– An anti-terrorist RCMP squad was sent to Dawson Creek because of incidents on the Encana pipeline.
– I emailed the RCMP (2008-11-06 Letter to RCMP anti-terrorism squad): the underlying CAUSES of the incidents at the pipeline need to be addressed. The actions (the “incidents”) draw attention to a problem. They are not the actions of terrorists.
If the underlying causes are not addressed it is predictable that there will be more incidents. They will occur in the Tar Sands, too. The industry is slowly killing local people through the poisons they are dumping into the environment.
The Government turns a blind eye. The GOVERNMENT is the creator of the incidents, through its failure to regulate effectively and through its failure to enforce regulations. The Government is the only institution in our society that has this function. If they don’t perform their role, it doesn’t get done.
The RCMP Superintendent, Lloyde, replied to my email (below). And I am grateful to him. I responded.
(INSERT: I continued to send occasional emails to the Superintendent until his retirement. It’s important in a democracy to have the conversations.)
- My letter to the RCMP is at 2008-11-06 Letter to RCMP anti-terrorism squad
- RCMP REPLY, below
- MY REPLY TO RCMP, below. Rule of Law?
- YOU TELL ME, IS IT “COMPARTMENTALIZATION”, OR MORE THAN THAT?
(1) REPLY FROM RCMP
From: Lloyde PLANTE
Sent: November 7, 2008 12:42 PM
To: sabest1 AT sasktel.net
Subject: RCMP Website Comment
Ms. Finley…by way of introduction, I am the National Security Criminal Operations Officer for the Province of British Columbia. As such, I am responsible for the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team which currently has conduct of the criminal investigation involving the attacks upon the gas pipelines within the Dawson Creek area. I will keep my comments short and to the point.
While I understand your points of view, I cannot support your position that the criminal acts taking place within the Dawson Creek area somehow ‘justify the means’. In my view, the potential for loss of life/serious injury and environmental damage which results from criminal acts of this nature cannot be justified. There are democratic, lawful processes available to all of us to address issues with which we may disagree. We need to take advantage of these processes. Violent criminal activity is not an option.
I have sent a copy of your comments to the investigative team in Dawson Creek.
Lloyde Plante, Superintendent
E Division Assistant CROPS – National Security
(2) RESPONSE TO RCMP, Rule of Law?
The newspaper reports are appended. I thought the actions were carefully removed, to a location where the injury was to Encana.
Theoretically, yes, there are lawful processes.
However, the law is applied to citizens and too often, NOT to large corporations. Appended are reports regarding the Tar Sands. There is almost no enforcement of the Fisheries Act, for example.
The poisoning and slow death through cancers, etc. of the people in Fort Chipewyan is a crime resulting from the failure to enforce effective regulations. Suncor and other petro-chemical companies have done the same thing in Sarnia. It is well documented.
I have fairly detailed knowledge about Monsanto, for example. They poisoned the people in a town in Alabama where their plant was. Denied it, told lies. Finally they were taken to court and found guilty. The fine was $770 million dollars. There is a whole list of court convictions for Monsanto.
(INSERT: written in 2008, eleven years before the widely-publicized convictions against Monsanto in U.S. courts and the financial awards for destruction of health.)
And they continue to walk the streets.
You say that there is lawful recourse. Did you ever have to hire a lawyer? Do you have any idea of how long a court case takes? Do you really think that you or I could afford to take Suncor or Monsanto to court? Yet, their crimes are worse than any that you or I might commit.
I appreciate your response to my concerns.
(1) ENCANA PIPELINE ATTACKS ARE NOT ECOTERRORISM
(2) WHY SOME MIGHT NOT CALL THE ENCANA PIPELINE ATTACKS ACTS OF TERRORISM
(3) CBC: PIPELINE EXPLOSION INVESTIGATION FOCUSES ON RURAL COMMUNITY, OCTOBER 17
(4) THIRD PIPELINE BLAST, CANADIAN PRESS NOVEMBER 3
(5) B.C. PIPELINE BOMBINGS MAY NOT BE ECO-TERRORISM, CANWEST NEWS NOVEMBER 3
TAR SANDS RESERVOIRS (“tar ponds”). ILLEGALITY BUT NO LAW ENFORCEMENT.
“… Natural Resources Canada offers a more complete list of contaminants, stating that salt, phenols, benzene, cyanide, heavy metals (such as arsenic), and dozens of other cancer makers can be found in the ponds.”
“By now, the toxic reservoirs hold more than four decades’ worth of contaminated water, sand and bitumen. Amazingly, regulators have allowed industry to build nearly a dozen of them on either side of the Athabasca River.” We are talking about toxic reservoirs placed on the shores of the largest watershed in Canada, the third largest in the world.
“… They now cover twenty-three square miles of forest and muskeg. … Within a decade, the toxic reservoirs will cover an area of eighty-five square miles.
