Power to the People


This article is an opinion piece published in an online newspaper.

Verenca, Tereza (2017). News Story of the Year: Kinder Morgan Pipeline. BurnabyNow. www.burnabynow.com

Verenca’s article on the never-ending debate over the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline that was approved by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is informative and compelling and describes why the pipeline was such a news headliner for 2017. Reviewing the change in provincial government, and how British Columbia’s new NDP/Green government are strongly opposed to the progression of the pipeline in comparison to the Liberal government gives insight to how the province will do whatever it can legally (and illegally) to stop this pipeline coming to fruition. Verenca explains how even though the provincial government makes statements about doing everything it its power to stop the pipeline in its tracks, it is unclear just how much power they really have over the federal government and Prime Minister Trudeau who is very clear and strong in his will to see the pipeline succeed. This opinion piece is important to the podcast because it provides insight into the provincial and federal government that are opposed to each other’s opinions on the pipeline.


This is an informative fact sheet overview posted by Kinder Morgan online.

“Project Overview.” Trans Mountain, www.transmountain.com/project-overview.

This informative fact sheet of Texas based Kinder Morgan energy infrastructure company explains the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline that would transport oil from Edmonton to Burnaby. The proposed expansion of the pre existing pipeline would increase tanker traffic in Vancouver’s harbour from seven a month to approximately thirty four. The pipeline’s oil transport would increase significantly. The project is expected to cost 7.4 billion dollars, and employ 15,000 people. Collecting data and statistics on the pipeline is beneficial to our podcast because it gives us solid information and facts.



Hoberg, George. “The Battle Over Oil Sands Access to Tidewater: A Political Risk Analysis of Pipeline Alternatives.” Canadian Public Policy, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp 371-391. 2013. University of Toronto Press.

This is a scholarly article.

This article focuses on the political aspects of pipeline construction in Canada, and the procedures that determine whether a pipeline can or cannot be built. The article informs that provincial government do not have much jurisdiction regarding pipelines, and don’t have the final say. The federal government has complete power over pipeline decisions, and although they must comply to the National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, both acts simply conduct (in the favor of the government) reviews of “public interest” and release them to the public and government of which the government then makes a “more informed” decision. The controversy of pipelines in Canada refers to the environmental risk (specifically concerning tankers in the tidewater) that it poses to our natural resources. The only way that pipelines can be reversed from the governmental approval, is by the First Nations people. Since the Aboriginal land rights play a major role in the constitution, the First Nations people can successfully take the government to court and have a good chance at winning (in comparison to the US).


Financial Liabilities for Kinder Morgan . Living Oceans Society, 2012, books1.scholarsportal.info/viewdoc.html?id=/ebooks/ebooks0/gibson_cppc/2013-05-25/1/10681904.

This is an e-book published by an organization (no listed author).

This book assesses the financial liability for Kinder Morgan (the oil company) as they plan on going ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. What was particularly integral to our episode was the detailed overview of the increased tanker traffic that would ensue in the event of the pipeline expansion. The book explains that currently, the Burrard Inlet off the coast of Vancouver sees about 90 trips per year of tanker traffic. After the expansion, the Inlet would see about 300. This is an increase of three fold, which significantly raises the risk of an oil spill. The Burrard Inlet is known for being home to many endangered orca whales, who would be incredibly impacted in the event of a spill and could go extinct off the Vancouver coast. Not only is an oil spill detrimental to the wildlife, and environment but the economy as well. The economic impact of an oil spill would cost some 165,000 jobs and 10.8 billion dollars. No “Oceans Protection Plan” can save that.


WEEK 4: 


Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982. “Part III, Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.” Justice Laws Website, Government of Canada, Section 35 to 35.1, accessed 1 Feb. 2018, laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-16.html.

This is a government document.

This government document outlines section 35, part III, of the Constitution Act of 1982. This act was amended by Pierre Elliot Trudeau to concrete the responsibility the government to uphold has to the land rights and treaties that were not ceded in Canada. This document is integral to our episode because it details the ways in which the government must comply with traditional First Nations land and the consequences if they don’t. This document shows the legality of First Nations land rights and how they aren’t a figurative leverage to oppose pipeline construction in Canada, but a very literal one. This document gives depth and actuality to our podcast, and shows an aspect of the Canadian legal system. Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982 is imperative to First Nations rights, as doing anything that directly or indirectly goes against the Constitution is unacceptable. By knowing this loophole and information, we are more informed on why First Nations rights always come up when talking about environmental issues that impact the land.


Zussman, Richard. “B.C. government strikes another blow to stop Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.” Global News, Politics, updated 31 Jan 2018, globalnews.ca/news/3996008/bc-government-strike-another-blow-to-stop-kinder-morgan-pipeline-expansion/.

