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While the Senate seizes the spotlight in Ottawa, another threat to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s agenda is unfolding in capitals on opposite coasts. In both Victoria and Washington D.C., governments are weighing in on the future of oil pipelines which hold the key to Western Canada’s economic and political destiny — and that of the federal Conservative party.
The two fronts are related, as the inability to control one could jeopardize the achievement of the other by torpedoing the Conservatives’ ambitions to displace the center of political power in Canada.
Source: The Hook
Evan Vokes, a pipeline safety whistleblower and materials engineer, told a Canadian Senate committee yesterday that TransCanada Corporation “has a culture of non-compliance,” but the company says it takes “great exception” to Vokes’ claims that it does not take safety and compliance issues seriously.
Calgary-based TransCanada is the proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline to ferry raw bitumen to the Gulf of Mexico.
The multi-billion dollar pipeline would accelerate tar sands production, which on a per barrel basis creates three to four times more climate-changing emissions than conventional oil.
Vokes, an expert on pipeline welding practices, worked for TransCanada for five years and was fired without cause in 2012 after persistently raising concerns about the company’s safety practices.