They really have nothing better to do.

Today, two more court challenges against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion were tossed out of court. One from the Squamish First Nation and one from the city of Vancouver. 

It is becoming increasingly clear that the law is fully on the side of Kinder Morgan in their efforts to expand the capacity of a pipeline that has operated safely for over 50 years. Horgan and other environmental ideologues will continue to waste the court’s time and the taxpayer’s money on more court challenges but they will eventually all be tossed out. They know this of course but their hope is that in delaying this legal project long enough that investors will flee. They may be right and Canada will lose untold other billions as we become an international investment pariah of a nation who allows themselves to be led by the nose by environmental extremists.

Assuming that Notley and Trudeau manage through promises and tax dollar backing to convince Kinder Morgan to continue with the project by the deadline next week and assuming the court cases get settled to the point where we can finally break ground on construction there still remains one huge problem, the protesters.

There is a subculture of career protesters in North America who wander aimlessly from cause to cause. It morphs identities. One year it is “occupy”, then “idle no more”, then “black lives matter” and lately they are self-styled “water protectors”. Its all the same group. Some of the faces come and go but at its core it is always the same group of people. Transients with little sense of purpose who have found a social group that accepts their pointless lifestyle as they pick a site to squat upon and protest against whatever their perceived cause of the day is.

There is no reasoning with these people because they are beyond reason. They latch on with causes but usually don’t even really understand what the cause is or what the outcome of their protest may be. Their demands are mixed, addled and often outright bizarre. They don’t want actual resolution to any cause. They just want to gather and feel a sense of purpose. Unfortunately their pursuit of this feeling of purpose is hindering some very important infrastructure projects.

I spent a fair amount of time around the squatters taking part in “Occupy” Calgary a few years ago. Below is a video with some dialog of an exchange that I recorded from what was very much a typical “occupier” and it demonstrates just how rational these people are.

How do you reason with people like this? How do you negotiate?

You don’t!

Lets not beat around the bush. If the Trans Mountain pipeline is ever going to be built, these protesters are going to have to be removed and with force.

Sadly, years of cowardly appeasement from governments at various levels has emboldened these people to the point where they have utterly no fear of legal authority. I honestly will never understand why governments fear this tiny subculture of bums so much but they will only enforce the law with them when utterly forced to do so if at all.

They laugh while literally giving the finger to cops who have been essentially neutered by politicians.

They giggle and take selfies in front of police lines comfortable in the knowledge that the police are about as empowered as a typical mall security guard despite flagrant lawbreaking happening all around them.

Again, why shouldn’t they?

In Burnaby the bums have been erecting buildings on the pipeline right of way and along the roadway leading to the Kinder Morgan terminal with utter impunity.

When I worked as a surveyor in the oilfield, I could not leave so much as an equipment trailer parked on a pipeline right of way. It is a safety hazard and I would have found myself fined and removed from the site if I refused to comply.

If you are a protester however, apparently you can build a “watch house” on the right of way with impunity. If an accident does happen, we can rest assured that these assholes will sue Kinder Morgan.

Ugly structures are being erected while junk and literal shit piles up in what once was a nice neighborhood. Local residents are petitioning to have this squatter encampment removed but their request to have the laws enforced have been ignored.

If I build so much as a large garden shed on my own property without a permit I can face fines. If I am a transient protester however, it appears that I can turn any residential neighborhood into my own little private garbage dump of a hobo camp.

This is all before the construction of the pipeline has even begun. Can you imagine how bad it will get once the equipment gets moving?

It is not just fiscal or legal security that Kinder Morgan needs. They need to know that they will be able to build their legal pipeline under the protection of the law of the land.

The government needs to clean out these squatters now as they will only multiply and entrench themselves further. It is a national embarrassment that Trudeau has let things go this far. He has plenty of tools to exert pressure upon municipalities and provinces to encourage them to enforce the law. He needs the will and the balls to do so however.

If for no other reason, these protesters need to be removed and charged for the protection of the environment itself.

Few things demonstrate the hypocrisy of these bums better than seeing the mess they leave behind after one of their squatting efforts. No person who truly cares about the earth would leave such a mess. As I said though, these people don’t really have a cause.

The above pictures are of what protesters left behind while protesting Kinder Morgan doing preliminary drilling a few years ago.

The bunch of pics above are from the Burnaby Mountain protest along with some “occupy” sites.

Rather consistent pattern.

Who can forget the million dollar cleanup of the mess left behind by the pigs protesting the Dakota Access pipeline? They even abandoned a number of dogs there.

Rapes, assaults and drug use are rampant in these camps as well. Calgary’s small “occupy” camp had not one but two different pedophiles amidst them who were charged during their stint in a downtown Calgary park.

