Page 1







Pipeline nationalization is a serious conflict of interest CAUGHT TRESPASSING

Lack of respect for property makes us all trespassers


The slick marketing language around ‘treaty land’


Gas station owners scapegoated by anti-oil types CAEPL A .ORG



Deep roots. We didn’t start learning to drive a tractor at 10 years old. Or rise to the challenge of running the family farm. But we do help power the machinery that will empower generations of farmers to come. When the energy you invest in farming meets the energy we fuel it with, sustaining a nation happens.




04 9

Cover photo: iStockphoto.com

“The next time we are told that we are on treaty land, maybe we should say, ‘No, we are in Canada, and we are all lucky to be here.’”


Changing of the Guard at CAEPLA


No Skin in the Game


‘You Are Now on Treaty Land’


We’re All Trespassers Now


Let’s Build Lots of Pipelines


The L3RP Update


Why Are Pipelines in Peril?


Buyout: Worse Than a Bailout


Are Gas Station Owners the New ‘Kulaks’? Anti-oil attitudes target small business owners


Do You Really Want to Save the Environment?


Everybody Benefits from Pipelines


And a major change in the pipeline industry

Why regulators like the NEB are a bad idea

New way to interpret treaties is just slick marketing

Government land grabs don’t respect private property

But don’t bail out big projects for the sake of ‘jobs’

Facts and answers about Enbridge's project

Because property rights were already precarious

Nationalization of TMX a serious conflict of interest

Try science and technology instead of activism

It’s easier than ever for companies to leave the land better than when they entered it


CAEPLA’s Construction Monitor Innovation


Walking on Water


Missing link in real-world social licence for pipelines

Canada’s energy transport sector perfects technology to protect rivers and lakes

Dave Core: Moving On, Not Out

Leaving the CEO role at CAEPLA means new opportunities to serve landowner interests

Pipeline Observer is a publication of the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations and the Continental Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations 257, 918 Albert St., Regina, SK S4R 2P7; 306-522-5000. All contents copyright ©2018 CAEPLA. Advertising information: advertising@caepla.org | Editorial: editor@caepla.org Administration: admin@caepla.org | caepla.org | Twitter: @CAEPLA

Media & Marketing Solutions

Published by RedPoint Media Group Inc., 100-1900 St. S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 3G2, 403-240-9055, Toll Free 1-877-963-9333, info@redpointmedia.ca, redpointmedia.ca | Printed in Canada by Transcontinental LGM | Statements and viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. | PM 40030911 CAEPL A .ORG




Changing of the Guard at CAEPLA And a huge change in the pipeline industry as Ottawa nationalizes Trans Mountain


ay 1 brought a change in title and role for me at CAEPLA. Going forward, I will be serving you as Chief Executive Officer. I will remain responsible for operations and always be only a phone call away. My new role will help me work



more effectively with members, and will, importantly, free outgoing CEO Dave Core to focus on special projects and growth opportunities for our organization. My involvement with a number of organizations en route to becoming CAEPLA CEO included on-theground contact with landowners, first with the Western Canadian

Wheat Growers, then the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and also the Prairie Centre for Public Policy. All, I believe, helped prepare me to serve you, the landowner, better. And working with you, the energy and pipeline landowner, at Canada’s leading grassroots property rights non-profit, feels like a natural career progression.

Photo by David Stobbe

“I realize the challenges faced by landowners all come down to one thing: respect for your property rights— or lack thereof.”

