Activists misleading the public?

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Author: Northern Gateway
Dated: 15 August 2012

In an online campaign, a group of activists are suggesting our animated pipeline route illustration is meant to misinform the public about the Douglas Channel.

 
Our pipeline route animations were never meant to provide you with information about our proposed marine operations, the Douglas Channel or the B.C. coast.
 
In the animated pipeline route flyover video we provided the following disclaimer: 
 
"The animation is for illustrative purposes only. It is meant to be broadly representational, not to scale."
 
Segments of the pipeline route flyover video were also used for illustrative purposes within another video discussing the safety planning that went into our proposed pipeline route design. This video does not discuss marine safety or the Douglas Channel.
 
For people interested in marine safety and the Douglas Channel, we produced another far more detailed video (above) discussing our marine plans. The video is accurate geographically and its illustrations are to-scale where noted. The video contains a comprehensive discussion of our proposed marine operations and B.C.’s north coast, including the Douglas Channel. Our comprehensive marine safety plan discussed in this video went through Transport Canada’s TERMPOL review process successfully.  
 
For those seeking more detail, Volume 8A of our regulatory application – available on our website – provides an extensive overview of marine and terminal operations with detailed maps.  As noted in the TERMPOL report, “Since 2009, the proponent has completed 16 studies and submitted close to 3,500 pages of surveys, studies, technical data, analysis and other information related to the marine transportation components of the Northern Gateway Project."  The measures we’ll implement will enhance safety for all shipping on BC’s north coast. 
 
The marine environment Northern Gateway is proposing to use is no stranger to industrial shipping, including tankers. 
 
From 1982 to 2009, some 1,560 vessels carrying methanol and condensate called on the Kitimat port—which is actually over 3,100 transits of vessels dedicated to the transport of petroleum products.
 
When you add all industrial vessel activity into the Kitimat port, the number jumps to 6,112. 
 
To be clear, the number of ships servicing industry arriving at the Kitimat port between 1978 and 2009 is 6,112. That’s 12,224 transits of the Douglas Channel. That’s a long history of safety. 
 
And it’s a safe history that opponents of the project will rarely, if ever, acknowledge publicly. Is that because it’s the intention of some activists to mislead you about our project and the safety of the Douglas Channel?

Our pipeline route animations were never meant to provide you with information about our proposed marine operations, the Douglas Channel or the B.C. coast.

In the animated pipeline route flyover video we provided the following disclaimer: 

"The animation is for illustrative purposes only. It is meant to be broadly representational, not to scale."

Segments of the pipeline route flyover video were also used for illustrative purposes within another video discussing the safety planning that went into our proposed pipeline route design. This video does not discuss marine safety or the Douglas Channel.

For people interested in marine safety and the Douglas Channel, we produced another far more detailed video in 2011 (above) discussing our marine plans. The video is accurate geographically and its illustrations are to-scale where noted. Its illustrations are also included in this marine safety video. These videos contain comprehensive discussion of our proposed marine operations and B.C.’s north coast, including the Douglas Channel. Our comprehensive marine safety plan discussed in these videos went through Transport Canada’s TERMPOL review process successfully.  

For those seeking more detail, Volume 8A of our regulatory application – available publicly on our website – provides an extensive overview of marine and terminal operations with detailed maps. As noted in the TERMPOL report, “Since 2009, the proponent has completed 16 studies and submitted close to 3,500 pages of surveys, studies, technical data, analysis and other information related to the marine transportation components of the Northern Gateway Project." The measures we’ll implement will enhance safety for all shipping on BC’s north coast. 

The marine environment Northern Gateway is proposing to use is no stranger to industrial shipping, including tankers. 

From 1982 to 2009, some 1,560 vessels carrying methanol and condensate called on the Kitimat port—which is actually over 3,100 transits of vessels dedicated to the transport of petroleum products.

When you add all industrial vessel activity into the Kitimat port, the number jumps to 6,112. 

To be clear, the number of ships servicing industry arriving at the Kitimat port between 1978 and 2009 is 6,112. That’s 12,224 transits of the Douglas Channel. That’s a long history of safety. 

And it’s a safe history that opponents of the project will rarely, if ever, acknowledge publicly. Is that because it’s the intention of some activists to mislead you about our project and the safe use of the Douglas Channel?

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Comments
  • Seth, Oct 19th, 2012 (1 year ago)

    Why aren't the activists angry that not every lake, stream, river or tree was accurately represented? This story was so trumped up it was ridiculous. I listen to my fellow Vancouverites blather on about this almost daily. I always ask them if they've seen the actual video. None of them have. Activists misleading the public indeed.