This is a news article.

GlobalNews very recently (January 30th, 2018) released an article detailing new updates concerning BC’s provincial government and the Kinder Morgan pipeline. It has been released that the government will implement a diluted bitumen (dilbit) transport restriction. The government states that since there isn’t any scientific evidence to show that diluted bitumen is as safe to transport as regular crude, there will be a restriction its transportation within British Columbia until (an independent) group of scientists can procure sufficient information stating that it can be transported safely. Diluted bitumen is unlike crude oil in one huge way: it sinks. Because it sinks, it proves to be arguably impossible to clean up in the case of a spill or leak. It would seep into clean water supply and endanger the health of many Canadians, the environment, and wildlife. This is a tremendous effort from the BC government, which has since faced much heat for being opposed to the federally approved pipeline. Many have said that the provincial government’s power is insufficient next to the federal’s, but they may be proven wrong. According to this news, the provincial government isn’t standing down to the feds, and they’re pulling out the big guns.




Robson, John. “Canadians feel for Aboriginals, but our patience for too many insults has its limits” National Post, Full Comment, June 30, 2017. http://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-robson-canadians-feel-for-aboriginals-but-our-patience-for-too-many-insults-has-limits

This is an opinion article in a newspaper.


The National Post ran an opinion piece written by John Robson in its “Full Comment” section, regarding the inequalities between Aboriginal people and Canadians, but instead of focusing on the inequalities of Aboriginal peoples focusing on the inequalities of Canadians. Robson writes that the past is the past, we must move forward as a nation to truly advance for the better, and continuing to apologize, make amends, and offer compensations to Aboriginal peoples isn’t fair or correct. Robson points out that there are many groups of oppressed people in Canada who don’t receive benefits or help, and to give one group an advantage over others for something that happened over a hundred years ago isn’t relevant to our society and culture today. This is important to our podcast because it represents the voice of Canadians who don’t believe that Aboriginal people should have more power in the court of law over any other Canadian.


Slattery, Brian. "Understanding Aboriginal Rights," Canadian Bar Review vol. 66, no. 4 (December 1987): p. 727-783.

This is a scholarly article.


This article from Google Scholar describes not only the legality of Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982, but how it has been used in the court of law before for Aboriginal people to gain power. The Constitution is a very binding act, and is almost impossible to go up against. The Supreme Court of Canada often rules in the favour of Aboriginal peoples, as the Constitution requires them to. The article describes a case in which the Musqueam band of Vancouver reclaimed damages and collateral for misconduct from the government not upholding their treaty and land agreement. This is an example of power, and how to understand the legal system is to potentially gain power. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the Musqueam bands favour, and the government of Canada was forced to repay the band.


Ghoussoub, Michelle. "B.C. Challenges Alberta Wine Ban Under Free Trade Rules", CBC News, British Columbia. February 19.

This is an opinion piece.

This article features the recent boycott of B.C. wine from Alberta provincial government. The British Columbia NDP government  is currently challenging the boycott in reference to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). The actions made by Alberta's NDP leader Rachel Notley are considered to be a violation of the obligations the province owes B.C. under the CFTA, and the dispute is currently under consultation. The boycott of B.C.'s wine is a direct response to the B.C. government's recent provincial action against the Kinder Morgan pipeline construction and oil transportation. Stakes are high, and the interests are in Alberta's favour. The battle between the two province's provincial governments is integral to our episode, as it shows that perspective differs widely from province to province. The fact that both B.C. and Alberta are governed by the same provincial political party adds depth to the debate.


Audette-Longo, Trish. "Jagmeet Singh Takes Same Position As John Horgan In Kinder Morgan Pipeline Dispute", National Observer, News, Energy, Politics. February 18th.

This is an opinion piece.

Jagmeet Singh, who serves as Leader of the New Democratic Party in Ontario, recently issued his support for British Columbia Leader John Horgan in his fight to oppose the construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Singh says that the pipeline needs more environmental assessment, and therefore adds to the drama of the cross-country debate. As Leader Rachel Notley continues to fight fiercely for the pipeline, that is strongly in her province's interest, it is beginning to seem that it is only in her province's interest. The transportation of diluted bitumen from Edmonton to Burnaby through the Kinder Morgan pipeline is increasingly seen to be extremely dangerous, and understood to be an impending disaster. Singh adds that the federal government is to blame for the tension, saying that as Trudeau did not do his job thoroughly and ensure a proper process for analyzing the pipeline and its risks, the consequences in the form of B.C.'s resistance are just. This article shows that this topic truly applies to all Canadians.