An anonymous group opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is calling for a demonstration at the site of an oil and gas export conference in Vancouver on May 30 and 31 and asking participants to wear the red square that has become symbolic of the Quebec student protests first against tuition fee hikes and later against Bill 78 aimed at controlling demonstrations in the province.
A notice posted on the website Infoshop News, which describes itself as an anarchist news service, calls for the demonstration at the Four Seasons hotel in Vancouver, site of the Canada Oil and Gas Export Summit. The notice is being widely circulated on Twitter.
The notice adds: “Don’t forget your red squares. Let’s bring the Maple Spring to BC and join Quebec students in opposing the 1% agenda of austerity and environmental destruction.”
Calling the demonstration, “Green Jobs, Not Oil Spills,” the notice says: “On May 30th/31st the 1% are meeting at the Four Seasons hotel for a two day conference to plot their strategy for Exporting raw tar sands bitumen across BC and overseas to China via pipelines and super tankers.”
The website for the Canadian Oil and Gas Export Summit, says “The oil and gas industry is at a critical crossroads and now is the time to take a hard look to alternative outlets for Canadian oil and gas,” meaning alternative markets to the United States. The energy companies are worried about the future of their American market share due to the effect of political gridlock on the US economy and the growing exploitation of American shale gas deposits which are cutting into Canadian export markets.
The site says the conference highlights include:
- The latest updates on opening new market opportunities – Moving Canada oil and
gas exports beyond U.S. markets
- The impact of the U.S. pipeline decision on the Canadian oil and gas sector
- The benefits for Canadian producers to tap into Asian markets and
addressing the perceptions of the two markets
- The most cost effective strategies of getting to market in light of opposition
- Infrastructure requirements necessary for accessing Canada’s East and West Coast
- The legal and regulatory issues surrounding west coast energy corridors, terminals and
shipping in British Columbia
The conference speakers will tackle a large number of hot button issues in BC, from the energy industry point of view: Paul Fisher, vice present, Commercial, Western Access for Enbridge Pipelines speaks on “Exploring Canada’s Ability to Compete in a Global Marketplace.” Gordon Houlden, Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, has a talk touching on “Balancing the complexities of unresolved land claims, environmental and infrastructure issues and the economic development of Western Canada.” Tracy Robinson, Vice President Marketing & Sales, Canadian Pacific Railway, speaks on exporting crude by rail. Douglas Ford, of Communica Public Affairs Inc. handles a large number of issues from the PR point of view, including “the regulatory processes related to British Columbia coastal development,” “the complexity of project development in BC vis a vis First Nations,” with advice on “How to effectively engage community, NGOs, and aboriginal stakeholders.” Van Zorbas of Deloitte Canada speaks about the problems from the current labour shortage.