Intro: … So he improvised. Over the intensely rhythmic strum of his own acoustic, Havens composed a festival-inspired song called “Freedom” on the spot (building on a snatch of the traditional “Motherless Child”). The tune was immortalized in the Woodstock film, and Havens has been performing it ever since. “I feel that it doesn’t belong to me anyway,” he said in 2002. “It belongs to everything that made it come out.” The accomplishment Havens was most proud of, however, was co-founding the award-winning, multi-cultural, children-run organization called the National Guard. With chapters across the country, it teaches kids to take charge of their own communities, assesses local ecological needs and provides hands-on participation. When asked how we can become more engaged, Havens told us, “Start on a local level. What’s wrong in your own community? What can be repaired and improved? Solving problems on a local level first can lead to a national network of growth and change.” … -From “Farewell, Richie Havens” by Lydia Hutchinson, April 23, 2013
Below: Will Horter is executive director of the Dogwood Initiative. Dogwood Initiative brings together everyday British Columbians to reclaim decision-making power over their air, land and water. This article was originally published in the Toronto Star, July 27, 2014.
“The West wants out” of Ottawa’s energy superpower plan
Will Horter DeSmog Canada Canada July 29, 2014
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Earthquakes happen rarely in Canadian politics, but the fault lines are shifting again on the West Coast. As the next federal election draws closer, conditions below the surface should remind political observers of another seismic event a generation ago.
Back in the early 1990s, Stephen Harper and the insurgent Reform Party forced a tectonic shift, unleashing a powerful wave of western alienation that has realigned Canadian politics to this day. Their slogan was: “The West wants in.”
You could sum up the feeling in British Columbia lately as, “The West wants out.” Today you could get in your car in Kenora and drive clear across the Prairies to the coast without ever leaving a blue Conservative riding. But the road through the Rocky Mountains could become tricky indeed if Harper’s party doesn’t change course.
The central question for British Columbians, as it was for Albertans in the 1980s and ’90s, is this: who gets to decide what’s in our best interest — Ottawa or the people who live here?
As pundits debate the technical merits of crude oil and coal export proposals through B.C., they miss the deeper sense of alienation that’s taking hold. British Columbians and especially First Nations are growing increasingly resentful of decisions they feel have been imposed on them from the outside.
A poll this year by the Manning Centre (led by Harper’s former boss, Preston Manning) found fully 68 per cent of people in B.C. feel the country is going in the wrong direction. Asked why the number was so high, the former Reform Party leader said “pipelines.”
People in B.C. don’t want out of Canada, but they want out of the Harper government’s national energy plan, such as it is. Becoming a fossil-fuel export “superpower,” in Harper’s words, holds little appeal for communities caught between Alberta’s oilsands and the refineries in Asia.
Items: [Liberal Party leader Justin] Trudeau is an enthusiastic supporter of Keystone but is adamantly opposed to Northern Gateway. He’s willing to consider the proposed Kinder Morgan trans-mountain pipeline to Burnaby, B.C., provided it passes environmental muster and gets buy-in from effected communities. - See “Trudeau blasts Harper for bungling pipelines needed by Alberta, PM’s home turf”, August 19, 2014
UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline study allowed on Burnaby Mountain, rules NEB
The Canadian Press/CBC News Canada Last updated August 20, 2014
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The National Energy Board has sided with Kinder Morgan in a dispute with the City of Burnaby over access to Burnaby Mountain.
The company can proceed with necessary studies of its preferred pipeline route through the mountain without the city’s consent.
In a decision released Tuesday, the National Energy Board confirmed that under federal legislation the company doesn’t need permission to access the land that is home to Simon Fraser University and a vast nature preserve.
“It would not be logical that the Board be required to recommend approval or denial of a project without all necessary information before it,” the board said in a decision posted online. “This would not be in the public interest.”
Kinder Morgan wants Burnaby’s blessing to begin surveying, even though it says it doesn’t need it now. It’s expecting an application made to the municipality to be approved in light of the NEB ruling.
Project leader Carey Johannesson told the CBC he thinks the ruling is pretty clear.
“[The ruling] doesn’t mean that we’re not going to be trying to work with Burnaby, but it does just clarify things for us,” said Johannesson.
“We could essentially start anytime we want to…Our expectation is that with some of the things that are easier to do we could probably get started this week.”
However, Burnaby’s mayor’s office issued a statement vowing to block the company’s access to parkland and conservation areas.
“We launched our Constitutional challenge because we absolutely believe that our bylaws trump the act in this case. We continue to believe this to be true and nothing the board said today changes that fact.” said Mayor Derek Corrigan in the statement.
“We will, therefore, continue to enforce our bylaws, ensuring that Kinder Morgan does not access Burnaby parkland and the Brunette Conservation area on which they want to perform deleterious actions that would contravene the laws put in place by our City and citizens to protect our parkland.”
The city’s legal council Greg McDade told the CBC, “The situation as it stands is that the company has permission in effect from the NEB, under its legislation, to access the site. But it doesn’t have permission to overrule Burnaby’s by-laws and Burnaby’s by-laws may prohibit some of the activities they were intending to do.”
Kinder Morgan would prefer to bore its pipeline through the mountain, rather than follow the current pipeline route through residential and business areas.
The federal National Energy Board Act stipulates that a company may enter into the land of any person that lies on the intended route to survey or otherwise ascertain whether the land is suitable, the board found.
The company does not require an order from the national regulator for temporary access, it said.
“There is no requirement … for companies to reach agreement with landowners, the Crown, or otherwise, before exercising the right to access land,” the board said.
It does note that the company could have made a formal request to the city sooner than it did.
