The Globurban Blog

Our Petro State Enthralled

Canada’s mainstream politicians are selling us an economic tale of building fossil fuel infrastructure, expanding global markets for our unprocessed resources, growing the economy, and jobs, jobs, jobs.

This vision of the future is being imposed on us by governments using the rationale of national interest, providing the justification within Canada’s legal framework to take measures to prevent opponents from disrupting this imagined energy future by defining them as threats to future national security. 

All this nationalistic political fervor seems a little odd since in October 2015 Justin Trudeau told New York Times Magazine that Canada could be the “first post-national state”

But maybe that’s just normalized conflicted thinking for someone who buys a bitumen pipeline and justifies it by saying “In order to be able to protect our environment, we need to be able to have a strong and growing economy”.

Justin Trudeau

Are We Protecting Our Environment?

One approved infrastructure project has been in the news lately. The natural gas pipeline that is being built to Kitimat recently got the attention of militarized RCMP. On January 7, 2019 armed intervention & arrests were made to enforce an injunction brought on by Trans Canada Pipelines (based in Calgary) against First Nation residents blocking a bridge on their unceded traditional lands.

Some of the police were dressed in tactical gear with rifles. (Chantelle Bellrichard-twitter)

The natural gas in question is to be extracted from the Dawson Creek area (NE British Columbia) by way of fracking. It’s a controversial technique since it uses, and permanently contaminates, massive quantities of ground water, requires access roads & concrete pads throughout the natural forest environment, leaks methane to the atmosphere, and increases the frequency of earthquakes.

Coastal GasLink by Trans Canada Pipelines

The gas will then to be transported by Trans Canada Pipelines (Coastal GasLink) to Kitimat, BC through the approved, but yet to be constructed, pipeline. At Kitimat, the gas will be liquefied, loaded onto tankers, and shipped to foreign customers. 

Are We Growing The Economy?

The infrastructure in Kitimat is owned by ‘LNG CANADA’ and despite its name, this corporate entity has no actual Canadian content. LNG CANADA is an opportunistic agglomeration of:

  1. SHELL – The parent company of the Shell group is Royal Dutch Shell which is incorporated in England and Wales.
  2. PETRONAS – Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational which is one of the largest natural gas reserve owners in Canada
  3. PETROCHINA – The state-owned enterprise China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is the sole sponsor and controlling shareholder of PetroChina.
  4. MITSUBISHI – A well known large multifaceted Japanese international corporation.
  5. KOREA GAS CORPORATION (KOGAS) – A South Korean public natural gas company that was established by the Korean government in 1983.

Even the prefabricated LNG facilities will be built in China or Korea and only assembled in Canada. Nevertheless Justin Trudeau rolls out his nationalistic talking points saying that this project “is going to produce Canadian LNG” .

Our governments are apparently blind to any future for Canada beyond it’s submissive status as a corporate petro-state that fuels offshore profits at the expense of the environment both at home and globally.


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