiming to speak for the whole community.

Tue, 2014-11-11 12:37Chris Rose
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Kinder Morgan Oversells Benefits of Trans Mountain Pipeline, Underplays Costs, Says New Report

Kinder Morgan has significantly overstated the benefits of its controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal while vastly understating risks associated with increasing the flow of oil to Metro Vancouver.

That’s the conclusion of a new economic analysis by Simon Fraser University and The Goodman Group Ltd. which also recommended that the proposed expansion be rejected as it is neither in the economic nor public interest of B.C. and Metro Vancouver.

The jobs created are nowhere near the number claimed by Kinder Morgan and the costs are grossly underestimated when the risks of a major spill, particularly one occurring in the Vancouver area, are factored in,” said Doug McArthur, director of SFU’s Graduate School of Public Policy, which co-authored the report.

The whole project is highly questionable from a public policy point of view,” McArthur added.

Tue, 2014-10-28 11:20Emma Gilchrist
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Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Advertising Blitz During Election Doesn't Count as Elections Advertising: Elections BC Ruling

Kinder Morgan TransMountain advertisement

Kinder Morgan has launched an advertising campaign pushing the company’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that just so happens to coincide with B.C.’s municipal elections — but Elections BC says the company doesn’t need to register as a third-party advertiser.

That’s a bit of a puzzler given that Elections BC rules clearly state that anyone who runs ads on an election issue must register as a third-party advertiser and disclose costs within 90 days of the Nov. 15 election.

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, which would triple the amount of oilsands bitumen flowing to the B.C. coast, is certainly an election issue, with Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson staking out positions against the project.

An online survey for the Burnaby NOW found the pipeline expansion is the No. 1 concern for Burnaby voters during the civic election.

Thu, 2014-09-11 13:16Carol Linnitt
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Kinder Morgan Asks B.C. to Remove Land from Provincial Parks to Make Way for Trans Mountain Pipeline Construction

Bridal Veil Falls Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan made the news last week after disagreement between the company and the city of Burnaby came to a head over the removal of trees in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area in advance of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

After Kinder Morgan began clearing an area to facilitate survey work, which included exploratory drilling, Burnaby issued a stop work order, stating the company was violating municipal bylaws and causing irreparable damage to park areas.

On Monday, Burnaby filed a civil claim against Kinder Morgan in the Supreme Court of B.C., asking for interim and permanent injunctions to halt the company’s work in the Burnaby Mountain area. The city will appear in court Thursday to request the company cease work until the matter be heard before the Supreme Court.

But Kinder Morgan's interest in park area goes beyond Burnaby Mountain as detailed plans submitted to the province of B.C. reveal. The company's Provincial Protected Area Boundary Adjustment application, shows the Trans Mountain pipeline will cut through three provincial parks and one protected grassland in B.C. 

The application requests parkland be removed from four park boundaries to facilitate pipeline construction.

Thu, 2014-07-24 11:59Judith Lavoie
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Exclusive: Former Enbridge Lobbyist John Paul Fraser Named New Head of B.C. Government Communications Branch

Enbridge head office Edmonton

The newly appointed head of the B.C. government’s communications branch is a former lobbyist for Enbridge Inc., the company that hopes to build the $7.9-billion Northern Gateway pipeline stretching 1,200 kilometres from the Alberta oilsands to Kitimat on the B.C. coast.

John Paul Fraser, who DeSmog Canada has learned became acting deputy minister in charge of Government Communications and Public Engagement (GCPE) earlier this month, worked as a lobbyist for National Public Relations from 2008 until shortly before moving to the B.C public service in 2011.

He previously worked for Burrard Communications Inc. — a company founded by Premier Christy Clark’s former husband Mark Marissen — where he was registered with the Federal Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada as a lobbyist on behalf of Enbridge Inc.

Tue, 2014-06-03 07:22Mike De Souza
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300 Scientists Urge Harper to Reject Panel's "Flawed" Findings on Enbridge Northern Gateway

Joint review panel report on Enbridge Northern Gateway

This post originally appeared on MikeDeSouza.com and is republished here with permission.

Some 300 scientists are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reject a report that recommended approval of a major oil pipeline to the west coast of British Columbia, describing it as a “flawed analysis” that downplayed key environmental impacts.

Following lengthy hearings, a review panel last December recommended approving Enbridge's Northern Gateway project – a 1,177 pipeline network that would send 525,000 barrels per day of bitumen, the heavy oil from Alberta’s oilsands, to Kitimat, B.C. The panel recommended 209 conditions be attached to the project approval.

But the scientists, led by Kai Chan, an associate professor and principal investigator at the University of British Columbia’s Connecting Human and Natural Systems Lab, sent Harper a letter on Monday concluding that the review’s final report wasn’t balanced and had five major flaws that made it “indefensible.”

We urge you in the strongest possible terms to reject this report,” wrote the scientists, who are mainly from Canada and the United States.

Tue, 2014-05-27 12:00Emma Gilchrist
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All Eyes on Christy Clark as Northern Gateway Decision Imminent

Christy Clark

With the federal government’s decision on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway oil tanker and pipeline proposal set to come in the next three weeks, the political hot potato is set to be launched back into B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s lap any day now.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, Clark doled out a lot of tough talk when it came to Northern Gateway, going so far as to tell The Globe and Mail that pushing ahead with the pipeline would spur a “national political crisis.”

Whether or not people supported the pipeline, they would band together to fight the federal government if they decided to intrude into British Columbia without our consent,” she told the newspaper in October 2012.

This project can only go ahead if it has the social licence to do so. It can only get the social licence from the citizens of British Columbia.”

Mon, 2014-05-05 11:13Indra Das
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Details of TransCanada Pipeline Safety Whistleblower Scandal Emerge Amid Keystone XL Delay

transcanada keystone xl pipeline

Former TransCanada employee and engineer Evan Vokes, who released thousands of pages of records after he was dismissed by the corporation in 2012, believes that a newly acquired internal email shows his managers tried to discredit him for raising the alarm on their safety practices.

Vokes obtained the email in Feburary 2014 through access to information legislation, reports Mike De Souza for InsideClimate News. Most of the message was censored by TransCanada before release, but the first line clearly mentions “managing the EV [Evan Vokes] credibility issue.”

“My understanding is that we have been reasonably successful at influencing authorities [redacted] and pointing out EV is disgruntled, and actually had the responsibility to correct these same matters and did not,” reads the email, dated July 26, 2013.

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