This is it. The very last active major energy project in Canada is the Coastal GasLink pipeline in BC which if ever completed, will transport natural gas to Kitimat where it can be converted to Liquified Natural Gas and exported overseas.
Every other major energy project in Canada the last few years has either been shut down by government whether through unreasonable legislation as with Energy East, or through activist judges who move the regulatory goalposts as with the Trans Mountain expansion or with an outright ideological based shutdown direct from government as we saw with Northern Gateway.
Coastal GasLink is the last one standing. TransCanada did every requisite study. They did every requisite consultation. They cut every requisite deal with impacted communities. They applied for and received every one of the seemingly endless permits to operate.
Coastal GasLink played by all of the ever changing, convoluted rules and roadblocks that Canada put before it yet it still is finding itself stalled by protesters and pending court challenges.
Yes, after months of delays and countless thousands spent in the courts an injunction to clear a handful of protesters who had set up a fake “healing lodge” and illegal blockade on a bridge out of the way so that crews could do preliminary work in order to build the pipeline.
After way too many generous warnings, 14 idiots were arrested and removed from the site by the RCMP and the bridge was opened.
Protests from the extreme were held across Canada in support of the handful of pipeline protesters. Hundreds of thousands have been raised to fight this legal project and Canadian musicians and celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon in trying to shut down this legal project.
Within weeks, work was shut down as extremists placed trap lines in the work zone and put workers and “trappers” at risk. The placement was purposeful of course. With literally hundreds of thousands of acres wide open for trapping, the protesters just happened to choose the small work zone for the pipeline. While the traps have been cleared and work is resuming, I have not heard of any charges against these illegal trappers yet.
More protests are coming and more court challenges are pending.
The bottom line is that if we can’t get this pipeline built we will never get a single new large energy project done in Canada again.
This isn’t even an oil line. No evil bitumen or “tar” sands products. No risk to whales. No chance of an oily leak into a water body. We fart the same product that the pipeline will carry and like our personal flatus, any accidental release of natural gas from the line will simply dissipate.
As far as energy projects go, this is low hanging fruit.
There will always be protesters. There will always be fake chiefs among them such as the travelling loon “Chief Grizzly Mama”. Nothing we do will stop these extremists from opposing developments. There is no negotiating that can be done with these people. There is no reasoning that can be had with them. They are crazy and if we want to get something done these people will have to be arrested and charged.
It remains to be seen if government has the will to follow through and facilitate the construction of this pipeline. It took months and many court injunctions before a small collection of drug addled bums could be removed from “Camp Cloud” in Burnaby and it was clear that the authorities would rather have left the protesters where they were if they could have gotten away with it.
It is little wonder that extreme protesters feel emboldened when we see so many displays of cowardice from government in the face of law breaking. Even when those nutcases from Greenpeace put dozens of first responders in danger by forcing them to do a rescue and arrest operation at high heights, not one of those criminals got so much as a ticket. Aside from the risk they put the police and others into, how many thousands of tax and private dollars were wasted as these idiots hung from a bridge? If we fail to come to a complete halt at a stop sign on a deserted rural road the RCMP will not hesitate to hand us a heavy ticket yet we can’t find it in ourselves to charge Greenpeace extremists.
This simple pipeline is the litmus test. Shutting down the protesters and getting the Coastal GasLink will be a veritable cakewalk when compared to what will have to be done to ensure that the twinning of the TransMountain line is completed.
I have little faith that Trudeau has the will to get any of these projects done. The international investment community clearly feels the same as incoming dollars to Canada plummet. Who in their right mind would invest here when the most basic of legal projects can’t get done?
Watch the construction of the Coastal GasLink project carefully. Even if it does get done, things don’t look promising for TransMountain. If Coastal GasLink doesn’t get done, we can confidently say that nothing will. The construction season is passing. We will know in the next few months if Canada is open for business or not. I am afraid that I am not terribly optimistic.