As the title of this posting states, these people really have nothing better to do. The bums in the encampments are enabled by a variety of American activist groups along with individual hippies who won’t put their own necks on the line but will happily fund things so that others will. It is the free tents and food that draws these bums to these encampments. These are not friends of the earth. They are a tiny dispossessed minority who are being used by larger activist interests for their ideological ends. We need to remove these protesters for their sake and our own.

The hippies and hipsters from the city love coming out to these demonstrations. They love putting some token natives in the front of the line and they love letting somebody else take the brunt of the cost when the arrests actually begin.

Yes there have been some arrests and charges but in looking at the mess at the Burnaby terminal it is clear that we need more arrests and more serious charges. Rest assured the hipster crowd will vanish from the support ranks fast enough when their own criminal record free histories are are on the line.

First and foremost though the squatters need to be moved and the encampments totally removed. They won’t leave any other way as they indeed have nothing better to do.

 

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Punishment through process. Eddie Maurice trial delayed for a fifth time.

This is getting beyond ridiculous.

The Maurice family has had their life put on hold for months ever since Eddie was criminally charged for defending his home and baby from intruders on a dark winter night last February.

Five times now Eddie Maurice has appeared in court to seek a trial date in order to clear himself and five times the case has been delayed because the RCMP and prosecution can’t get their collective shit together and present the evidence they apparently collected.

The stress is becoming more evident in the faces of the young couple with every appearance. They simply want to get on with their lives but can’t even begin to move on with it because the justice system won’t give them their day in court.

Last Friday in court, it was heard that it may take 8 to 12 months before the ballistic reports are ready!!!

 

In light of that, the case was put off until June 22.

Why bother? What the hell will the point be in coming to court yet again if it is clear that the damned evidence won’t be ready anyway?

In the video below, Eddie’s lawyer explains in detail where things are standing right now.

The point may indeed be to wear the Maurice family down. It is exhausting and expensive to keep appearing in court over and over and over again while making utterly no progress towards resolution. I suspect that more than a few folks in the system are watching and hoping that Eddie Maurice is going to tire out and wear down to the point where he will take a plea bargain. They are hoping that the family supporters who have been gathering outside of the courthouse at every hearing so far will lose interest and stop coming. They are hoping that that donors who have been helping fund Eddie’s defense will stop donating.

Well that isn’t going to happen!

It was injustice enough that Eddie Maurice was even charged for defending his home from the scumbag repeat offenders who entered his property. It is sickening to watch the system now being used to essentially punish and torture the family as this debacle drags on.

We will keep coming out. We will keep donating to the cause and we will not give up until Eddie Maurice is acquitted and he can get back to life with his family.

The next court hearing is in Okotoks on June 22 at around 9am.

Donations to help ease the legal fees can be made at Fundrayzer here. 

If you have time, donations can be made to a trust account at any TD bank branch at this account number: 8079-6142303 This saves on the fees that online fundraising sites have.

Email transfers can be sent here: helpeddiemaurice@gmail.com

An online petition demanding that Eddie be acquitted can be signed here. 

We need to ensure that this issue stays alive and that it gets resolved not only for the sake of the Maurice family, but for the sake of us all who are enduring this ongoing rural crime epidemic.

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Rally 4 Resources. A true grassroots movement.

I rarely cross post other people’s writings. My insecure vanity doesn’t let me share my space and limited readership with others often. 😉

The group “Rally 4 Resources” has really impressed me of late. They are a small group of people with limited resources but with their dedication they have been managing to make a good splash in support of resource development when we really need it.

They are organizing counter rallies at energy related events and they have been working to document and expose what the anti-energy movement is really all about.

Recently, Rally 4 Resources went to visit “Camp Cloud”. This is an encampment of protest squatters which is very reminiscent of the baseless “occupy” movement of the past. It is ramshackle, disorganized and over run with substance abuse. Despite that, they present themselves as a rational movement when they are anything but.

Enough out of me. I will let Rally 4 resources take it from here. Their pictures and video tell the tale better than I.

Their facebook page is here.   Their website is here.


Our visit to Camp Cloud on May 2nd was a complete eye-opener.

We had expectations from media reports of a large protest community. The media had been talking about thousands on Burnaby Mountain protesting Trans Mountain expansion and that idea was driving the national news narrative that BCers were against the project.

