In the News
Links to items on other sites of interest to Common Sense Canadian readers, writers, and editors.
Read this revealing critique in th Georgi Straight of Christy Clark's leadership and self-inflicted wounds, a damning indictment coming from her predecessor Gordon Campbell's longtime Chief of Staff Martyn Brown. (May 12, 2013)
Did Christy Clark actually spoil her own ballot? Yes.
No, I’m not just talking about the one in which she happily wrote down two names, before the cameras.
I mean, she’s the author of her own widely expected defeat on Tuesday, and deservedly so.
Although, like so many mistakes Clark has made, her botched advance ballot was also a classic example of her putting politics ahead of the serious task at hand, while also demonstrating how not to vote.
She was so consumed with the photo op and with putting her own name first—sigh—that she almost forgot who she was really voting for.
In writing down Margaret MacDiarmid’s name as an afterthought, she may have cost her Health Minister a vote she can ill afford to lose in a swing riding that could come to down to a single vote.
Note to all voters: if you really want to help your chosen candidate, it’s best to ensure your vote is valid.
Not that the Premier was too worried about her blown ballot. The cameras were there and they loved her, as they have the entire campaign.
In a battle of images vying for all that camera love—pearly-white teeth, irresistible smiles, passion and emotion—Adrian Dix can’t compete with Clark.
Trouble is, that’s not leadership. It’s empty imagery that is about as important to governing as the bombast and tarradiddles that are “Christy’s” defining stock-in-trade.
Campaigns are curious adventures in voter manipulation. They tend to bury substance with style and to reward those who look the best in making their opponents look worse.
It’s funny to think that Dix should have lost some support for looking too serious, too cerebral, and too bookish for a job that demands those attributes. It’s not so funny that anyone would somehow misconstrue him as a “weak” leader, when his performance in contrast to Clark’s over the last two years has demonstrated anything but.
Dix has pursued a thoughtful, transparent, and laudable course that is still short on vision, but that is long on realism, moderation and conciliation. That should serve his government well in building new relationships that can begin to transcend the ideological divide that all parties have historically fostered for partisan advantage.
Meanwhile, Clark has gained a few points in recent opinion polls by simply being a better-animated version of her passionately partisan self. Like Seinfeld’s Bizarro World, through the magic of television, she has flipped her own image on its head.
The person whose weak leadership was only a few weeks ago her campaign’s Achilles’ heel has made her strength of leadership a vote-winning issue. Go figure. She is a born campaigner.
Be that as it may, through a series of successive mistakes made by her own hand, Premier Clark has also spoiled her party’s reelection chances.
Read more: http://www.straight.com/news/381096/martyn-brown-vote-once-think-twice
Read this column by Gary Mason in The Globe and Mail on new polls showing the NDP poised to ushered in a new political era in Victoria on Tuesday. (May 11, 2013)
With just a few days remaining before British Columbians vote, the New Democrats’ appeal for change appears to be winning the day.
Two polls released on Friday show that while the B.C. Liberals continue to expand their support, the rate of growth has slowed. What it means is that, absent a momentous surge over the weekend, the long-time governing party will run out of time to persuade a majority of voters to give it another shot at power.
A new The Globe and Mail-CTV poll conducted by Angus Reid this week shows the spread between the two main parties is still significant. The pollster has the NDP at 45 per cent – up four from a week ago – and the Liberals at 36, which is up two. Overall, the nine point difference is two points higher than last week. The recent survey has the Greens at nine per cent (down three) and the Conservatives at a weakening six per cent (down four).
The poll is not dissimilar to another one published on Friday, by Ipsos-Reid. It shows the New Democrats holding a six-point advantage over the Liberals, which was down from the 10-point lead the same pollster had the NDP holding a week before.
Any poll is just a snap-shot. Many have been reported in the past week or so, some with the Liberals a lot closer than either Angus Reid or Ipsos has them. Still, one irrefutable fact must buoy New Democrats the most: the support all polls show the party has is in populous Metro Vancouver.
That is where this election will turn, not in the North or the Interior – both areas where the Liberals have made inroads in recent weeks, but where the New Democrats still have an edge. It will be decided in the Lower Mainland where the Angus Reid survey shows the NDP has a six-point advantage over the Liberals. On top of that, the NDP’s support has always been regarded as more efficient than that of its main opponent – meaning it’s more evenly spread throughout the province. This is a distinct benefit as well.
There is little question that the Liberals have run an effective, albeit highly negative campaign. Liberal Leader Christy Clark has done a good job of making the economy her major issue. The economy is ranked as the No. 1 topic on the minds of voters in B.C. Ms. Clark is seen as best able to deal with that area. That would explain some of the shift in momentum her way. The continual erosion of support for the B.C. Conservatives has helped her immensely as well.
Still, it is not enough to overcome the desire for change that seems to exist among the electorate. Maybe the Liberals’ highly negative campaign has begun to wear on people. (Although it must be said the NDP has recently veered off the high road it was on for most of the campaign). Ms. Clark’s disapproval rating in the Angus Reid poll is 61 per cent. That is an awfully big number. One can’t fathom a leader getting elected with that level of antipathy.
The New Democrats waited until this last week to start reminding voters of a litany of Liberal sins amassed over 12 years in office, chief among them the ever-resented harmonized sales tax. But there were other gaffes and scandals that the NDP was only happy to dredge up, perhaps causing more than one person to shake their head at the sheer volume of screw-ups and dreadful decisions for which the Liberals were responsible. It’s a directory of blunders that all governments of a certain age compile.
Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/polls-suggest-change-is-in-the-air-for-bc/article11876389/
Read this story from The Calgary Herald on Alberta Premier Alison Redford's comments at a recent energy conference in Calgary, vowing to push forward with proposed pipeline projects from he province, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's provincial election in neighbouring BC. (May 11, 2013)
Just days before British Columbians go to the polls, Premier Alison Redford said Friday that the vote's outcome won't necessarily spell the end of controversial energy projects aimed at transporting Alberta bitumen to the West Coast for export overseas.
But Redford told an energy conference in Calgary that it is imperative for Canadian crude to gain access to the Asian market in the next three to five years.
