Archive for August, 2013


August 27, 2013

Olympic members keep saying how bad the homophobic laws in Russia are.
However, not one so far has put their money were their mouths are and said they refuse to compete in Russia.
It boils down that their greed for fame and money our weighs their soul.
Same. All Canadians should all refuse to watch the winter Olympics.
Let the sponsors pay for dead air. They can’t sell their products when no body is watching.
I have tweeted poutine about his racist laws like stevie he did not reply!



August 1, 2013


Petition to stop tar sands oil pipeline through Ottawa

We, the undersigned, demand that our elected officials prevent dangerous tar sands oil from being shipped through our city. A tar sands pipeline would create huge new risks and provide no new benefit for the City of Ottawa.

Nous, les soussignés, demandons que nos représentant élus empêchent que le pétrole dangereux des sables bitumineux soit expédié à travers notre ville. Un oléoduc de pétrole provenant des sables bitumineux créerait d’énormes nouveaux risques et ne fourniraient aucun nouveau bénéfice pour la Ville d’Ottawa.

1,954 signatures

Thank you for signing!


Change your comment

   Remove signature

Like this to spread the word:

Showing 1732 reactions

 DOUG McLELLAN signed via john hill 1 min ago

 Jacquie Ackerly signed via john hill 23 mins ago

 john hill posted about this on Facebook 1 hour ago

Sign the petition and say no to a tar sands oil pipeline through #ottcity #ottville sans oléoduc!
 john hill signed via Ashley Moore 1 hour ago

 B Laws signed 3 hours ago

There is absolutely no need for the tarsands to be extracted and piped. Clean energy is abundant and everywhere.
 Dani Dooher signed via Ashley Moore 4 hours ago

They just need to slow down and start looking at alternatives rather than believing this is the ONLYchoice!
 Fern Mackenzie signed via Ashley Moore 5 hours ago

 Josef Pliva signed 7 hours ago

The ingenuity of mankind is often exceeded only by it’s arrogance. To suggest to be able to transport tar across the length of Canada accident free is nothing but a pipe dream.
 Alan Bristow signed 7 hours ago

 Colleen Glass signed 8 hours ago

I do not support this proposed bitumen pipeline as it does not start from the fundamental awareness that we MUST cutback on carbon emissions.
 Irwin Rapoport signed via Ashley Moore 17 hours ago

 Bob Loveless signed via Ashley Moore 18 hours ago

 Graham Janz signed via Ashley Moore 18 hours ago

 Rosanne Iland signed 23 hours ago

 Chrisann Risser signed 24 hours ago

 Tom Bregiannis signed 1 day ago

 Christos Ioannidis signed 1 day ago

 Ilia Fridland signed 1 day ago

Fuck the tar sands and fuck Stephen Harper
 Nora Beirne signed 1 day ago

I do not want this pipeline in any neighbourhood.
 Donna Turner LeLievre signed 1 day ago

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  …  86  87  Next →
Ecology Ottawa
Ecology Ottawa is a not-for-profit, grassroots, volunteer-driven organization working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada.

Sign in with FacebookTwitter or email.
Not DOUG McLELLAN? click here.




August 1, 2013

Oil sands: the difficult poster child for Canada’s environmental record

On Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 in Articles by Elizabeth


The Government of Canada will clearly spare no expense in extolling the environmental virtues of oil sands bitumen.  We spend millions in promotion, domestic advertizing for our “Responsible Resource Management” and promotion around the world.  We lobby in Washington DC and pound the pavements of European capitals, all in aid of defending our wondrous product from those who would malign its benefits.

Unfortunately, as a poster child for environmental values, the oil sands keep giving their backers headaches.   Dilbit (bitumen and diluents mixture) leaks have contaminated the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and fouled rural Arkansas. Pipeline leaks in Alberta have forced farmers from their homes, while the waste water in tailings ponds has leaked toxic chemicals into the Athabasca River.

Masterful public relations turned that around with the commitment to a “Gold Standard” environmental monitoring programme, but the failure to prosecute years worth of reported offences undermines the commitment.  A recent report, based on years of painstaking collection of data through access to information requests, reveals that fewer than 1 % of environmental violations in the oil sands are subject to any prosecution. (Canadian Press, “Study finds little environmental enforcement in oilsands infractions,” July 23, 2013)

As I write this, there is an uncontrollable blow-out in an underground oil sands operation in Alberta.  According to the story in July 19th Toronto Star, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd is dealing with four separate leaks of burbling bitumen and injection water spreading on the ground on the Cold Lake Air Base lands.  The “blow out” is from what is called the in situ method of getting bitumen out of the ground.

Up until recently, oil sands mining was primarily conducted by an open pit method.  Enormous gaping holes, up to 80 metres deep, were the work places of super-sized trucks and giant hoes to scrape tons of soil and rock, bring it to the surface and process it. With warm water and shaking (a Suncor scientist once described it to me as being like a washing machine), the 10% by volume of bitumen was separated from the rest of the material.  In situ is different.  Injection wells shoot the water down to where the bitumen is found and the force of water sends the bitumen up through well shafts to the surface.  While in situ has the value of not creating visual scarring to the landscape, it actually uses more water than the open pit method, and it uses more energy.

You may have heard the industry boast of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) released per barrel of bitumen produced – a measurement called “carbon intensity,” initially created as a measure by George W’s White House.  For a while it was true that, while overall GHG levels from oil sands continued to increase as production volumes rise, the amount per barrel was going down.  No longer.  Thanks to the increase in in situ methods, that decline has stopped and the amount of GHG per barrel is also rising, as production volumes increase.

This underground blow-out is, as far as I know, a first.  And despite the bland re-assurances from the company that they have the mess under control, that does not seem to be the case.  The situation was described in the Toronto Star story (‘Nobody understands’ spills at Alberta oil sands operation,” July 19, 2013) as “chaos.” A government scientist, speaking on the condition of anonymity, was quoted by theStar as saying,

“Everybody (at the company and in government) is freaking out about this…We don’t understand what happened. Nobody really understands how to stop it from leaking, or if they do they haven’t put the measures into place.”

Against this background, the Government of Canada has its hands full maintaining its high-priced sales job to sell the world on the idea that oil sands bitumen is clean, green and ethical.  The “ethical oil” nonsense, coined by Ezra Lavant and immediately seized upon by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, was based on the idea that anything from a “good” country like Canada was inherently better than the same product from a “bad” country, like Saudi Arabia.  On that basis, our asbestos exports are “ethical” too.  That public relations spin does not work as well now that the Peoples’ Republic of China is mining bitumen in Alberta.  Should the Government of Canada only apply its “ethical oil” promotion to bitumen coming from mines owned by democracies, as opposed to totalitarian states?  To ask the question is to answer it.

My daughter was recently interning in the European Parliament with a Green MEP from France.  She was surprised how much discussion there was about Canada and the oil sands.  At one public discussion of Canada’s push for bitumen, a former Finnish Minister of the Environment remarked that she had never seen any government lobby so hard for one product or industry as Canada is lobbying for the oil sands.

Maybe the oil sands industry should do Joe Oliver and the propaganda effort a favour and try to avoid pipeline leaks, underground blowouts and environmental violations.  It is awfully hard when your poster child won’t behave.

Originally published in the Hill Times.

Print this page