It has been an interesting journey. And about to get a whole lot more interesting. Another announcement in May almost certainly means change for Trans Mountain pipeline landowners of Alberta and British Columbia. And not for the better, but more on that in a moment. My earlier experiences with those great grassroots organizations were

about addressing issues that affect the families and businesses of farmers and ranchers all across Canada. Speaking daily with the directly affected has helped me keep my finger on the pulse of landowners who are, after all, the real-world stewards of the land. Farmers and ranchers face the uncontrollable and unpredictable

reality of the weather. It affects every business decision—which may be why weather is always part of any conversation. But when you have government regulations that are often even more unpredictable than the weather, it can have a direct and detrimental impact on your livelihood and business investment. I wouldn’t have been able to put it into words back then, but as I reflect on the legitimate issues addressed with the organizations I have worked for over the years, I realize the challenges faced by landowners all come down to one thing: respect for your property rights—or lack thereof. For decades, farmers challenged legislation that denied their right to sell their grain to whomever they wanted. Certainly, some farmers didn’t mind the way things were, but for the farmers who simply wanted to make their own marketing decisions, good or bad, the freedom to do so was taken away. Similarly, landowners approached for an easement across their property for oil and gas facilities, pipelines or power transmission lines do not have the freedom to negotiate their own business agreements on a level playing field. Government power to expropriate, including forced right of entry,




is packed in the back pocket of the company wanting access to your property—a fundamental infringement of property rights. During the last decade, my understanding of property rights and what they mean to all of us has really grown. CAEPLA’s Pipeline Observer magazine has been very helpful in providing good information and fresh perspective on what your property rights are all about. Property rights affect us all. The energy industry on whose behalf government so often suspends the property rights of landowners is now seeing its own property rights trampled at the bidding of anti-pipeline and anti-oil activists looking to kill projects. Activists have gone so far as to trespass and sabotage company property, putting landowners and the public at great risk. So far, the consequences have been minimal. Respect for property rights would go a long way to preventing the somewhat lawless scenario we find ourselves in now.

Ethical development CAEPLA has never opposed development. Just the opposite, in fact—we have simply always insisted it be done ethically, meaning through respect for your property rights. A framework of respect also works for companies, and is the foundation of our win-win business agreement approach. I believe the two should always work in harmony (which may be my experience working for the Regina Symphony talking). In my time with CAEPLA, I have seen companies like Enbridge begin to embrace this perspective. Not all



companies are as ready for positive change. But the phone calls the CAEPLA team takes at the office prove the contrast between landowners who feel they are treated with respect by a company, and those who do not.

A new season indeed And this is where things look to get more interesting for pipeline landowners, and not in a good way. Kinder Morgan may not have been the most landowner-friendly or property-rights-respecting pipeline company in Canada. But compared to the new owner of Trans Mountain

(TMX)—the federal government—the company looks like pioneering property-rights philosopher John Locke. CAEPLA has experience dealing with Crown-owned energy transport companies. Trust me: the worst-behaving private company is always more fun to deal with. So it is indeed a new season at CAEPLA. A new era of nationalized pipelines and of new challenges for pipeline landowners. Already we are getting calls asking what Ottawa’s ownership of Trans Mountain means for landowners— and I urge all Alberta and British Columbia landowners impacted by TMX to get in touch with us ASAP. 

Annette Schinborn is Chief Executive Officer at CAEPLA, having served previously as COO and Director of Landowner Relations. Before joining the team at CAEPLA, Annette worked with grassroots nonprofits including the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Prairie Centre and the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association. She has worked closely with farmers, ranchers and other landowners on issues such as tax and agricultural policy, energy transport and property rights.


No Skin in the Game

A risk analyst and scholar explains why regulators like the NEB are a bad idea

Facing page and this page: iStockphoto.com

CAEPLA has been making the case in the pages of Pipeline Observer for some time now that regulatory regimes like the National Energy Board are the very opposite of what they promise. We believe that industry and landowners alike both become better actors as partners when property rights are respected and both are accountable to the market and courts. Unfortunately, property rights are not really legally or politically recognized in Canada. What we are left with is a distant dysfunctional NEB that itself appears ready to be replaced by something even less fair and effective. Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analyst, whose work focuses on problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty. In his latest book, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, Taleb talks about how a lack of risk for participants in any transaction in life results in the worst outcomes not only for society, but for those who do face risk—who have “skin in the game.” Under the current system, landowners are confronted by a constellation of regulatory bureaucrats, lawyers, industry land agents, activists, politicians and others who all have no personal stake in their dealings with them. They all get paid at the end of the day, win or lose, while landowners are saddled with lowball offers, liability and flat-out bad deals they never had the power to refuse. In the following excerpt, Taleb provides some insight into how and why regulatory regimes result in the outcomes with which landowners are all too familiar.