"We have oceans to cross and we have enormous distances to cover. The need for interprovincial co-operation on market access is more urgent than ever," she told the business crowd assembled at the Western Energy Summit.
Redford touted her Canadian energy strategy - a plan to unite provinces around promoting energy development - saying that "billions of dollars and millions of jobs and the future of public services that Canadian families use every day are at stake over market access."
She acknowledged, however, the quest for market access faces challenges on the provincial level.
There are no greater obstacles than those in British Columbia, where safety and environmental concerns have fostered staunch opposition to oilsands pipelines.
With election day set for Tuesday, the front-running NDP and the long-governing Liberals have opposed to varying degrees Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and Kinder Morgan's plan to expand its existing Trans Mountain oil line.
"Elections are quite unique things and the dialogue that goes on there is something to watch," Redford told reporters following her speech.
"We're looking forward to seeing the results of the election and at that point we'll continue to work ... with whoever is elected to keep building our opportunities."
Redford did not directly answer a question on whether a B.C. government could stand in the way of the Northern Gateway project if the development receives approval from Ottawa after a National Energy Board review.
Experts on energy and environmental policy say a fight between the provincial and federal governments would enter into uncharted territory.
"Could British Columbia stop development of a pipeline project that has been federally approved? Really good question," said Len Coad, director of the Centre for Natural Resource Policy at the Canada West Foundation.
Coad said a dispute over the issue could become a constitutional battle, in that provinces have responsibility for natural resources, the federal government has jurisdiction for interprovincial pipelines and international trade, and the two levels of government share environmental responsibility.
"Things would get very interesting," agreed Kathryn Harrison, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia.
Read this editorial by Stephen Quinn in The Globe and Mail on the various parties' responses to a questionnaire from Metro Vancouver about Translink and funding for public transit. (May 10, 2013)
While party leaders have been crisscrossing the province in the dying days of the provincial election campaign, trying to hold on to ridings they already have and trying to swing the ridings that might be swung, Metro Vancouver would like their attention – and yours. The pitch is this: Local Government Matters.
With much of the campaign focused on the economy and jobs, pipelines, natural gas extraction, skills training, back-dated memos, doughnut and pizza lunches, red lights, windmills and weather vanes, the organization that represents 24 municipalities and other agencies that make up the metro region (which contains about half of the province’s population) has sent a questionnaire to the four major parties asking for answers to some very specific questions on urban issues.
Here is where they stand on one issue close to my heart: public transit and moving people around the region.
On public transit, the first question is how the parties will provide local governments and transit authorities with long-term, predictable funding for transit infrastructure. Think light rail through Surrey or a subway line through the Broadway corridor to UBC. Or maybe a few more buses to the most service-starved areas south of the Fraser River.
The Liberals begin by saying that “transit funding is a challenge,” then toss the question back to TransLink, saying the mayors’ council needs to explain the regional priorities, the costs and how new projects will be paid for. They say the provincial government has been working with the mayors’ council to find a solution that taxpayers can agree with.
You may recall that in 2007, the Liberals overhauled the TransLink board because it was, in the words of then-transportation minister Kevin Falcon, “dysfunctional.” The board of elected officials was replaced with a group of “professionals” whose meetings are closed to the public. The mayors’ council has no real power under the new structure, beyond signing off on fare increases and property tax hikes.
On the specific question of TransLink governance, the Liberals agree with a consultant’s report that concluded “there’s more right than wrong with TransLink.”
The NDP says it would reform the TransLink board to once again include elected officials as decision-makers. It also says it would provide a portion of the carbon tax to fund enhanced transit service.
On the carbon tax, the Liberals replied: “There are no funds generated by the carbon tax that could be distributed to Metro Vancouver without raising taxes on individuals and families. Today’s B.C. Liberals are focused on controlling government spending and growing the economy so we can keep taxes as low as possible and get to a debt-free B.C. for our future generations.”
On the issue of tolls and road pricing, the Liberals say any new funding sources will need to be approved in a referendum, to be held at the same time as the next round of municipal elections. They recognize that there are many questions about the referendum.
I’ll say. For instance, what happens if voters in one municipality vote to fund transit and another municipality votes against it?
The NDP, meantime, “will be open to a discussion with a reformed TransLink board.” Good to know.
Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/public-transit-in-metro-vancouver-where-bcs-parties-stand/article11874243/
Read this story from CBC.ca on Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver's bold defense of the Alberta Tar Sands on the international stage. (May 11, 2013)
Canada’s natural resources minister continues to hit back against the many critics of Canada’s oilsands, including a European Union proposal to designate its oil as dirty.
In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House, Joe Oliver said Canada’s first priority when it comes to the EU is to change proposed legislation from the 27-country bloc that would see crude oil from the oilsands fail new standards for greenhouse gas emissions.
“It's discriminatory, it's not based on science and it would potentially hurt Canada's ability to access markets for its resources,” Oliver said in the interview.
“We will act if, as a last resort, there are no changes... we will look at all the alternatives and we may possibly take action before the [World Trade Organization].”
Oliver said the EU proposal has loopholes that would give a “free pass” to countries with higher emissions levels than Canada and he’d like to see it reviewed by a third party.
“Venezuelan heavy crude or oil coming from Russia, Nigeria or Angola has a process where they release gas... into the air or they burn it, and that would bring their numbers up,” he said.
“But under this directive, they're treated as if they have much lower emissions than Canada.”
EU ambassador to Canada Matthias Brinkmann said Thursday whatever measures are adopted will be "non-discriminatory and science based and will stand the test at the WTO."
Tour of Europe ending
Rhetoric has recently been heating up around Oliver and the oilsands as he ends a tour through Israel, France, England and Belgium aimed at promoting the Canadian oil and gas industry.
A group of 12 scientists sent him a letter this week saying Canada is delaying the transition to an economy more reliant on alternative energy.