Reality was so far from that. We found 8 sketchy people in various stages of intoxication at 5 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I gave them pet names like Punchy, Slurry, Ranty, Angry, Phony, Sell-out, Teen Rebellion and Rage Machine. But watching the video later we recognize some of these people from previous thug incidents in Northern BC. These aren’t protesters, they are known agitators like Matt Danes. Funny how the same people are never busy and are flown around to be involved in every issue in every city. Most of the tents and shacks were empty, just sitting there to be props in this piece of protest theatre, derelict vehicles, gas cans and propane tanks littered their camp and the irony was lost on no one in our small group of four.

We drove through it first to see if we were safe to approach our actual destination, the Kinder Morgan Burnaby Terminal security gate. We were kind of amazed looking at the garbage and not finding any people. We found one person on our first pass, he was using an electric saw to cut lumber for their newest feature, a carver’s cabin. Yes, an electric saw used to build a cabin on the shoulder of a highway in an anti-pipeline camp set up to protest oil and gas. So the reports of the camp using gas powered generators were confirmed right off the hop.

We carried on up the road to a park to check out the site of their Camp Cloud fb star filming herself kicking a RCMP officer while he made an arrest. There was indeed protesters’ motorhomes parked on the soccer field away from the protest camp like the video had shown. The man there was hostile so we went back down the road to the gate.

Along the way we stopped to talk to the locals walking and biking about their feelings on the camp. People were scared to be on camera, fearing retribution, and spoke of anger directed at the Burnaby Mayor and Premier Horgan, both were called some nasty names, complaints about the noise, traffic concerns, feeling under seige, and fearful of even walking their dogs alone. This is a beautiful residential neighbourhood surrounded by the green bush and park like space of the Kinder Morgan property. Some residents were concerned as their jobs were tied to the Vancouver ports and they openly wondered what the protesters would go after next.

We asked permission to be at the terminal gate and security obliged us to speak to workers as they left the facility and to present a banner “Pipelines to Tidewater” signed by pro-resource Canadians from across the country. The workers were hurting from the announcement the delays caused by the dithering and uncertainty necessitated 18 layoffs on site. They were very welcoming and appreciative to finally have a public show of support from the majority of Canadians on their site. Unfurling the banner stirred up Camp Cloud though.

They crossed the highway and demanded we leave in not so polite terms. They claim we were “trespassing on Salish unceded territory” despite the court order barring them from trespassing on Kinder Morgan property. Two men were instantly flexing and raging while a older man lectured us on how the world doesn’t have a demand for oil (false) and how oil gave all his dogs cancer(false and crazy). I giggled at the ridiculousness of his drunken claims but the laughing stopped fast as his camp mates circled around to flank us. Being circled and yelled at was definately overkill for just taking pics at the gate and ignoring them totally. This did not stop until I started filming with my cellphone. Once I was filming they retreated for a minute to get a phone to take our pictures and call in support from the city. We were soon accused of being from The Rebel (we’re not) and then accused of being paid professionals (we’re not).

So once again the whole crew crosses the street to bring their elder Rose Desjarlais to berate us. Their crew are extra cranky because we arrived during happy hour. She yells and tells us we cannot speak, we have no right to be there, and we don’t have the same right to protest as they do. She rambles on a story about how oil poisoned Alberta and her late mother, but fact is she lived to a grand old age of 96. She then says her family made good money working in oil and gas. Then switches back to saying she doesn’t care who loses their jobs. She did confirm her relationship to Chief Allen Adam, he’s her cousin. Her son is with her too. We perk up, a lot. Chief Adam is pro-oil. He’s so pro-oil he’s trying to build his own pipeline. Why is his family trying to shut down Kinder Morgan expansion and representing themselves as 1st Nations water protectors if he is trying to build pipe too? Oh because this is business. They are trying to shut down the competition of their family’s proposed pipeline. Suddenly it dawns on me this place has nothing to do with their cries of “leave it in the ground” or “water protectors”. They use propane, gas, drive F350s with Alberta plates and their cousins own projects that are Kinder Morgans’s competitors. What fools we were to think this was about the environment. It’s about money and power.

A Volkswagen pulls up quick and two young Starbucks looking hipster chicks hop out and start fixing their hair without putting down their mason jar drinks. Oh look, it’s the RCMP assaulting, previously arrested, facebook live attention seeking, Greenpeace Idol wannabee phony alias Uni Urchin. She sees the phone recording and fluffs her hair before giving us a valley girl line ” I hope, you like, you know, have water to drink…with your kids” followed by “Thanks but no thanks” and a smirk. So at this moment one of the hotheads is darting between vehicles on the highway. An older red compact car honks at him. He kicks the moving car and screams “F*ck you bitch”. He crosses back to us. Again the glowering teenager wrongly accuses us of being paid professionals before Uni herds her tipsy charges back across the road.

