Proposed pipeline: Orca pathway

December 1, 2016

I know many Canadians (and people around the world)will be saying that jobs are more important than the environment and the animals as well as plants that live in it. They will be applauding the recent government announcement that is giving the go ahead to a number of pipelines on Canadian soil.

Yes, jobs may be more important or, at least, as important but does this mean those who make the big bucks in the oil industry deserve two or three trucks as opposed to one. Do they need that many trucks or that big of a house or that many toys?

This is what people in the oil industry often have: way too much ‘stuff’.

Is a truck more beautiful than an Orca whale and the feeling we get when we watch it jump out of the water? Is the oil and gas that is pumped into that truck more important than the life of one of those beautiful whales?

I think not.

Here is an article on this topic that I wrote in 2006:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

Proposed pipeline: Orca pathway

by Tanya Lester

National Energy Board (NEB) members were told last Tuesday that the proposed Georgia Strait gas pipeline would interfere with an endangered species whose grandeur is synonymous with the world’s perception of Canada’s west coast.

Peter Ronald of the Georgia Strait Alliance spoke at the public meeting held at the community hall and attended by 30 Render residents. He said there is a resident orca pod in the waters off Brooks Point on South Pender. Another transient group also frequents the area.

If the gas pipeline is built on the route proposed by BC Hydro and the American firm Williams, it would go through the Orca pass area, which has been proposed as a marine conservation area, explained Ronald in a telephone interview after the meeting.

The pipeline would run from Washington State across Georgia Strait near the southernmost tips of Saturna, South Pender and Salt Spring islands. It would continue on to south of Duncan on Vancouver Island.

Pender resident Jill Taylor also raised questions at the meeting about the pipeline’s effects on marine life. She wanted to know if sound frequencies would change with construction of the pipeline and if these frequencies would disturb marine life.

Taylor also asked about the possible effects of tides and earthquakes.

She was concerned about the rate of pipeline rupture and blow-outs in those already installed in ocean settings, and who will oversee safety standards.

The meeting was called so the NEB could educate the public on the environmental assessment that BC Hydro and Williams have to conduct before the Georgia Strait Crossing Project can proceed. This will be followed by NEB and other federal government regulatory review processes.

South Pender Trust member John Rumpole was among those who persuaded the NEB to hold the meetings on the Gulf Islands and to extend the deadline date for written submissions to be considered for assessment by BC Hydro and Williams.

Rumpole said as a Pender resident he was concerned that a Sidney meeting could not be attended by Outer Islands residents without making overnight arrangements.

“I was concerned as a property owner who will be directly affected,” said Rumpole. “I thought we were being left out of the process.”

Rumpole came away from the meeting believing he now understands more about the process. He also said the NEB made it clear that the pipeline proposal can be turned down if it is found that it might adversely affect the environment or is a safety hazard…


Tanya Lester is also a psychic, reiki master and fulltime housesitter. For information on her services and how you can access them go to web: or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also email her directly at or call 250-538-0086 cell.


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