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/05/10/pol-joe-oliver-oilsands-europe-criticism.html
Read this story from Scientific American via Huffington Post on the worrisome state of America's largest and oldest nuclear waste site in southeast Washington State. (May 9, 2013)
The most toxic and voluminous nuclear waste in the U.S.—208 million liters —sits in decaying underground tanks at the Hanford Site (a nuclear reservation) in southeastern Washington State. It accumulated there from the middle of World War II, when the Manhattan Project invented the first nuclear weapon, to 1987, when the last reactor shut down. The federal government’s current attempt at a permanent solution for safely storing that waste for centuries—the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant here—has hit a major snag in the form of potential chain reactions, hydrogen explosions and leaks from metal corrosion. And the revelation last February that six more of the storage tanks are currently leaking has further ramped up the pressure for resolution.
After decades of research, experimentation and political inertia, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) started building the “Vit Plant” at Hanford in 2000. It’s intended to sequester the waste in stainless steel–encased glass logs, a process known as vitrification (hence “Vit”), so it cannot escape into the environment, barring natural disasters like earthquakes or catastrophic fires. But progress on the plant slowed to a crawl last August, when numerous interested parties acknowledged that the plant’s design might present serious safety risks. In response, then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu appointed an expert panel to find a way forward. Because 60 of the 177 underground tanks have already leaked and all are at increasing risk to do so, solving the problem is urgent.
Vitrification prep 101: Some tough homework
The plant’s construction, currently contracted by the DoE to Bechtel National, Inc., may be the most complicated engineering project underway in the U.S. But back in 2000 the DoE and Bechtel decided to save time and money by starting construction before crucial structures and processes had been designed and properly tested at a scale comparable to full operation. This wasn’t such a good idea, says Dirk Dunning, nuclear material specialist with the Oregon Department of Energy. “The worst possible time to save money is at the beginning. You’re better off to be very nearly complete on design before you begin construction.”
The vitrification project calls for the waste to be analyzed chemically and radiologically before it enters a pretreatment facility to be separated into various constituents such as cesium 137, strontium 90 and metals. After that, each separate waste stream is channeled as either high-level or low-activity waste into designated melters. The glass is created by mixing sand with a few additives like boron; the waste is stirred in, and the whole mess is melted, then decanted into the steel canisters. After the glass logs solidify the waste is trapped and should be isolated from the environment for long enough for most of the radioactivity to decay to safe levels.
The low-level waste canisters will be stored permanently at Hanford. Because the planned Yucca Mountain geologic repository project was halted by the Obama administration, the high-level waste canisters will be kept at Hanford in an as-yet unconstructed building. In January the DoE announced it is beginning work on a new “comprehensive management and disposal system” that will make a permanent geologic repository available by 2048. Yet even if all goes perfectly from now on, it will take until 2062 to vitrify all the waste.
The waste presents significant challenges for Vit Plant project engineers and nuclear chemists. For one thing, the waste varies wildly from tank to tank. The former nuclear weapons facility at Savannah River, Ga.—also part of the Manhattan Project—has been successfully vitrifying weapons waste for years, but only one fuel separation process was used there. At Hanford there were nine production reactors making plutonium and uranium fuel using at least six different radiochemical processes whose chemistry, and thus constituents, were very different. This remains true of the waste as well. There are large differences in composition from tank to tank that necessitate chemically profiling the waste in batches before it enters the Vit Plant, which may also require changes to the glass formula at the other end of the process.
Overall, the tanks hold every element in the periodic table, including half a ton of plutonium, various uranium isotopes and at least 44 other radionuclides—containing a total of about 176 million curies of radioactivity. This is almost twice the radioactivity released at Chernobyl, according to Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, by Kate Brown, a history professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The waste is also physically hot as well as laced with numerous toxic and corrosive chemicals and heavy metals that threaten the integrity of the pipes and tanks carrying the waste, risking leakage.
The physical form of the waste causes problems, too. It’s very difficult to get a representative sample from any given tank because the waste has settled into layers, starting with a baked-on “hard heal” at the bottom, a layer of salt cake above that, a layer of gooey sludge, then fluid, and finally gases in the headspace between the fluid and the ceiling. Most of the radioactivity is in the solids and sludge whereas most of the volume is in the liquids and the salt cake.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/hanford-nuclear-cleanup-too-dangerous_n_3246263.html?utm_hp_ref=green
Read this op-ed in the Georgia Straight by Eoin Madden and Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee on the real and proposed transformation of Vancouver and the Salish Sea into a "carbon corridor" for coal and oil to new Asian markets. (May 8, 2013)
The Salish Sea, stretching from Metro Vancouver to the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is one of the world’s most hospitable and bountiful bodies of water. The region’s mild climate and abundant resources make it an ideal place to live, and it has been home to thriving Indigenous nations since time immemorial. For the same reasons, Europeans and others settled here in great numbers, and the Salish Sea is now one of the most densely populated areas in western Canada.
A key strength of the region is the inherent ease of transportation that’s possible given its geographic and maritime position. But as we see unprecedented industrial and political prioritization of fossil fuels above all else here in British Columbia, this status as an ideal transport corridor poses a problem for the Salish Sea.
Vancouver, the region’s largest municipality, has taken effort to brand itself as the world’s “greenest city,” and civic leaders here seem to understand that we can no longer afford to be so reckless when it comes to industrial development and its impacts on the environment. At the same time, there are proposals on the table from industry to dramatically increase exports of both coal and diluted bitumen—two of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels—from the Lower Mainland.
These two objectives are in direct contrast. Vancouver cannot be both a green city and one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporters; it just doesn’t work. If efforts to become sustainable don’t apply to exports, we are simply shipping away our impact on the climate, which isn’t a solution at all.
With regard to coal shipments, proposed port expansions at Fraser Surrey Docks—combined with an approved expansion at the Neptune facilities in North Vancouver and recent upgrades at Delta’s Westshore Terminal—would increase the Salish Sea’s export capacity to the equivalent of around 90 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year. That amount of climate-changing pollution is equal to almost six years’ worth of emissions from every vehicle on the road in B.C.
The Salish Sea is also facing a massive increase in tar sands exports. Texas-based corporation Kinder Morgan plans to build a new pipeline alongside its existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which terminates in Burnaby. The proposed increase from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day means a jump from around 80 to over 400 tankers full of dangerous tar sands bitumen per year in the Salish Sea—a further 100 million tonnes of carbon exports.
So what does this mean?