  • Jeffrey, Oct 18th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    I'm in partial agreement to both sides of this particular argument. Yes, Enbridge omitted over 1,000 square kilometers of island; no, the pipeline route video wasn't meant to give an illustration of the marine route.

  • Daniel, Aug 28th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I can't believe the false outrage that LeadNow managed to create with their obviously false and misleading campaign. How they can get away with calling the image from the video an "advertisement" or a "pipeline safety map" is incredible. If anything, they should be the ones being criticized for the false and misleading advertising. They even say there will be 500 tankers, which is obviously not true.

    And as for the conversation going on on this page, it's clear to me that some people just refuse to accept any explanation and can only continue to repeat the false accusations over and over again. Kind of reminds me of a bunch of teenagers really, expecting information to be spoon fed to them and then dismissing any facts that get in the way of their predetermined realities.

    It took me 2 minutes on this website to find information about the Douglas Channel. When I wanted to see where the pipeline went, I looked at the route map, it includes the islands BTW. When I looked for information about the marine environment and tankers I only saw links to videos that looked pretty accurate to me. Never did I see any suggestion from Enbridge that I should look at the pipeline video to learn about the marine route.

    Even the video at the top of this page discusses shipping to China and then gives you a very detailed look at the Douglas Channel, including maps and animations. Suggesting that Enbridge is hiding the truth and that there video is meant to mislead is ridiculous when its clear from 2 minutes of surfing this site that they've shown a large amount of detail where it counts.

    When I read the environmental talking point "it's not a matter of if it's when" I literally laugh out loud. That saying applies to an airplane or car accident, a hurricane or a tornado. Yet no one can tell us when those will happen. And only the crazies won't get in to a plane or a car, or will move away from the ocean or the midwest because they can't imagine a storm crossing their path.

    The online conversation around this project is really some kind of crazy twilight zone where Enbridge has to prove that everything they say is right while at the same time prove that everything opponents say about the oilsands is wrong. Talk about crazy! The burden of proof should be on those making the claims to show them to be true. If you think oil sinks, show us, don't just say "it sinks until Enbridge proves that it doesn't." And simply cutting and pasting a link from wherever you read someone else make the claim without them actually proving it doesn't make it true.

  • Aja, Aug 28th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    As I said before - there's a difference between an image being "broadly representational" and omitting 1,000 square km of islands from a video - no matter what the purpose of that video is. You stated that " it's a land-based pipeline route animation", correct me if I'm wrong, but seeing as part of your main advertising campaign is about trade with China, I assume that the tankers and their route would be important as well. In any case, it's important to share accurate information with consumers and the public, just as you expect that we share accurate information when commenting on your blogs.

    I have seen very little communication and statistics from Enbridge about the wilderness, weather conditions etc, same goes for surveys.

    In response to your reply to SpringJ's comment, you said yourself in one of your blogs that "It's not possible to give an absolute, 100% guarantee that no adverse environmental effects will happen in BC or on the coastal waters" -no matter how how much new technology you have or the safety arrangements you have in place, it's not a matter of if an oil spill happens, it's a matter of when.

    Speaking of oil spills, I read a post that Enbridge's oil spill response plan didn't even match the type of oil that you are shipping.

  • Northern Gateway, Aug 23rd, 2012 (2 years ago)

    Hi SpringJ, thanks for your comment and questions.

    Like all marine environments, weather is a factor that needs to be considered for safe operations on B.C.'s north coast. This is why we've said we'll add to the weather and radar stations on B.C.'s north coast and establish operational safety limits covering visibility, sea and wind conditions: http://www.northerngateway.ca/project-details/marine-information-and-plan/

    We take our responsibility to safeguard the environment very seriously. Almost a decade of environmental study has gone into our plans and application to the NEB. These include plans to protect important fish-bearing bodies of water and other sensitive environments. We've altered the proposed route and added pipeline integrity enhancements to our design as a result of consultation with local stakeholders. We're committed to working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and other authorities to make sure that the pipelines have minimal adverse environmental impacts. There are many examples of pipelines and other industries like fishing, successfully co-existing. The nearly 60-year-old TransMountain pipeline running between Edmonton and Burnaby is a B.C. example of such.

    We agree with when you say "we ought to be cooperatives." Our community and aboriginal consultations, ongoing now for many years, have approached the pipeline question from the viewpoint that by working together we can address the challenges in an effort to create cooperative solutions.