“Throughout its submissions … Burnaby mischaracterizes the nature of Trans Mountains’ request,” the board found.
Kinder Morgan doesn’t need Burnaby’s permission to access land: NEB
Wanda Chow Burnaby NewsLeader Burnaby British Columbia Canada August 19, 2014
Kinder Morgan asked the NEB for confirmation that the NEB Act allows pipeline companies to access land, even without the owner’s permission, to undertake such work.
Burnaby city hall argued against that interpretation, even launching a constitutional challenge claiming the NEB did not have the power to override municipal bylaws.
But the NEB rejected Burnaby’s arguments on both counts.
“The Board considers it telling that the legal basis so described lacks any reference to a violation of the Constitution,” the NEB decision said in dismissing the constitutional challenge.
As for the land access issue, the NEB said, “Trans Mountain has the power to enter into and on Burnaby land without Burnaby’s agreement … Trans Mountain does not require a Board order for temporary access, nor has it requested a Board order.”
Carey Johannesson, Trans Mountain’s project lead for land and right-of-way, said it’s good news for the company but it still wants to work with Burnaby. It has applied to the city for permission and has answered its questions.
“It doesn’t just apply to Burnaby, it’s just a general right that any pipeline company gets under Section 73 [of the NEB Act] when it’s trying to fix the route of a pipeline that’s under NEB jurisdiction,” Johannesson said.
He said the company plans to contact the city and inform them of the ruling and that it intends to move forward with its surveying work and will let them know when it will happen.
“Our plan is to still see if we can work with the city. We’ve had a relationship with Burnaby on this pipeline for over 60 years. With the new pipeline it’s going to continue for a lot longer. So it’s in nobody’s best interests to not have a good working relationship.”
NEB spokesperson Sarah Kiley said Burnaby could file a motion asking the NEB to reconsider either decision but otherwise it’s up to the company and city to decide how to proceed.
“Should Trans Mountain go ahead with this they are required to compensate the city for any damages that they cause,” Kiley noted.
The City uses a strong policy framework, from the Official Community Plan to protect the natural heritage of the City. Protection focuses on five key ecological areas or park lands: ocean, mountains, lakes & streams, forest and river. The majority of these areas are also designated as part of the Official Community Plan and Regional Growth Strategy as conservation and recreational lands. They are dedicated by public referendum to assure their long-term protection and status as part of the City and region’s natural assets.
Provision has also been made within several of these parks for many diverse recreational and cultural opportunities. Facilities in these parks are designed to respect and maintain the protection of the natural environment and special natural setting.
Burnaby’s Burrard Inlet foreshore was envisioned in as early as the 1920s to become one of the City’s great protected natural areas. All lands and access rights are acquired and developed to protect and enhance the marine ecosystem and provide waterfront access opportunities, including a continuous urban trail and greenway for Burnaby citizens. At Barnet Marine Park the City has acquired ownership of significant “waterlot” areas, lands that extends into the marine area of Burrard Inlet, which have been dedicated as park to protect the marine ecosystem. The upland park and conservation areas next to Burrard Inlet encompass over 67 hectares (165 acres) of lands protecting and enhancing the watershed and ecosystems of this unique and valuable marine environment. These park areas also provide an important buffer between railway and industrial activities for adjacent residential neighbourhoods. Industrial activity is limited to the Canadian Pacific Railway corridor with port access and development contained within the designated significant petroleum and refinery facilities. The remainder of the foreshore area has been designated in the OCP and the Metro Vancouver Port Plan to be conserved for its ecological values.
Left: The Brunette River was named for the brown colour of its water, the result of peat rich soils in its watershed. The river has a great heritage, from winter homes of the Kwantlen Nation and early farm settlements to industrial warehouses and busy sawmills. The proliferation of industry and urbanisation fed large amounts of pollutants into the river. Like many other streams and rivers, the natural habitat was nearly destroyed.
In recent years volunteers have worked tirelessly to bring back fish and wildlife populations to the Brunette River. Today there’s a 4 km out-and-back nature walk that parallels the river and crosses several feeder streams. The trail is open to recreational hikers, dog walkers, joggers, and bikers.
Right: Burnaby’s Central Valley is a unique urban ecosystem. It includes a complex system of wetlands, bog, forest, streams and lakes. The first park plan for this area was established in 1927. Although a large percentage of this area has been preserved in its natural form, many have been recently reclaimed from urban redevelopment and rejuvenated through an ongoing civic parkland assembly and ecosystem restoration program.
This area occupies the central area of the City and includes the Still Creek, Deer Lake, Burnaby Lake Regional Nature Park, Brunette River conservation lands and the Cariboo Conservation Area. Collectively, these lands occupy about 695 hectares (1,717 acres), including 196 hectares (484 acres) of lake area. The area is home to a complex ecosystem including many rare species and is vital to the migration of many bird species that travel the ‘Pacific Flyway’.
Burnaby Mountain forms the City’s most prominent geological feature and landmark with its beautifully forested slopes rising to an elevation of 370 metres (1,214 feet ) above sea level. This park was originally established in 1930 and dominates the northeast quadrant of Burnaby. The City has almost completed a land acquisition program to consolidate ownership of the 700 hectares (1,729 acres) within the designated park boundaries. The mountain also forms the headwaters to several watersheds, draining to both the environmentally sensitive Burrard Inlet and the Central Valley watersheds. The UniverCity development adjacent to Simon Fraser University provided the opportunity to protect additional environmentally significant lands associated with Naheeno Park and conservation lands related the escarpment and local streams. The Conservation Area also includes defined development restrictions for the two industrial sites designated for petroleum storage and distribution uses. Continued civic acquisition of the few remaining private and government holdings will complete the assembly program.