Regulations vs. Legal Systems There are two ways to make citizens safe from large predators, say, big powerful corporations. The first one is to enact regulations—but these, aside from restricting individual freedoms, lead to another predation, this time by the state, its agents and their cronies. More critically, people with good lawyers can game regulations (or, as we shall see, make it known that they hire former regulators, and overpay for them, which signals a prospective bribe to those currently in office). And of course regulations, once in, stay in and even when they are proven absurd, politicians are afraid of repealing them, under pressure from those benefiting from them. Given that regulations are addictive, we soon end up tangled in complicated rules that choke enterprise. They also choke life.




For there are always parasites benefiting from regulation, situations where the businessperson uses government to derive profit, often through protective regulations and franchises. The mechanism is called regulatory recapture, as it cancels the effect of what a regulation was meant to do. The other solution is to put skin in the game in transactions, in the form of legal liability, and the possibility of an efficient lawsuit. The Anglo-Saxon world has traditionally had a predilection for the legal approach instead of the regulatory one: if you harm me, I can sue you. This has led to the very sophisticated, adaptive and balanced common law, built bottom-up via trial and error. When people transact, they almost always prefer to agree (as part of the contract) on a Commonwealth (or formerly British-ruled) venue as the



forum in the event of a dispute: Hong Kong and Singapore are the favourites in Asia, London and New York in the West. Common law is about the spirit, while regulation, owing to its rigidity, is all about the letter. If a big corporation pollutes your neighbourhood, you can get together with your neighbours and sue the hell out of it. Some greedy lawyer will have the paperwork ready. The enemies of the corporation will be glad to help. And the potential costs of the settlement would be enough of a deterrent for the corporation to behave. This doesn’t mean one should never regulate at all. Some systemic effects may require regulation (say,

hidden tail risks of environmental ruins that show up too late). If you can’t effectively sue, regulate. Now, even if regulations had a small net payoff for society, I would still prefer to be as free as possible, but assume my civil responsibility, face my fate and pay the penalty if I harm others. This attitude is called deontic libertarianism (deontic comes from “duties”): by regulating you are robbing people of freedom. Some of us believe that freedom is one’s first most essential good. This includes the freedom to make mistakes (those that harm only you); it is sacred to the point that it must never be traded against economic or other benefits. 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese–American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analyst, whose work focuses on problems of randomness, probability and uncertainty.


‘You Are Now on Treaty Land’

Facing page and this page: iStockphoto.com

New way to interpret treaties is just slick marketing


recently attended an event that began with the announcement: “You are now on treaty land.” By now, we are all familiar with this new way of commencing public functions. It stems from a recommendation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The claim is that such announcements will be a step in the direction of reconciliation between Indigenous people and the mainstream.

But this new procedure has clearly been designed to signal a new way of looking at treaties, and is meant to accomplish more than being a novel way to begin an event. With a view to gaining a better understanding of the significance of this new greeting, I listened to a CBC interview with a person who described himself as a “treaty official.” He explained that when new immigrants come to Canada he meets with them and tells the bewildered arrivals that their new country is, in fact, “treaty land,”




and they will be expected to honour the treaties and “share the land.” Clearly, a radical new way to interpret treaties has been proposed. And it is wrong.