We look at each other very bemused since they came to the gate to harrass us. That’s all they’ve got, Chief Adam’s cousin, some muscle and the Greenpeace Idol valley girls that drove out to get on film. The two hotheads are still yelling, the girls get back in the Volkswagen and we thanked Rose for sharing her stories. We start the walk back to our car, a local stopped in his vehicle at the corner stop sign yells at the camp inhabitants to “get the f*ck out”. We are all a little relieved filming caused a signifigant change in their attitude and tactics towards us. We are all also stunned such a rag tag posse could be used by media to create the narrative Camp Cloud is a water protectors’ protest community impeding the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. We assume it must grow on weekends when the paid US organizers email their databases to get the Hastings social justice scene and Green politicians out to attend media events. It’s a nightmare for the usually peaceful suburban neighbourhood. It’s best called a grievance industry hobo circus taking US dollars to organize and some pretty bold home grown nepotism to shut down this Canadian resource project. Nothing more.

Respect the Burnaby residents who want the almost empty shanty town and garbage removed.

Respect the rule of law, get out of the way and let these hard working BC engineers, contractors and labourers earn a living. #buildKM

Respect the principle of our cooperative polite Canadian federation and let the west work and provide for their famillies, communities and transfer dependant have not provinces. #buildKM

Camp Cloud was a joke. End it before you have all of Vancouver’s street scene squatting there permanently.

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Invisible ghost town.

At a glance Calgary’s downtown appears to be vibrant and thriving.

Huge modern buildings shine and tower while cranes are hard at work building even more. Traffic appears to be bustling until one realizes that this is more due to lane reductions from bicycle tracks and poor traffic light synchronization rather than a volume of commuters. Parking lots are expensive and bursting at the seams but then one realizes that this is due to a purposeful strangling of parking supply by the city of Calgary which led to Calgary being second only to New York city in parking costs throughout North America only a few years ago.

The reality is that Calgary’s downtown is languishing with near a whopping 30% vacancy rate!

People don’t see it but this is nearly catastrophic when measured against other major cities in North America. A 10% vacancy is considered high. 30% is unimaginable (except in Calgary).

Of course most of this is due to the crash in Alberta’s energy industry but there is a great deal more to this picture than that. Large companies were bailing out of Calgary’s downtown well before the most recent crash.

CP rail moved their headquarters out of the core in 2012 in a move that saved them an estimated $19 million per year. 

Imperial Oil decided to move from downtown to Quarry Park in 2012. 

The trend of companies leaving Calgary’s congested and expensive downtown has been going on for quite some years now. The energy crash only made the trend much more acute.

A friend of mine who was working in multiple buildings last spring shared some video with me of the spaces.

It’s almost eerie seeing these modern yet abandoned spaces. Some are portions of buildings, some are entire floors.

Some areas are gutted, some are partially renovated.

Some offices are still furnished.

Some even have packing boxes left behind almost as if folks were fleeing an impending disaster (I guess in a sense they were).

This urban catastrophe could actually be turned into an opportunity but Calgary city hall will need a complete change of attitude and ideology in order to take advantage of it.

We have all of this modern space within a city with an international airport. In the right conditions businesses could be flooding into the city.

To begin with, the city needs to court small to medium businesses to fill all of these gaps. It was almost embarrassing to see tossing their figurative panties at Amazon as they dove into a spiral to the bottom in whoring themselves in hopes of gaining a massive new entity. Logistically Calgary was never in the race for new headquarters. Why on earth would a company that specializes in shipping items stay on the same side of the continent as their current headquarters in an expansion? They needed an eastern location with modest labor costs. While Calgary only spent $600,000 and didn’t offer massive subsidies to draw Amazon, it still was utterly wasted money on an unrealistic dream.

The powers that be in Calgary city hall now want to piss away 10s of millions chasing an Olympic dream which may cost billions if we get it. Meanwhile Calgary’s downtown ghost town gathers dust.

Instead of chasing these whales that demand massive taxpayer subsidies, the city needs to look for those small to medium businesses that are flourishing within the modern economy. All these offices are virtually plug and play as some are even furnished.

As was written recently, Calgary’s business taxes are outright out of control. 

It’s a competitive world. Businesses simply won’t move to a location where taxes are too high and Calgary’s are way too high. Sadly Mayor Nenshi and most of city council are obsessed with vanity projects such as the Olympics and ugly public art projects which consume tax dollars when they should be seeking ways to reduce spending in order to reduce taxes.

Unless Calgary reduces the business tax burden, Calgary’s downtown will keep its vast number of empty offices.

Calgary needs to drastically reduce the parking rates.