“… toxins seep into the Athabasca River from the bottom of the dyke at the rate of one million gallons per day.” (This is just from ONE dyke – the Tar Island one. It is just the seepage from the BOTTOM of one dyke. It is just the seepage into the RIVER. It doesn’t include what goes into GROUND WATER and from ALL the twenty-three square miles of toxic reservoirs. It is just the poisoning that is happening TODAY.)
(Quotations are excerpts from pages 83-85 of “Tar Sands, Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent“, by Andrew Nikiforuk, recently released.)
It is prohibited by law to put poisons into waterways.
Is the law applied to these perpetrators??
They are slowly killing the people of Fort Chipewyan and others.
= = = = = == = = = == = = = ==
(3) YOU TELL ME, IS IT “COMPARTMENTALIZATION”, OR MORE THAN THAT?
What are the psychological processes through which a person (the Superintendent) can say, “There are democratic, lawful processes available to all of us to address issues with which we may disagree.”? … Our society teaches us that this is the case. When you work on some of the problems we face, you come to see that the statement is a myth. Reality is different.
I “disagree” with the poisoning of the land. It kills. It is also illegal. How can I address the poisoning? … There are democratic, lawful processes. The statement about accessible lawful process is so obviously a myth. The examples of the people who have been trying to get just treatment / remedy for years, in (discussed earlier) :
– Fort Chipewyan (discussed earlier)
– Sharbot Lake
– Saskatchewan over pesticide use
– .. I could go on with example after example …the killing by police of Dudley George at Ipperwash, a crime of huge proportion after 50 years of attempts by the First Nations to have their land returned to them. Issues we have worked on in this network (8 years of effort from many people!)
Next, try the courts. Look at the cost of hiring a lawyer. Corporations like Monsanto use the threat of the justice system with impunity to intimidate people because they know a court case will break a person financially.
On top of all that,
– recent changes make it legal for mining companies to use lakes as tailings ponds (we had excellent legislation that prohibited the poisoning of water supplies). This network joined in the fight a couple of years ago to prevent the Government from getting around the legislation through the establishment of a special “appendix”. So they changed the legislation outright.
Communities can now be poisoned legally. Tailings ponds are very toxic; they leak into both surface and ground water. Common sense – in spite of “assurances” that say “no problem”. The history is clear: the transnational corporations will maximize profits, be damned the people. They have big bucks. They buy influence. They are psychopathic in their destruction – – look around the world.
I don’t doubt but that the RCMP Superintendent believes what he wrote.
In my reply to him I didn’t address this other point: “We know that the solution to terrorism isn’t more repression and police state measures, but really solving the social problems that make terrorism seem like a recourse.” Today in Canada, it’s not so much a social problem that needs to be solved. We have to solve the problem that the big corporations are “partners” with Government. We have lost the regulatory function.
(For NEWCOMERS to our network:)
Jane Jacobs, in her book “Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics” provides historical information to make the case that (in addition to the set of basic human values) there are two separately evolved ethical systems, one for commerce and the other for the “guardianship” or governance function in a society.
The “moral foundations” are different in response to the DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS of the two systems. Jacobs argues that businesspeople and government officials must recognize when they are in one sphere or the other and change hats accordingly. If you are in the guardian role, you must act within the morality of the guardian. When in the business sphere it is right to act within the different “morality” of that sphere.
Don’t ever mix up the two – as began happening in about 1982 under Mulroney with Finance Minister Michael Wilson’s promotion of the (not-wonderful) idea of “public-private-partnerships” (i.e. big government – big corporation partnerships).
Jacobs is very clear that when a society loses the distinction between the two sets of ethics, when it starts to use business morality in governance and guardianship morality in business, the consequence is very serious corruption, such as you see in Africa. Resources get channeled to the rich. Concentration of power. Eventually the disparities between rich and impoverished lead to the need to rule by force. (This last statement may not have been made by Jacobs.)
Jacobs’ insights are confirmed by my experiences of the last years. In school I was taught about the “separation of powers” in a democracy. Democracies are structured so that the justice, legislative and executive arenas function independently of one other. You keep things honest by guarding against a concentration of power. I think it is legitimate to amend this basic tenet of democracy in accordance with the lessons in Jane Jacobs’ “Systems of Survival”: the separation of powers in a democracy is of the justice, legislative, executive AND COMMERCIAL functions, to avoid the evils that come with a concentration of power. RELIGION was removed from the system of governance because again, the marriage of power is dangerous to democracy.
But back to the main point:
What are the psychological processes through which a person can say, “There are democratic, lawful processes available to all of us to address issues with which we may disagree.”?
Compartmentalization of information is necessary in order to believe that statement. Beyond that – – it’s part of a set of myths that help hold the structure of our society in place? Other?