Straightforward documents With the exception of Indian reserves, as defined by the Indian Act, the Prairies are not “treaty land.” The land was surrendered long ago, for an agreed-upon amount of compensation, by the Indigenous people who had hunted on it. Here is the essential history of the Prairie treaties: The treaties that are referred to as the “numbered treaties” were negotiated after the enactment of the Indian Act in 1876. In each case, negotiators sent by Ottawa met with the groups affected and successfully reached agreements whereby the land was surrendered to the Crown on terms that included compensation. Land was set aside for reserves.



The Indigenous people had a choice of living on a reserve, or entering the mainstream and living like any other Canadian. Hunting and similar rights were stipulated. The monetary compensation is paltry by today’s standards, but the fact is that $5 per person per year was a significant amount of money then. Both parties agreed to the terms. Today, Treaty Day is an annual celebration in some Indigenous communities, with $5 bills distributed by people dressed in the garb of yesteryear. The numbered treaties are straightforward documents. Although they were written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the language is understandable to the modern reader. Anyone can access them and read them. Although people who set themselves up as “treaty experts” do their best to baffle with talk of the supposed complexity of the treaties, any intelligent reader can quickly glean their actual meaning.

Despite the highly fanciful interpretations people with a vested interest attempt to make, there really is no ambiguity on the nuts and bolts of the documents. The land was surrendered for compensation. People who purchased the land in good faith have their title free and clear. This goes for the government as well. People who haven’t read the treaties should do so, and form their own opinions.

Slick marketing So, the question is: what is going on? Why are these people referring to land that was surrendered more than 100 years ago as treaty land? The answer is that “You are now on treaty land” is part of a slick marketing campaign, with clear financial goals. That campaign has received a major boost from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The catchphrase of the campaign is “share the land.”

Facing page: iStockphoto.com

“Why are people referring to land that was surrendered more than 100 years ago as treaty land?”

The Indigenous elite has teamed up with very expensive lawyers to promote this campaign and flood the courts with alleged breach-of-treaty cases. But they don’t want the treaties interpreted—they want them rewritten. And the rewriting they want is to have treaties made into laws forcing everyone to “share” land that they already own. By itself, that phrase, “share the land” sounds quite innocent. It is good to share. And, in fact, we all do share the land, in the sense that we all have access to national and provincial parks, highways and the like. But, we share private land only if we want to. If I tell my neighbour that I want to share his land, he is free to show me the door. For that matter, if I show up at a band office in an Indigenous community and announce that I want to share the land by building a house on their property, I will get the same treatment. And yet, that is exactly what the clever “share the land” campaign is all about. If the campaign is successful, regardless of whether the land is publicly or privately owned, the land will have to be surrendered, or an annual rent extracted in perpetuity from the hapless owner. If this sounds a lot like “protection money,” that’s because it is. What is as surprising as the fact that such an audacious scam should be attempted on the Canadian public, is the fact that the campaign is not only being taken seriously in some quarters—it is actually succeeding. The current federal government has shown that it is certainly not pre-

pared to stand up to the multitude of demands from Indigenous activists, and some judges seem prepared to abandon their proper role of interpretation, and do the rewriting that the activists demand.

Privileged few Meanwhile, the treaties that courts have rewritten do not solve the major issues of poverty, underemployment and lack of opportunity in Indigenous communities, but exacerbate the dependency. A privileged few benefit. Mainstream Canadians—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—pay for all of this as they watch needed resource development stalled and tax dollars misspent. The “share the land” campaign should be seen for what it is—a cash grab by attempting to rewrite history. But, perhaps the most destructive aspect of the “share the land” campaign is the dependence it has spawned. Instead of directing their energies to jobs and careers, young Indigenous people may be told that new treaties are the answers to their problems. This is nonsense, and the leaders and politicians know it. New treaties will make a privileged few richer, but will do nothing to solve problems like chronic poverty and underemployment.

