Rolling Stone discovers Northern Gateway controversy, but gets lost on the way to Kitimat

Rolling Stone article on Canadian pipelines
A screen grab of the Rolling Stone article on the Canadian Northern Gateway and Keystone pipelines.

It’s every muscian’s dream to make it On the Cover of the Rolling Stone. (And when Rolling Stone does investigative journalism, every politician’s nightmare).

Now the venerable, storied music mag has discovered the Northern Gateway pipeline, running a story on August 2 on its website and slated to appear in the next dead tree issue on August 16.

The article by Jeff Goodell is a sort of a primer for hip but not yet clued in Americans on the controversies over Canadian pipelines. It features the usual nasty depiction of the bitumen sands with a file photo from the Washington Post via Getty.

But does Kitimat rate a mention in the magazine that has celebrated the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the (original and real) Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Police, Nirvana, Justin Bieber and The Sheepdogs?

Nope.  Imagine that, an entire article on the Northern Gateway Pipeline and not one mention of Kitimat. Instead Goddell says:

Canada is pushing for a new route called the Northern Gateway, which would cut through three major watersheds in western Canada and turn the fragile coast of British Columbia into a bustling tanker port.


In one way Kitimat is in good company, for when the band that originated the “Cover” song, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, did make Rolling Stone, the magazine cover had “What’s-Their-Names Make the Cover.”

It’s one thing not to get any respect for Kitimat from the Alberta media, but at least Albertans spell Kitimat right (most of the time–although sometimes they get Kitamaat Village wrong). Here in the northwest we’re used to being dissed by Albertans.

Of course, while the entire coast is endangered by increased traffic in supertankers, it’s Kitimat that is the perhaps maybe, perhaps sometime, perhaps inevitable, perhaps never “bustling tanker port.”

So what could Kitimat do  to make it up from being ignored on the back pages of Rolling Stone to make it to the famous and proverbial cover?

My first idea was a vision of the District of Kitimat Council forming themselves into a rock band.

Joanne and the……  you can come up with an idea for a name, but I am not sure that would work.

Or maybe if we had a Justin Bieber concert at Riverlodge? That might keep young people from leaving Kitimat at least for a while.

Seriously. We’ve been ignored by Rolling Stone up until now. Now we’re that close to being   equal to What’s-Their-Names.

Maybe Kitimat can change that.

So now the people of Kitimat have a new challenge, beyond dealing with Enbridge, the JRP, the province and the feds,  beyond spending those long months clearing snow and those brief summer days of fishing, and that challenge is: get Kitimat on the cover of the Rolling Stone.