Well, if all current proposals go ahead (coal port expansions and the Kinder Morgan pipeline), the Salish Sea will be transformed into a global carbon corridor. Green initiatives undertaken at the municipal or regional level will essentially be nullified by the fact that they all exist within a climate change superhighway.
We believe many people who live here want to find innovative solutions and more sustainable ways to operate our economies. If we become a carbon corridor, we’ll be clinging to an archaic and destructive system, and contributing to the climate crisis like never before.
Fossil fuel apologists tirelessly push the “if they don’t get oil/coal from us, they’ll get it somewhere else” argument. This thinking is worn out, uncreative, and cowardly. North America holds major fossil fuel reserves—leaving them in the ground is simply better for our future.
Increasing carbon export capacity is about more than just expanding trade opportunities, it’s a major long-term investment in an unsustainable and harmful system, one that will compromise the health of our communities and our global climate.
Instead of subsidizing the fossil fuel sector (currently $1.4 billion per year in federal subsidies), we should be supporting jobs in sustainable sectors, including increased processing in our timber, agriculture, and fishing industries.
Additionally, directing revenue from a smarter, more efficient carbon tax towards green initiatives like the expansion of electrified public transit and freight transport, as well as the construction of energy efficient buildings, will help speed up the transition to a green economy.
Read more: http://www.straight.com/news/379386/eoin-madden-and-torrance-coste-salish-sea-risk-becoming-global-carbon-corridor
Watch this report by Global TV's Jas Johal, digging deeper into Premier Christy Clark's controversial Liquefied Natural Gas scheme. (May 1, 2013)
Read this story from The Vancouver Sun on the ongoing political reverberations of NDP Leader Adrian Dix's unexpected stand against Kinder Morgan's plans to turn Vancouver into a major Tar Sands shipping port. (May 5, 2013)
VANCOUVER - Controversy surrounding increased oil tanker traffic British Columbia's coastal waters is an issue that isn't going away with just over a week to go in the provincial election campaign.
NDP leader Adrian Dix called on Premier Christy Clark to clarify her position on proposed projects that would see more tankers transporting heavy oil to Asia.
Clark's position on the proposed Kinder Morgan and Enbridge pipeline projects has been unclear thus far, Dix said at a Saturday morning rally on Vancouver's Kitsilano Beach.
He said he wants Clark to outline her Liberal party's position before voters go to the polls on May 14.
“The Premier’s position on both these pipelines appears to be ‘trust me.’ But if the price from Ottawa or Alberta is right, she’s prepared to support a massive increase in tankers and the environmental risks that they pose," Dix said.
He added B.C. has an obligation to protect its coastline from projects that would radically transform the northern and southern coasts into major shipping routes for tankers transporting bitumen to markets abroad.
"The stakes in this election could not be higher," Dix said to dozens of NDP supporters, media and a few Green Party candidates.
"Looking out at English Bay, looking out at Stanley Park ... for those of us who grew up in Vancouver, is part of what makes our community special and what brings people from all over the world to this place."
The feeling, Dix said, is similar for First Nations communities that sustain their livelihoods with fishing along the province's northern coastal waters.
"That's their economy too," Dix said to applause. "They understand that projects such as Enbridge Northern Gateway are not in our economic, our cultural, or our environmental interests."
Clark took the day off from the campaign trail on Saturday to attend a little league baseball event in her home riding.
Liberal Environment Minister Terry Lake issued a statement on behalf of the party, saying it's Dix's platform that needs clarification.
The New Democrat changed his stance on the proposed Kinder Morgan project midway through the election campaign, Lake stated in a news release.
“Adrian Dix continues to be all over the map on the issue of heavy oil pipelines in British Columbia – his position is clear as mud,” Lake said.
If it's successful, the Kinder Morgan proposal would see expansion of the company's existing trans-mountain pipeline that delivers oil from Alberta to the Port of Vancouver.
Initially Dix said he would wait for Kinder Morgan to file its application before committing himself for or against the project, but then stated his outright opposition to the project and the increased tanker traffic it would bring.
At Saturday's rally, the NDP leader reiterated his stance that pipeline decisions should be made provincially, rather than at a federal level.
“A B.C. NDP government would protect our coast line and make sure decisions that impact B.C. are made right here and not in Ottawa,” Dix said.
He added his government would cancel an existing Equivalency Agreement with the federal Conservatives within a week of taking office, if the NDP is elected in ten days.
Read this story from The Globe and Mail on the staggering level of regulatory non-compliance amongst small private power operators in BC. (May 2, 2013)
Internal government documents show a startling number of compliance issues with British Columbia’s independent power producers and say the province does not have the staff to monitor the projects.
A memo circulated within the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations ministry says 90 per cent of projects as of September 2011 had incidents and non-compliance with environmental requirements.
“The frequency of ‘incidents’ and (minor or otherwise) ’non-compliance’ is high,” said the memo, obtained by the Wilderness Committee using freedom of information laws.
Of the dozens of independent power projects that had been built at the time, 45 per cent had permit or legislative non-compliance, said the email memo, written by the section head of water allocation for the ministry’s South Coast region.
Others had incidents that occurred during construction or during commissioning and operations, ranging in severity from potentially stranding fish during water diversion to failing to leave behind enough water in diverted rivers and streams.
“We have not had sufficient staff resources to monitor permit condition compliance,” said the memo.
That meant the department had not been reviewing weekly environmental-monitoring reports submitted by the project proponents who were required to self-report incidents, he said.
Nor had they been reviewing annual environmental-monitoring reports. Rather, they were limited by staffing to the final five-year summary reports, which consistently deviated from approved monitoring programs, said the memo.
It was a “critical issue,” the memo said.
As of the beginning of April, BC Hydro had 55 electricity-purchase agreements with independent hydro power producers and 35 agreements for hydro projects in development.
Vivian Thomas, spokeswoman for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, said all of the recommendations in the memo have been or are being acted upon.
The province, Clean Energy BC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are working on updating guidelines for ramping rates — the rate of discharge from a dam — and the province has developed a document that sets out guidelines on a number of issues, she said.
