Puddle Jumpers

Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel

Oral Statement Transcript from Jan. 16, 2013

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On the eve of Stephen Harper’s approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, I am posting the transcript of my oral statement, that I made to the Enbridge Joint Review Panel expressing my opposition to the pipeline, on Jan. 16, 2013,

On that day, after waiting more than a year to do so, my 10 minutes to speak to the panel had arrived. It was nerve wracking. The panel consisted of members of the National Energy Board (whose bias should be examined with a critical eye); and, my statement would be permanently on the public record.

As a citizen who’s concerned about the future of this land and the waters I’ve grown up on, I have a right to speak on the subject and to be heard, so I took the opportunity to do so. I think that because we have the right to express ourselves, we should seize opportunities to express our opinions. Even if we feel like our voices are small, many small voices can be as effective as one large voice.

To read the transcripts of the hundreds of people who gave oral statements, go here: http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/prtcptngprcss/prvshrngtrnscrpt-eng.html#s2. Clicking on the links opens PDF documents.

If you’d like to read my statement on the official government page, or read the statements that were given on the day I gave mine, you can find them here: https://docs.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/llisapi.dll?func=ll&objId=904740&objAction=browse

Otherwise, I’ve copied and pasted the official transcript below.

Despite the Prime Minister’s approval today of the pipeline, I continue to hope that the pipeline won’t be built. There’s so much opposition to it in this province.

Thanks in advance for reading.


26795. Ms. Tamboline, thank you for attending today. Please present your views to the Panel.


Leggett, Mr. Bateman, Mr. Matthews.

26797. Thank you for this opportunity to address the Panel. And before I begin I would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Musqueam people whose ancestry goes back thousands of years in the Fraser River estuary.

26798. My name is Ingrid Tamboline. I love the waters that travel like ribbons up and down this coast and across the oceans that connect all of us. I love the land and its waterways that supports all creatures. 

26799. I’m a child of habitat forum 1976 where my ideas of an unpolluted world powered by renewable resources such as sun, wind and water were seeded.

26800. I was born and raised in beautiful British Columbia and I want the best for future generations. I’m not convinced that there’s a need for the proposed pipelines. According to David Hughes, the current infrastructure is capable of handling up to a 150 percent tar sands growth. The proposed Keystone and Kinder Morgan pipelines could handle additional growth. As well, refining in Canada as opposed to shipping raw bitumen to China would create jobs domestically.

26801. The proposed 1,177 kilometre pipelines that would cross traditional First Nations territories would have a capacity of transporting 525,000 barrels of diluted bitumen and 193,000 barrels of natural gas condensate a day. A spill anywhere along the line would result in certain environmental harm to the delicately balanced ecosystems it crosses. Not unlike Enbridge’s oil spill in the Kalamazoo River in 2010. Over two years later, and at great cost and effort, the clean-up attempts are ongoing.

26802. Among the many concerns about increased tanker traffic along the northern shipping routes is the noise increase in the oceans and the adverse effects it will have on whales. Very large crude carriers are capable of carrying about 2 billion barrels of oil.

26803. Should there be a spill along the coast Enbridge will not be responsible for clean-up. This will fall to the federal, provincial, and local governments who, due to steady cut backs over the years, don’t have the resources to manage a spill. Therefore, it is questionable how quick and effective the response will be.

26804. The technology for cleaning up a spill hasn’t improved since the eighties. A spill would contaminate the environment with chemicals. Chemicals are used to aid with clean-up. This results is a poisonous chemical soup and will have negative and long-term effects on the environment.

26805. Aboriginal communities expanding shellfish farming and ecotourism in the area near Prince Rupert are also at risk from this project. They are receiving Canadian and offshore investments and the risk of increased tanker traffic and/or an oil spill would devastate this renewable resource economy.

26806. It seems from what I’ve read, the question that is being asked isn’t if the pipelines should be built or not but rather how the natural gas condensate should be transported from B.C. to Alberta, added to the tar sands crude, transported from Alberta to B.C., loaded onto VLCCs and shipped to China for refinement.

26807. Nevertheless, in my opinion it is not in public’s best interest to see these pipelines built. I believe it would be in the public’s best interest to increase the value of the diverse sustainable local economies along the coast and across B.C. to protect the national — natural environment because in the not too distant future there won’t be much of it left on earth and to listen to the majority of British Columbians who support not following through with the project.

26808.  Thinking of the future I worry. I think of my nieces and their children, their kids, and their kids’ kids. I can only imagine ahead seven generations.
What kind of world will they inherit? Sure there will be lots of oil, gas and petroleum for a while but we are a part of the earth, we need the earth to sustain us, to feed us, protect us, and I fear a day will come when that won’t be possible.

26809.  I’m reminded of the book “A Short History of Progress” by Ronald Wright. In it he writes about Easter Island called Rapa Nui by the Polynesians. By 1400, this once forested island became desolate. Every last tree had been cut down in order to build and erect the giant stone statues known as Moai. He wonders what went through the islanders’ minds as they chopped down the last tree. Surely they must have noticed it was their last tree.

26810.  Today our God is the economy and in Canada alone we’re digging about 262 trillion 800 million tonnes of tar sands a year to yield 700 — 720 million barrels of oil. That’s a lot of sand and oil and money. Although relative to the amount of sand extracted it’s not much oil. But in the future people will still need clean drinking water, fresh air and food to eat in order to live. Money, oil and sand won’t be enough.

26811.  If we don’t preserve our environment for the generations of tomorrow there will be great suffering and loss. And like Easter Island, all that will be left is the scarred and sterile earth littered with relics of a bygone era.

26812. You may be familiar with the parable of the hummingbird. There wasa great forest fire and all the animals fled the fire. They stood at the edge of the forest and watched as their home burned. They were scarred and felt helpless. But as they sat and watched the hummingbird flew past them to a nearby stream and picked up a drop of water in its tiny beak. It flew back to the forest and threw the water onto the fire. Back and forth it flew, picking up a drop of water at a time and throwing it onto the fire. The rest of the animals stood there transfixed by the fire and they called out, “Little hummingbird what are you doing”, she replied without stopping, “I’m doing what I can”.

26813. This story inspires us to never give up despite overwhelming odds. But there are questions to this story as well. Why was there a fire in the first place, what could have been done to prevent it, and what were the long-term effects of it.

26814. It matters when things go wrong. Trying to fix something that has gone wrong despite the overwhelming odds that it can’t be fixed is not an option. The best option is to not have it happen ever. How; by not creating the problem in the first place.

26815. And I thank you very much for this opportunity and for your time.


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This entry was posted on June 17, 2014 by in Main and tagged , , .

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