Cynical game The politicians and leaders are playing a cynical game. I mentioned the newcomers to the country who are required to listen to an advertisement for this dishonest

campaign. We should bear in mind the fact that they have come to a country that has assured them that they will be treated as equals here. What will they think of this treaty official’s spiel, and the idea that one group of people should have rights superior to theirs simply by virtue of race? Or maybe we don’t have to worry about them, after all. They will figure it out. Many of them come from hard countries and they know a shakedown when they see one. These are people who are prepared to work hard to acquire what they need, and they expect others to do the same. So, the next time we are told that we are on treaty land, maybe we should say, “No, we are in Canada, and we are all lucky to be here.” 

Brian Giesbrecht is Senior Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP.org). He received his education at United College and the University of Manitoba, where he obtained his LLB in 1972. He worked with Walsh, Micay and Co., and was later appointed to the Provincial Court (Family Division) in 1976, where he heard child welfare cases and general family matters until he transferred to the Criminal Division in 1989. He was an Associate Chief Judge from 1991 to 2005, and he became Acting Chief Judge in 1993. Following his retirement from the Bench in 2007, Mr. Giesbrecht has written extensively for various publications on the need to abolish the Indian Act and the separate systems of government that exist in Canada.




B Y J O H N W. W H I T E H E A D


! ! We’re All Trespassers Now



o power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.” — John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States We have no real property rights. Think about it. That house you



live in, the car you drive, the small (or not-so-small) acreage of land that has been passed down through your family or that you scrimped and saved to acquire, whatever money you manage to keep in your bank account after the government and its cronies have taken their first and second and third cut—none of it is safe from the

government’s greedy grasp. At no point do you ever have any real ownership in anything other than the clothes on your back. Everything else can be seized by the government under one pretext or another: civil asset forfeiture, unpaid taxes, expropriation, public interest, etc.


Government land grabs show no respect for private property

The dream of a life in which you have freedom, prosperity and opportunity has been reduced to a lease arrangement in which we are granted the privilege of endlessly paying through the nose for assets that are only ours so long as it suits the government’s purposes. And when it doesn’t suit the

government’s purposes? Watch out. Practically anything goes now. It’s been 13 years since the U.S. Supreme Court took up the case of Kelo versus City of New London, which expanded the American government’s limited power to acquire private lands in order to build a public structure like a school or

highway for “public use” and allowed it to make seizures for a “public purpose”—which, in the government’s eyes, can mean anything as long as it amounts to higher tax revenue. In the Kelo case, the City of New London, Connecticut, wanted to condemn private homes as “blighted” in order to tear them down and allow a developer to build higher-priced homes, a resort hotel, a conference centre and retail complexes to complement a new Pfizer pharmaceutical plant in the area. Ironically, the developers in New London later backed out of the deal after the homes were seized and bulldozed, leaving the once-quaint neighbourhood a wasteland. Nevertheless, a shortsighted Supreme Court gave city officials the go-ahead, ruling 5-4 that a city government—aligned with large corporate interests—could use the power of eminent domain to seize an entire neighbourhood for development purposes. Entire neighbourhoods have been seized and bulldozed to make way for shopping malls, sports complexes and corporate offices. “The spectre of condemnation hangs over all property,” warned Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in a stinging dissent. “Nothing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.” Unfortunately, nothing has prevented the U.S. government from bulldozing its way through property rights in an effort to take from the middle and lower classes and fatten the coffers of the corporate elite. In the wake of Kelo, at least 16 places of worship (which pay no taxes) were taken for private uses (which will generate tax dollars).




Stirring a hornet’s nest Fast forward to the present day, and you’ve got the government’s pipeline projects as a prime example of eminent domain being employed for corporate gain. All across the country, power com-




panies have been given the green light to build massive gas and oil pipelines that crisscross the country, cutting through private and public lands, as well as unspoiled wilderness. “Yet despite oft-repeated claims by politicians and oil executives about the danger of relying on foreign oil, this U.S. petroleum renaissance never was designed to make America energy self-sufficient,” points out journalist Sandy Tolan. “A growing amount of that oil will end up in China, Japan, the Netherlands, even Venezuela.” So much for the public use.