The province has an active monitoring and inspection program, Thomas said, and requires companies to submit complete information before issuing a water licence.
“The vast majority of compliance issues referenced were administrative in nature, i.e. late submissions of required monitoring reports,” Thomas said in an email response to questions.
Compliance information for last year was not available, but Thomas said the ministry is developing a database and tracking tools.
“Post-licence monitoring is an identified priority of the province, and resources are allocated accordingly,” she said.
The internal documents detail fish kills and enforcement recommendations at several of the hydro power projects, including Lower Mamquam and Ashlu projects near Squamish, and the Upper Clowhom and Lower Clowhom projects near Sechelt.
Gwen Barlee of the Wilderness Committee said the situation could only have grown worse in the past 18 months, with cuts to the federal Fisheries Department and legislative changes that have eased environmental oversight federally.
“You’re seeing an industry that’s largely not playing by the book,” Barlee said.
Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-power-producers-have-high-number-of-compliance-issues/article11691031/
Read this story from The Hill on the US Environmental Protection Agency's damning new review of the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska. (April 26, 2013)
A proposed mine near Alaska’s coast that’s garnered Capitol Hill attention would harm a habitat that houses nearly half the world’s sockeye salmon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Friday.
The EPA’s revised draft assessment of the Pebble Mine project’s potential impact on the aquatic ecosystem in Bristol Bay, Alaska determined the mine would destroy 90 miles of streams and up to 4,800 acres of wetland salmon habitat.
“Indirect effects of stream and wetland losses would include reductions in the quality of downstream habitat for coho salmon, sockeye salmon, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden trout. These indirect effects cannot be quantified, but likely would diminish fish production downstream of the mine site,” the EPA said in its summary of the report.
If it gets developed, the southwestern Alaska copper and gold mine would be one of the world's largest. The mine is controversial in both in Washington, D.C., and Alaska, where it pits supporters of the state’s vast mineral resources against conservationists and an established commercial fishing industry.
The draft assessment now enters a public comment period that ends May 31. The EPA will review those comments before it finalizes the study, which will be used to inform the agency on whether to issue a permit needed to construct the mine.
The EPA's findings are a blow to industry groups and Republicans that have chastised the agency's process regarding that permit.
Republicans — including Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) — and industry groups have said the EPA is overstepping its authority by conducting environmental reviews before mine builders Anglo American and Northern Dynasty have submitted a formal blueprint.
The builders, who teamed up as the Pebble Partnership, said Friday that EPA "has not changed its deeply flawed approach" for the review.
Read this story from the Canadian Press on Monday's televised leaders' debate in the lead-up to BC's May 14 provincial election. The NDP's confusing position on fracking featured prominently. (April 29, 2013)
Green Party Leader Jane Sterk quizzed both Clark and NDP Leader Adrian Dix on their environmental policies and Conservative Leader John Cummins trolled for votes by pointing out the Liberals weren’t likely to win the election so casting a vote in his direction would send a message.
But the most hard-fought exchanges were between Clark and Dix, as they traded barbs over whose economic platforms were likely to leave the province in better shape.
The HST “damaged every business on the way in and on the way out,” Dix charged, throwing out early the issue that did more than any other to damage Liberal fortunes in the province and prompted former premier Gordon Campbell to resign.
Clark responded that she had kept a commitment to give British Columbians a say in the matter and instead tried to focus the discussion on what the Liberals regard as an NDP platform that does nothing to create jobs.
The NDP has made skills training a focus of its platform, saying the Liberals have cut money for those programs.
“Instead of investing in skills training, the government has cut skills training,” Dix said.
Retorted Clark: “In your plan, Mr. Dix, you’re talking about training people and giving them the education they need to go find jobs in Alberta.”
As the midway point of the election campaign dawns Tuesday, the television debate raised the stakes.
In the lead-up to the television appearance, the Liberals attempted to pin Dix on his party’s stance on natural gas fracking, noting that while Dix has promised to allow fracking to continue while a review takes place, one of his candidates has instead promised a two-year moratorium.
Such a moratorium, the Liberals say, would dash the province’s hopes of the jobs and economic growth that would come with a head start in the worldwide race to develop liquefied natural gas.
The NDP, in turn, seized on a comment made by Clark last week during an all-leaders’ radio debate, when she was asked why her government cancelled funding to an arms-length body that conducted evaluations of drugs for PharmaCare.
Dix’s news conference on the Therapeutics Initiative was overshadowed by comments made by Charlie Wyse, the NDP candidate in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, who said his party wants a moratorium on fracking.
“The position of the NDP is that there will be a moratorium put on fracking for the next two years while the science will be brought together to find out the effect, if anything, that fracking has on the water table,” Wyse said during an all-candidates’ meeting Friday. A recording of his comments was provided by the Liberals.
Dix said simply Wyse misspoke.
“We don’t support a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. We do support a review,” Dix said.
“We are concerned around issues of water use and we will conduct (such a review) should we be elected based on the science. That’s been there for a number of years. There won’t be any moratorium. We’ll be awaiting the results of that review.”
The Liberals have repeatedly pointed out what they say are discrepancies between the NDP’s official platform, as outlined by Dix, and what some of his candidates have said in the past.
They point to George Heyman, the former executive director of Sierra Club B.C., who was opposed to fracking and is now the NDP candidate in Vancouver-Fairview. Heyman has said he now adopts the NDP position.
NDP energy critic John Horgan said earlier in the campaign that though a moratorium is not what the NDP is pursuing, “you don’t put in place a review if you’ve predetermined the outcome,” and he noted he has not seen any evidence to suggest a moratorium is necessary.
Gary Mason of The Globe and Mail's take on BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix's surprise opposition to the Kinder Morgan's plans to turn Vancouver into a major Tar Sands shipping port. (April 26, 2013)
We may never know what inspired NDP Leader Adrian Dix to breathe life into a moribund B.C. Liberal election campaign by reversing his position on the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. But it is clear from the first leaders debate Friday that the issue has become a political millstone for the New Democrats.
It has dominated the campaign since Mr. Dix stunned many on Earth Day by declaring his opposition to Kinder Morgan’s plans. This, after saying as recently as two weeks earlier that as a “matter of principle” he wouldn’t prejudge the project before the company had a chance to submit its complete proposal to the National Energy Board later this year.
