Thursday, January 12, 2012

BCLSB Exclusive: Intervenor Confusion At Northern Gateway Pipeline Hearings? Not As Much As Reported!

Yesterday Licia Corbella reported that she had found two people on the 4,000 plus list of folks wanting to present orally to the Northern Gateway pipeline hearings who, when contacted, claimed to have never heard of the project.  She used this fact to cast doubt on the whole hearing process:

Clearly, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency have not done a very good job of ensuring the legitimacy of the process. As for the people or the groups who are fraudulently signing up foreigners in this process, they do nothing but hurt their own cause.

However, I was able to contact Elano Ferraz, one of the people mentioned in the Corbella story, and it turns out he did sign up to speak.  I reproduce his email to me below:

Dear BigCity Lib,

When a reporter from the Calgary Herald sent me an e-mail Tuesday night, asking about the Northern Gateway pipeline, I really didn’t remember anything about that. The reporter didn’t say anything about the spirit bear, so I didn’t related the Northern Gateway pipeline with the bear protection.

But yesterday, when I read the article that the Calgary Herald published in its website, I saw some parts of my speech in there. And I saw that article mentioned Simon Jackson and the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. So I reminded that I really had signed the petition and signed up to speak to the environmental assessment.

It was a misunderstanding and I’m so sorry for that.

Simon Jackson is my friend and Rede PECA de Proteção Ambiental and the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition have a great partnership. He helps me engaging youth for PECA in Canada and

I help the Spirit Bear in Brazil.

The Spirit Bear Youth Coalition didn’t use my personal informations. I wrote them in a
website for signing up to speak to the environmental assessment some months ago.

Simon created the SBYC when he was 13. I founded PECA when I was 13 too (today I’m 17), and he is always giving me some advices about how to administer an organization. And believe me, it worked: today PECA has 09 offices in Brazil, 01 in Canada and another one in the United States. We are formed by young people who want to make a difference and promote sustainable development.

I can say that I am against any kind of environmental impact on the habitat of the Kermode Bear. If the Northern Gateway pipeline is causing environmental damage in the bear habitat, then its route should be changed.

I am not against building the pipeline, since it is made in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

P.S.: This text may contain a few grammatical errors.

Thanks and I’m so sorry for my mistake,

Best Wishes,

Elano Ferraz
Founder and Chairman
Rede PECA de Proteção Ambiental – Brasil, Canada, USA
In addition, Elano has told me in a second email that he will still try to get up here from Brazil to make his presentation.  I am also trying to contact Ines Gudic, the other person mentioned by Corbella.


Holly Stick said...

Gosh, BCL, getting the facts like that, you'd think you were a real journalist like Corbella... oops, strike that.

Of course the other possible explanation was a repeat of certain events to do with an Avaaz petition:

bigcitylib said...

I thought that too for a bit. But there's actually alot of contact information in those at NEB files that wouuld be hard for anyone to fake.

Jim Parrett said...

Fantastic work, BCL. You and Alison are blazing away on this Northern Gateway business. How long before Postmedia corrects its error? Or, will it?

Holly Stick said...

Maybe the main problem is that Corbella is ignorant of the danger posed by the pipeline to the Spirit Bears? I don't know much about that myself though I can use google, unlike her.

I've certainly seen various ignorant comments by people who have no idea of what environments the pipeline is going to go through and what effects it will probably have when it is built and when it spills.

bigcitylib said...

Holly, I think its mostly about stuff that got lost in translation, after having talked to the folks at the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. They have supporters in South America, Ferraz being one, but don't have the money to translate their stuff into all the relevant languages. So I suspect Ms. Gudic, like Mr. Ferraz, signed up to speak on protecting the bear without understanding that what threatened the bear's habitat, and what they were specifically speaking against, was Northern Gateway.

Knowing Corbella, I bet she did nothing to help clarify. And it would be interesting to find out how many people she contacted before she found two people who didn't, at the time, make the connection.

Holly Stick said...

Well, I also wonder if Corbella does not know of the connections between Spirit Bears and the Great Bear Rainforest and the pipeline. And presumably she lacked the imagination to google "spirit bear". Too busy looking for gotchas.

I think many pipeline advocates simply have no understanding of the ecosystems the pipeline will pass through.

Holly Stick said...

Here we are, a doc on the Great Bear Rainforest:

double nickel said...

"I think many pipeline advocates simply have no understanding of the ecosystems the pipeline will pass through."

Nor do they care.

karen said...

BCL, have you seen SpOil - the film about the Great Bear Rainforest by the International League of Conservation Photographers? Its very beautiful, opened at the Banff and Vancouver Film Festivals. It was up once on Vimeo, but I can't find it now.

Alison said...

Karen, here ya go : SPOIL

I posted it today - seemed timely.

Alison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

Corbello was on As It Happens night before last repeating most of the same stuff from her Calgary Herald article and that Joe Oliver "is correct that the number of people who've been signed up looks like it has been stacked."

She also said this :

Carol Off : "Are they planning to testify now they're on the list?"

Corbella : No. They are not planning to testify - they just knew nothing of it - in fact the young man said that he is going to try to get his name removed from the list."

Holly Stick said...

I emailed AIH about this today; we'll see what comes of it.

Alison said...

Holly Stick : I posted a very polite comment with a link to BCL in the AIH comments section immediately after the broadcast - that was two days ago - which they have so far apparently declined to publish.