Western Canada’s oil industry is again at the forefront of the news, with opposing points of view causing major disruptions in many locations.
Some of the news stories seem to be separate and unrelated, but really they are all part of a larger picture, one where there needs to be more common sense and logic, and concern for the ongoing health of the Canadian economy than is currently being seen.
The protracted strike by Unifor at the Co-op Refinery in Regina has caused many disruptions and arrests as it goes on and on, with the courts having to get involved in the process, along with the police when the court orders are disobeyed.
The two sides need to sit down and hammer out their issues in a way that does not continue to disrupt the lawful operation of business, and since negotiations don’t seem to be working very well, the government needs to intervene with a conciliator who can help work things out.
On another front, there was a derailment of train cars hauling crude oil near Guernsey, with many cars involved and a major fire resulting.
Seemingly unrelated, a natural gas pipeline under construction is being blocked by First Nations hereditary leaders, in spite of court injunctions saying they cannot disrupt the construction.
What connects these two incidents is this: Canada’s oil industry desperately needs more pipelines. This was shown to be the case with the deadly crash of cars in a Quebec town, and it’s still the case today. The residents of Guernsey had to be evacuated with the heavy smoke from the fire — and this scenario could totally have been avoided, had the warning been heeded after the Quebec crash.
Instead, there has been an ongoing continuous pressure against having any pipelines built in Canada, even though environmentally and economically it makes the most sense to transport crude petroleum this way to access off-shore markets. The continuously-voiced fears of pipeline disasters is ridiculous and unfounded, while trains crash and derail with spilt crude oil burning.
So in the case of the blocked pipeline, there is a group of hereditary chiefs protesting (and inspiring other protests around the country, even though they are just protesting against the idea of pipelines) while there are no less than 20 chiefs of bands that are fully in support of this pipeline. People should note that only coverage is given to the protesting chiefs, and not to the ones who want the pipeline. What ties all of this together is, we need common sense,and we need pipelines, for the good of the country.