The NDP Leader has maintained that his thinking on the matter evolved over time. He has said the tipping point was when he learned that Kinder Morgan was planning to increase the amount of oil it was going to move through the new pipeline. At his Earth Day announcement, Mr. Dix said he did not believe that Vancouver should become a major oil-exporting port, something he says would happen if the pipeline expansion went ahead. The number of big oil tankers entering the port would increase several fold, he has maintained, increasing the likelihood of a spill.
Not surprisingly, the subject was highlighted in the first half hour of the leaders debate on the Bill Good radio show on CKNW. Liberal Leader Christy Clark used her opponent’s about-face to expose him as a flip-flopper. She criticized him for taking a position ahead of an environmental review process. After previously coming out against the Northern Gateway pipeline, Mr. Dix is being accused of being anti-business and anti-development, labels he has been fighting hard to shake off.
Ms. Clark is also now suggesting that Mr. Dix arrived at his position in January and “kept it concealed,” until the election campaign. “It makes you wonder what else Mr. Dix is concealing,” Ms. Clark said on the radio. Being in the desperate position that she is – 14 points behind in the polls with just two weeks left in the campaign – Ms. Clark is now trying to cast the NDP Leader’s announcement in a more sinister light.
On this point, the Liberal Leader is completely wrong.
Ms. Clark is basing her “secret agenda” line of attack on a recent story by Globe and Mail reporter Justine Hunter. Based on an interview with Mr. Dix, her piece said the NDP Leader made up his mind to oppose the project after Kinder Morgan “signalled its expanded ambitions for the project in January.” Ms. Clark is suggesting that implies January is when Mr. Dix made his decision when, in fact, it only suggests he made up his mind “some time after” the beginning of the year.
Despite Ms. Hunter’s best efforts during the interview, Mr. Dix steadfastly refused to say when, exactly, he did decide to change his position. That leaves us to guess as to his motive and one of the best deductions making the rounds is that the NDP saw recent polling numbers that suggested the party was vulnerable in a number of key ridings because of the Green Party – something the New Democrats felt they could undercut by taking a position against Kinder Morgan.
But while it may have helped fend off the Greens, the NDP’s new policy has almost certainly helped Ms. Clark and the Liberals.
Whether you agree with Mr. Dix’s stand or not, declaring a project dead ahead of an environmental review process is not very statesmanlike. It looks amateurish, especially against the backdrop of a previously held – and much-ballyhooed – matter of principle position.
It allows the Liberals to cast the New Democrats as anti-development. It allows the Liberals to ask in the heat of an election campaign: How does an NDP government intend to pay for all its campaign promises if it is going to oppose every development project that environmental groups do not like? Has Mr. Dix forgotten about the tens of thousands of jobs the resource sector creates in B.C.? Does he not believe in due process?
Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/adrian-dixs-opposition-to-kinder-morgan-and-the-liberals-hopes/article11584071/
Read this story from the Kamloops Daily News on the upcoming screening of the new documentary film Salmon Confidential, which screens Tuesday evening in that community. (April 25, 2013)
When biologist Alexandra Morton discovered B.C.'s wild salmon were testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses she set off a chain of events she alleges led to a government coverup.
The documentary that filmmaker Twyla Roscovich made about Morton's investigation is a detective story with an important environmental message, Morton said Wednesday.
"There's a lot of surprise that the government is treating wild salmon this way," she said. "Audiences are going to see a coverup and they are going to see a detective story."
Salmon Confidential screens Tuesday in the Alumni Theatre at Thompson Rivers University at 7 p.m. Roscovich will be in attendance.
Morton was a participant in the Cohen Commission, a three-year, $26-million inquiry into the collapse of the Fraser River sockeye salmon run.
She said bureaucrats with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and key scientists withheld crucial documents from the commission. Outraged, she contacted Roscovich and asked her to make the film.
"I was concerned that all the testimony and all that we learned would be lost to the public," she said.
Salmon Confidential shows rare footage from the commission and follows Morton as she travels from the courtroom to some of the province's most remote rivers, the grocery store and even sushi restaurants.
She discovered farmed salmon in B.C. have fallen victim to three European viruses — Infectious Salmon Anemia, Piscine Reovirus and Salmon Alpha Virus. Morton even taught herself how to test for these viruses.
When the fisheries industry wouldn't let her test farmed fish, Morton went to the supermarket and tested the salmon on ice there. She said fish sold in the grocery store have all three European viruses.
"All three of these are causing lawsuits in the Norwegian salmon farming industry and nobody knows what they are going to do to wild Pacific salmon in British Columbia," she said.
The federal government suppressed a paper revealing Infectious Salmon Anemia was found in 100 per cent of the sockeye stocks in Cultus Lake, claimed Morton.
Morton has been to more than 25 showings of Salmon Confidential and people are consistently shocked. She said the documentary has its lighter moments, but it's serious stuff.
Read more: http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20130425/KAMLOOPS0101/130429918/-1/kamloops01/documentary-explores-plight-of-farmed-salmon
Read this story from Jeff Nagel at the Surrey Leader on a possible re-routing of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion to the Lower Mainland that could satisfy the NDP's recently-stated concerns about turning Vancouver into a major oil port. (April 24, 2013 - updated April 26)
Imagine a twinned Kinder Morgan pipeline that sends oil sands crude not to its current Burnaby export terminal but to one in northwestern Washington instead.
It would still mean hundreds more tankers carrying much more crude oil through the Gulf Islands, past Victoria and up the west side of Vancouver Island.
But NDP leader Adrian Dix would have kept his Earth Day election promise not to transform Vancouver harbour into "a major oil port."
NDP energy critic John Horgan did not rule out that scenario in a Black Press interview Wednesday, going so far as to say he met Kinder Morgan officials the previous day and anticipates their proposal could evolve ahead of a formal application later this year to the National Energy Board.
"It wouldn't be a challenge in Burrard Inlet any longer," Horgan said, when asked if oil flowing to a different terminal would still be problematic for the NDP.
"There are a number of options they may pursue," Horgan said, adding he can't pre-judge them because the company has not yet made them public.