  • Northern Gateway, Aug 23rd, 2012 (2 years ago)

    Hi Tamara,

    The image that is being questioned appeared in an animated pipeline route flyover video. The video was created to offer an additional way for people to see an illustration of where the proposed pipeline would be routed. It was made clear in the video that the animation was meant as an illustration and was not to scale.

    We also have a route map available for people to see here: http://www.northerngateway.ca/project-details/route-map/

    Our application to the NEB, also available on this website, includes detailed descriptions and environment studies of the areas of the proposed pipeline route.

    To help people better understand the marine environment and safety plans associated with Northern Gateway operations, we produced two videos:

    http://www.northerngateway.ca/economic-opportunity/northern-gateway-tanker-safety-video/ & http://www.northerngateway.ca/project-details/marine-safety-video/

    These are the videos we would point you to if you asked, "How can I learn more about the marine environment and your proposed marine operations?" along with links to these pages, amongst others:

    http://www.northerngateway.ca/environmental-responsibility/marine-assessment-and-our-first-response-plan/ & http://www.northerngateway.ca/project-details/marine-information-and-plan/

    This is why we take issue with the accusation that we use the pipeline route flyover animation to mislead the public about the Douglas Channel.

  • Tamara, Aug 22nd, 2012 (2 years ago)

    I'm confused by the point of the animation. You state: "Our pipeline route animations were never meant to provide you with information about our proposed marine operations, the Douglas Channel or the B.C. coast."

    If not meant to provide information on your proposed operations or the environment affected, what was the animation meant to provide?

  • SpringJ, Aug 22nd, 2012 (2 years ago)

    Corrected version, proper English. Sorry. Thank you.
    Dear Northern Gateway:

    How come, in this blog, you purport "opponents" to your project would "rarely, if ever" acknowledge that historically, vessels pass through the Douglas Channel safely? It sounds like something the kids in parliament do: putting words it others' mouths.

    I acknowledge that safe journeys have been had. People who have travelled it do also. The ones I have spoken to also recount the reality of treacherous, dangerous times on that channel. I think one of the points the activists were trying to make is that this reality is explicitly omitted from the material you deem suitable for the public. All people, supporters and critics of your pipelines alike, ought to take issue with that. I understand this project is being scrutinized by all sides. Some of the realities promote the project positively. Others do not. But we cannot have smooth-sailing, sunny days all the time. Especially on that coast. That is the reality.

    Another reality of this whole economy vs. the environment saga is simply this: the oil sands were created by this earth. We have jobs because of (many things, but for the intensive purposes of this point) all the wonderful creations of this earth. It is imperative that we understand our environment is our economy. Our economy is our environment. Some find the resource of oil in our environment ideal to support their family. Others find the resource of fish in our environment ideal to support their family. The reality of the situation is that pulling fish out of the water doesn't really impede an oil family from continuing to survive on oil. On the other hand, an oil spill into the river can impede a fish family from continuing to survive on fish.

    We have come so far through wars and undulating cooperation. How come we find ourselves in a position where we're opponents again? We are all human. We ought to be cooperatives. When one's actions prevent another from being able to survive, to provide for themselves and their family, what do we do?

  • Northern Gateway, Aug 17th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    Hi Aja,

    Our response is the blog post above. The Douglas Channel is a well-used body of water with a long history of safe industrial use including tankers. The video in question is not an advertisement and was never meant to serve as a communication about the Douglas Channel—it's a land-based pipeline route animation.

    Our communications about the Douglas Channel and our proposed marine operations go into siginificant detail about the geography, wildlife and weather conditions in the area. The videos—including animated footage—of the Douglas Channel and B.C. coast are accurate and to scale where noted.

    People are free to say whatever they'd like, but we've provided 16 studies and submitted close to 3,500 pages of surveys, studies, technical data, analysis and other information related to the marine transportation components of the Northern Gateway Project that demonstrate the true conditions of the areas in question. All of this information is made available to the public and will be subject to rigorous examination through the JRP process.

  • Aja, Aug 17th, 2012 (2 years ago)

    No matter wat disclaimers you put on, the fact is that you are misleading the public. There's a difference between a animation being "broadly representational" and erasing over 1,00 square kilometres of islands.

    I aslo think that many people would disagree that activists have been misleading us.

    From an article:

    In less than 24 hours, the image was shared over 10,000 times on Facebook and elicited thousands of comments by outraged citizens.

    A video that clearly documents this Enbridge Northern Gateway flyover Misleads the public was viewed over 2100 times.

    Over 13,000 people signed a letter to Enbridge demanding they pull the ad.

    As to the part about the waters being safe, I've read many articles were people are saying the exact opposite - that they are some of the most treachorous and unpredicable waters in the world. What would you say to those people?

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