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Stephen Harper’s fate is in the pipeline

Source: iPolitics

Moudakis August 10 2012While 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.

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TransCanada has a ‘culture of non-compliance’: engineer to Senate committee

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.

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Canada’s “Sewer Salesman” Joe Oliver Heads to Europe

Source: Oil Change International

Joe Oliver, Canada's Conservative Natural Resources Minister. (Rocco Rossi/Wikipedia)

Joe Oliver, Canada’s Conservative Natural Resources Minister. (Rocco Rossi/Wikipedia)

One of Canada’s most senior politicians is back in Europe on yet another lobby tour to try and bully politicians there to ditch their landmark climate legislation as it discriminates against the dirty tar sands.

Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, will tour Paris, Brussels and London this week.

A key focus of his tour will be the EU’s flagship Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), which the Canadians  have been trying to derail for several years now, using a mix of lobbying, bullying, and open trade threats.

The Canadians have forced the FQD to be delayed time and again, and if the legislation gets delayed beyond the end of this year, it may be abandoned all together. It is no surprise that when in Brussels, Oliver will meet with senior officials from the European Commission as well at bosses from oil giants Shell and Total, which have interests in the tar sands.

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