"I'll leave it to them to put forward the options they consider viable," he said. "The current proposal is a massive expansion of export capacity in Burrard Inlet. So I'm hopeful Kinder Morgan will review our leader's position and act accordingly."
Kinder Morgan officials didn't comment on the idea of a new terminal this week.
A statement posted online in February says the company has considered terminal alternatives but has yet to find an option compelling enough to deviate from the existing corridor.
Horgan was also asked if a less sensitive terminal might be Deltaport or even Fraser Surrey Docks, which could accept larger ships if the Massey Tunnel is replaced with a bridge.
"Deltaport would be a more likely scenario [than Fraser Surrey Docks for Kinder Morgan to propose]. But again those are options for the proponent."
He cautioned any twinning of the pipeline would be "transformative change" that would present "a challenge and a problem for us" but that it would be up to Kinder Morgan to bring back proposals that are defensible and in the public interest.
The Trans Mountain pipeline forks at Abbotsford, with a spur running south to Cherry Point refineries in northwest Washington, where tankers already bring oil from Alaska.
Running the new pipeline south at Sumas to a new export port in Washington would bypass the most heavily populated parts of the Lower Mainland that pose major construction challenges.
Asked if the risks of an oil spill on land along the pipeline route is a concern, Horgan said Trans Mountain has an existing right-of-way that's "been there for 50 years with more or less unblemlished activity."
As for more tankers passing Vancouver Island, the MLA for Juan de Fuca noted several hundred tankers a year already sail through U.S. waters bringing Alaskan crude to Washington refineries.
"Tankers are going past my constituency right now to Cherry Point," he said.
An NDP-approved Kinder Morgan twinning would avoid at least one oil pipeline confrontation with Ottawa and could see the province rake in more royalties.
B.C. Green Party Leader Jane Sterk accused the NDP of trying to "have their cake and eat it too" by appealing to urban environmentalists while leaving the door open to a twinned Trans Mountain pipeline with a different backdoor outlet.
"Our voters and the voters of the NDP who care about the environment and have an understanding of climate change would say that's a betrayal," Sterk said.
Anti-oil sands campaigner Ben West said a twinning with a new terminal would still endanger the coastal environment and the atmosphere.
"Tankers moving through the Salish Sea means risk for the Salish Sea, whether you put a terminal at Point A or Point B."
While the Greens oppose both Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipeline projects, the NDP would subject Kinder Morgan to a made-in-B.C. environmental review, rather than delegating the decision to Ottawa.
Read more, listen to John Horgan interview: http://www.surreyleader.com/news/204581501.html
Read this story by veteran political commentator Mel Rothenburger on Rafe Mair's recent presentation in Kamloops and the various political and energy issues raised therein. (April 25, 2013)
It’s hard to know whether to be more afraid of what the politicians are telling us, or what Rafe Mair is telling us about the politicians. Rafe was in town the other night and he hasn’t lost a step since he was the Socred MLA for Kamloops and a cabinet minister back in the days of Bill Bennett.
He and documentary filmmaker Damien Gillis were here to ring mostly non-partisan alarm bells about the environment and the myths of political bookkeeping. Gillis gave a good talk but Rafe was the highlight, delivering an old-time tub thumper to the Council of Canadians crowd.
He railed against pipelines, fish farms, fracking and the “sham” of balanced budgets. “We’re not talking risky here,” he said of oil spills. “We’re talking certainties.” And “They’ll never give us enough to make up for what they take.” And, “People just simply won’t believe what’s going on.”
None of this cheered me up a week and a half into a campaign that has mostly featured Christy Clark and Adrian Dix in a bizarre standoff over money.
Clark, whose party has bloated B.C.’s debt by billions of dollars, warns us about the perils of debt and sings the praises of LNG while Dix makes more promises than a leopard has spots and suddenly becomes a Kinder Morgan skeptic.
It’s a campaign that has moved from the confusing to the picayune, the banal and the irrelevant. For instance, there’s the question of who can get more people to a rally. After 350 showed up for a clambake in Surrey featuring Dix and federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Terry Lake and Todd Stone tweeted a chorused pshaw. “Are you kidding me? 350 people for @adriandix and Tom Mulcair in Surry (sic)?” it read. “We had more for @christyclark in #kamloops.”
Well, no, actually, I estimated 250 to 300 for Clark’s appearance at the ISC but does anyone other than Lake and Stone really care?
Even more important, at least in the opinion of the Liberals and NDP, is whose signs include the name of the party leader and whose don’t. At this writing, the Conservatives have no signs at all, and the Greens have everybody beat — they don’t even have candidates here.
Read more: http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20130425/KAMLOOPS0304/130429925/-1/kamloops0304/rothenburger-politics-of-the-picayune-take-over
Read this follow-up from the Globe and Mail's Justine Hunter to the news she broke on Monday of NDP leader Adrian Dix's surprise opposition to turning Vancouver into a major oil port. (April 23, 2013)
Adrian Dix says he made up his mind to oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal after the company signalled its expanded ambitions for the project in January. But until the moment that he stepped up to the podium at a carefully staged policy announcement on the banks of the North Thompson River on Monday, the BC NDP Leader publicly maintained his party would take no position until the proponents submit their formal application to the national review panel.
“I thought Earth Day was a good day to say clearly what I thought – we have no intention of seeing Metro Vancouver become a major oil tanker centre,” Mr. Dix said in an interview Tuesday.
Mr. Dix said he wasn’t rushed into the decision: “It’s been an important question for some time, there wasn’t any particular pressure other than the importance of the issue,” he said. “I reflected on it for a long time.”
But while he publicly sat on the fence, pressure was growing both inside and outside the party.
It was the first notable recalculation on Mr. Dix’s part in this campaign. It reflects what his candidates have been hearing on the doorsteps, as well as a potential clash among those who are expected to be a part of the next NDP caucus.
The New Democrats still bear the scars of past internal battles when resource development collided with environmental values: Names such as Six Mile Ranch, Carmanah and Clayoquot Sound resonate for those who recall the caucus and party divided.
