Harper Calls For Answers From Scientists He’s Muzzled

Stephen Harper declared that science would make the decision on the Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, forgetting, perhaps, that his government has been muzzling government scientists when not gutting their programs and cutting grant money.

The declaration was Harper’s way of staying out of the argument between British Columbia and Alberta on what kind of payment BC should get for taking on the risk of a pipeline through its territory and tankers on its shores.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not completed a risk assessment for waterways the proposed pipeline would cross and there may not be time for any such assessment before the official environmental review wraps up in December 2013.

The department wrote a letter to the panel noting that the assessments have not been completed, but stated that the work will continue and, should the project be approved, will be useful in the regulatory phase of the project.

Part of the problem, say critics, is the 92 jobs the department recently had to cut in BC. CBC reports that all but five of the department’s field offices will be shut down. Those offices include two in the north of BC that would have played a large role in reviewing the pipeline’s proposed route through the province.

One former scientist for the department referred to the Harper government cuts as disembowelment.

The department has presented the review panel with an assessment of the effects on fish and fish habitat, but they seem to be leaving the ecological risk assessment and the study of risks of a spill to Enbridge.

It seems unlikely that Enbridge will find much fault with Enbridge’s plan, despite their past failings.

Related Stories:

Government Minister Speaks Out Against Northern Gateway Pipeline

A Turning Point in The Battle of Good vs. Oil for British Columbia

Big Risk, Little Reward: BC Wants To Renegotiate On Northern Gateway Pipeline

Photo Credit: Ting Chen


Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago



Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

This is akin to gaging your captive and then expecting them to answer your demands.

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago

The only way to go is no pipeline they make easy TERRORIST TARGETS think about it !!!

Carla van der Meer

I would like to know what kind of compensation Harper is getting from Enbridge. He is NOT doing this for the benefit of the Canadian people, especially the people of BC. The process so far has been stilted in favor of the oil companies and people have been muzzled, railroaded and unheard. the threats to stop the flow of foreign funds to environmental groups has ignored the fact that the oil companies and their supporters get their money from out of the country and will send most of it out when done pillaging the environment and people of the country. Given Enbridge's horrific environmental track record and callous attitude, this should have been a no go from the start.

Thomas Brueckner
Thomas Brueckner5 years ago

You can say what you want,but some experts of scientists says that the world comes to an end.That can be in 160 years or earlier,depending on how far our planet will be destroyed by creedy people like Harper or others who are only here for making profit with killing animals or deforestation the Amazon and other rain forests.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

The only good use for Obama's drones is take out Harper and his minister thugs right now with no mercy given. Harper is a nightmare and is one of the worst psychopathic terrorists the world has ever seen. It reflects on the savage, immoral savage nature of Canada that this demonic terrorist is still in their government wreaking chaos and mayhem. Harper is worse than Hitler and Stalin combined. That psychopath is not only terrorizing within Canada's borders, he is a threat to the future of life on the entire earth.

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P5 years ago

lol, what an idiot, Only when it suits him he wants answers

Brenda M5 years ago

Harper has found out what science is good for - stalling when you don't want to make a decision, and blaming it on someone else. We've also found a new use for science - demonstrating how slimy some politicians can be. Not even a Con can look at this and excuse this behaviour.

Lynette B.
Lynette B5 years ago

Yup, Stephen Harper sure is making a mess out of our country's policies, including the muzzling of our esteemed scientists, who I would tend to have more respect for than any politician. I totally agree that the pipeline, in the current form being proposed by Enbridge, should not happen. As well, we should not be shipping raw bitumen off the coast of BC.

However, there is one thing I will agree with Harper on (as much as he makes my skin crawl): we, as Canadians, do need to diversify our customer base when it comes to our natural resources. Now, before anyone shoots me, try to put this in perspective. The world, in the near future, is not going to stop using oil. My opinion is we need to shift towards alternate, more judicious, ways of shipping and using it, as well as sourcing other forms of energy. Not tomorrow. Now.

However, back to my point about agreeing with Harper on diversifying our customer base, there is an excellent article in the August 18, 2012 paper edition of The Vancouver Sun, by Adam Leamy and Jamie Lamb, on this very point. The article points out that, currently, the US is the sole benefactor of our limited oil customer base. Canada is their largest supplier of oil (second to their own domestic production), and at deeply discounted prices I might add.

So, obviously, they would not be happy with our idea of shipping oil (or bitumen) elsewhere. That's why they are gung ho on unravelling the current pipeline proposal. One of the ways they

Liz Edwards
Joan E5 years ago

Did anyone notice the name of the tanker in the pic? "Nectar"!! Talk about ironic!
Heather M.: Suzuki walked away from the Foundation.
pam w.: I'm sorry too! Hapless Harp is a Republican wannabe.
Like Karen and Ed O. says: If Romney and Harp become leaders together you may as well dig yourself a grave. That is a nightmare you won't wake up from.
If you seriously think Harperius is sitting back awaiting the outcome of the battle between Redneck and Clark give your head a shake. He's scheming and plotting and going ahead with his plan with or without consent.