Parking costs downtown amount to another tax on businesses down there. Companies either have to spend to pay for their employees parking spaces or compensate their employees more in order to offset the cost for the employees.

This is due to an ideological push from Calgary city hall over the years to try and force people out of their cars and into public transit. The city owns the bulk of the parking spaces downtown which allows them to essentially set the baseline price. In keeping supplies of parking spaces down through regulation on new buildings and in taking spaces out for barely used bicycle tracks Calgary managed to get the grossly expensive parking rates that were highlighted earlier.

The effort failed. Calgarians still overwhelmingly choose to live in the suburbs and they choose to drive their personal vehicles to work. They won’t ride bikes or get on cramped sporadic buses. City hall needs to face reality and accommodate consumer demand by reducing parking costs downtown and adding more spaces as needed. Despite their rainbow and unicorn ideals professed, companies don’t choose headquarters based on the number of bike tracks. They look at the dollars spent and the comfort and convenience of their staff.

Next, the city of Calgary needs to massively reduce their regulatory burden on businesses. Just this week it was in the news how a local brew pub had to spend over $10,000 and wait 11 months just to get a tiny patio approved. 

This is ridiculous but this is typical. Calgary city hall is massively bloated and massively over managed. Useless regulatory burdens cost businesses in the city untold millions in compliance. These regulations cost taxpayers millions in administration and staff that we simply don’t need. City hall needs a strong bureaucratic suppository to flush out the clingons which would allow for the tax cuts that businesses to desperately need.

Calgary is run by a tax and spend administration right now and we all are paying the price for it. Council and administration need a massive change of attitude which likely won’t happen for at least another 3 years.

Small business needs to be courted and embraced rather than seen as a tax cow to be milked and regulated.

Downtown Calgary needs to be seen as a place to do business in rather than being a giant pet project where a pipe dream of some sort of bike riding, pedestrian utopia is to be created with tax dollars despite the wishes of citizens.

Until all the above changes are made, the massive empty spaces sitting in downtown will remain as an opportunity lost.

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The silent majority in support of energy is finally speaking up.

For decades we have let the anti-progress, eco-extremists set the dialogue and the agenda on proposed energy projects. We were too busy working. We aren’t the type to spill into the streets. Their protests aren’t going anywhere right?

Well we were wrong.

The extremists are winning and all of Canada is paying the price as we lose billions in energy revenue and untold billions in general investment as we are seen as a nation that is a slave to minority protesters.

Finally people are getting up and not letting the extremists control the messaging.

Last month thousands of ordinary Calgarians came out on a cool day to show their support for the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The demonstration was productive and peaceful. Great speeches were given by activists and politicians and many in Canada took notice as they finally saw people taking interest and getting out to show their concern with the state of our energy industry.

This is quite a contrast from the increasingly violent and extreme anti-energy protests that we are seeing.

Polls are indicating that Canadian support for the Trans Mountain pipeline is actually increasing in light of the ongoing protests against it.

Normal Canadians are tiring of the extremists and nutcases dominating discussion on important energy infrastructure projects.

That said, politicians still live in abject terror of the tiny minority of crazed protesters who set up grimy camps and illegally chain themselves to equipment. The influence of these extremists is disturbing to say the least.

We need to beat them at their own game and we are beginning to do so.

Today a protest was being planned by the usual suspects where they intended to make a racket outside of the downtown Calgary Marriot in hopes of disrupting an Enbridge shareholders meeting in the hotel.

The group Rally 4 Resources organized a counter demonstration with just two days notice and the result was excellent.

 

 

Well over 200 concerned citizens came out on a rainy Wednesday afternoon to support the Line 3 expansion.

An orderly demonstration of support was held while the dozen or so extremists found themselves lost in the background pounding their drums in futility.

Had people not come out in support of our energy industry, the little handful of anti-progress demonstrators would have had full control of the messaging and headlines today. Instead they failed and were exposed as being the tiny minority that they are as they were dwarfed by the positive demonstration of energy supporters.

This is what we need to keep doing. I know that we have things that we would rather do. I know that we need to earn a living as opposed to taking grants from American interests as the anti-pipeline lobby does. Despite that, we need to keep coming out.

We need to blunt the disruptive tool of demonstrations that the anti-progress lobby uses. The best way to do that will be to keep coming out to show just how tiny their support levels really are despite all the noise they make.

I don’t know the folks at Rally 4 Resources personally but I do want to thank them for putting this together. They did a great job.

The only thing that was lacking was a large media presence.

The well funded anti-energy types are very skilled in media communications and they play it well. We need to work on that front as well in future gatherings. People need to hear from the majority for a change and that means working to get that message to the media.

I look forward to the next rally.

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