Party insiders say the evolution of the Earth Day announcement speaks to the strong opposition to the oil pipeline proposal in vote-rich Metro Vancouver. Environmentalists were cranking up the heat, which could end up pushing voters towards the B.C. Green Party at the polls. The non-position on the politically explosive Kinder Morgan pipeline was simply not sustainable in a party that has a strong environmental wing.
That’s the external pressure. Internally, not taking a position on Kinder Morgan was also increasingly difficult to sustain. If Mr. Dix emerges as the victor on May 14, the decision on how to handle the pipeline question could easily have become Mr. Dix’s first caucus challenge.
Pollster Mario Canseco of Angus Reid Public Opinion said the shift reflects a concern about the Green vote. “If it is born out of a political calculation, that was the one,” he said. “This is a way to reconnect with the environmentally friendly base, including those who are flirting with the Greens.”
It took little time for leading environmentalists to cheer the NDP move – it was a signal they had been waiting for, a key factor deciding whether they would help the party in this election or hinder it as they did in 2009 over the carbon tax.
Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/dix-defuses-kinder-morgan-pipeline-debate/article11515409/
Read this story from The Kamloops Daily News on Rafe Mair and Damien Gillis' recent presentation in the community, titled "WATER + POWER: The Future of BC's Energy, Environment and Democracy." The event drew a crowd of a hundred to the Desert Garden Seniors' Centre Tuesday night. (April 24, 2013)
B.C. isn't confronted with just two pipeline proposals but a matrix of energy-related developments crisscrossing the province and amounting to an unprecedented drain on finite water resources, Rafe Mair and Damien Gillis told a gathering on Tuesday night.
That means voters need to familiarize themselves with B.C.'s position in what they referred to as the "carbon corridor" vision for Western Canada.
"I think we're literally at a watershed point in our province," Mair said, adding that the course of events in recent years has changed his views. The former Kamloops lawyer, MLA, author and radio commentator has been collaborating with Gillis, a documentary filmmaker.
They maintain an online environmental journal called The Common Sense Canadian, based on their belief that mainstream media are not telling the full story of B.C.'s systematic environmental degradation.
And they've hit the campaign trail to spread their message to Interior residents in the run-up to May 14.
"I'm not here shilling for any political party," Mair said. "I'm campaigning because I'm an old man and I think we're literally at a watershed point in our province."
With this election, voters have a last chance to alter the course of the province's energy developments — including pipelines, the proposed Site C dam and independent power projects — to ensure that economics don't undermine the essential quality of life, he said.
Gillis said there has been little mention of the full costs of the vision for liquefied natural gas development in B.C.'s northeastern corner, touted as a long-term solution to provincial debt.
"We believe there are a lot of holes in this theory and also a lot of tradeoffs," said Gillis, whose family farmed in the Peace for a century before it was flooded in 1966. "It's going to be a boondoggle. It's going to be highly subsidized and it's not going to work."
Hydraulic fracturing used to extract the gas poses environmental risks, uses vast amounts of water and is energy-intensive on its own, he said. He showed clips from Fractured Land, a film he's producing on the issue, suggesting strong community resistance to the energy agenda.
Read more: http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20130424/KAMLOOPS0101/130429938/-1/kamloops/power-projects-said-to-undermine-future
Read this story from the Terrace Standard on BC Conservative Party candidate Mike Brousseau's opposition to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, running counter to his party's official position. Brousseau's riding encompasses much of the proposed pipeline route and the would-be tanker terminal in Kitimat. (April 24, 2013)
ENBRIDGE shouldn’t be allowed to build its Northern Gateway oil pipeline from Alberta to a planned marine export terminal at Kitimat, says Skeena BC Conservative candidate Mike Brousseau.
“Integrity for me with Gateway just doesn’t add up,” said Brousseau of the $5.5 billion project now in the final stages of a federal environmental review.
Brousseau, who was born in Michigan, still has relatives living in the Kalamazoo area where an Enbridge pipeline broke in 2010.
Company officials weren’t aware of the leak for hours, resulting in significant spillage into the Kalamazoo River.
“There’s been a cover-up,” said Brousseau of work done there to clean up the spill.
“Do you think I want that happening here? No way, Jose.”
Brousseau termed Enbridge a “globalist” company concerned only with profits and not communities or the environment.
“It doesn’t work top down. It needs to work bottom up,” said Brousseau of how decisions should be made and how companies should do business.
“From the top down, people are oppressed. People aren’t represented at a global level.”
And although Brousseau’s position is opposite to that of the BC Conservative party, which is in support of Northern Gateway, that’s fine by him.
“I can go against the party if I wish,” says Brousseau. “He supports me in doing that,” Brousseau added of party leader John Cummins.
“This is not a party like the NDP or the Liberals with a whip system,” Brousseau said of the term used in politics whereby party discipline is enforced.
“I get my advice from the people. I am the people’s candidate.”
Brousseau said his position might change, as long as people also approved, of a pipeline construction plan that included the highest level of environmental protection and monitoring.
Read more: http://www.terracestandard.com/news/203931411.html
Read this breaking story from Justine Hunter at The Globe and Mail on BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix's stand against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion to Vancouver. (April 22, 2013)
The B.C. NDP has taken a stand against the proposed Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion, saying an NDP government would throw up a roadblock to both of the plans to get Alberta oil to the coast for export.
“They are talking about an increase of five- or six-fold [in capacity] and I think that transforms Vancouver into a major oil export port,” Mr. Dix told reporters at a news conference held on the banks of the Thompson River in Kamloops – one of the junctions for the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline.
“I don’t think people in Vancouver see that as the right way to go, and I don’t think that’s the right way to go.”
Mr. Dix has already come out in opposition to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline but until now, his party has been quiet on the Kinder Morgan proposal to twin an existing pipeline.
He has said an NDP government would pull out of a pact with Ottawa that cedes the environmental approval process to the federal government. Pipeline proponents would then be allowed to apply under a provincial review process.
But he told reporters the Kinder Morgan proposal has expanded in capacity and he would not support the increased oil tanker traffic that would be needed to carry that oil to Asian markets.
Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/dix-declares-opposition-to-kinder-morgan-pipeline-expansion/article11464371/