These pipeline projects that are getting underway in a dozen states have stirred up a hornet’s nest of protests, most notably in Standing Rock, North Dakota, where activists attempting to block the completion of Dakota Access Pipeline were subjected to militarized police, riot and camouflage gear, armoured vehicles, mass arrests, pepper spray, tear gas, drones, less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force, rubber bullets, water cannons, concussion grenades, arrests of journalists, intimidation tactics and brute force.


Other attempted takings include the transfer of three family-owned seafood businesses to a larger private marina in Texas; the transfer of farmland to a shopping centre anchored by a Lowe’s in Illinois; developing 233 low-income and elderly families’ properties into a seniors’ community where townhouses cost more than $350,000 in New Jersey; and developing middle-income, single-family homes on the waterfront into more expensive condominiums in New Jersey. Even U.S. President Donald Trump has taken advantage of eminent domain, in one instance attempting to take an elderly woman’s house to make way for a limousine parking lot. As an investigative report by the Institute for Justice notes, over the course of five years, local governments used eminent domain to lay claim to more than 10,000 homes, businesses, churches and pieces of private land for business development, including condemning a family’s home so that the manager of a planned new golf course could live in it; evicting four elderly siblings from their home of 60 years for a private industrial park; and removing a woman in her 80s from her home of 55 years supposedly to expand a sewer plant, only to turn around and give her home to an auto dealership.

over the devastation that is being wrought by these pipelines. These acts of civil disobedience come at a costly price. Pipeline and forestry officials have been working hard to make life as difficult as possible for the protesters, allegedly blocking their access to food and water and medical supplies, shining floodlights into the trees at all hours of the night, creating ground disturbances to dislodge their nests and urging the courts to levy heavy fines for each day that the work to clear the forests for the pipeline is delayed.

Little respect for rights

Not all of the protests that have arisen in response to these pipeline projects hinge on environmental concerns, which are significant in and of themselves in light of water and ground contamination due to leaks and spills. Some of the protesters are landowners, simple farmers and

homeowners who merely want the government and its corporate partners-in-crime to keep their grubby paws off their personal property. In Virginia, activists have taken to tree sitting—living for weeks on end in platforms suspended above the ground in trees—as a form of protest

“Unfortunately, nothing has prevented the government from bulldozing its way through property rights in an effort to take from the middle and lower classes and fatten the coffers of the corporate elite.”

Here’s what one resident of Roanoke, Virginia, wrote to me about the manner in which the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is being inflicted on his community: “Our small community has been invaded by private security and a fully militarized local police department. Some families up here have land grants from the King, predating the formation of the Commonwealth. Mountain Valley Pipeline has begun cutting trees and has brought in private military contractors similar to what was used in North Dakota. MVP is only offering to pay pennies on the dollar. They are basically using the power of government to steal this land for private profit. What has ensued was the county positioning a mobile command centre right across from my restaurant, and scores of police in full tactical dress being deployed. They wasted no time in hooking up with the MVP private security and a long list of offences then began against the




“Taxpayers have become trespassers on their own property thanks to the government’s ongoing land grabs and utter disregard for property rights.”

residents and land owners of Bent Mountain, who now find themselves subject to arrest for walking in their own driveway, taking pictures of the pipeline companies ever-changing survey lines and path of destruction, or in more than one case, for confronting masked armed men on their property in the dead of night. It is amazing that nobody has been shot yet! One of my neighbours was accosted on his own back porch by police for photographing the MVP surveyors continually moving the corridor of their easement. I have even had armed private security trespassing on my property miles away in neighbouring Floyd County. I am all for infrastructure. However, I am not for the taking of people’s private land for profit, using the force and power of government, far outside of the bounds of the Constitution.” It takes a lot of gall to trespass onto people’s private property, tear up their land, cut down their trees, pollute their air and water, prevent them from moving freely on their own property, threaten them with fines and arrests for challenging the intrusion, and then force them to pay (by way of taxes) to retain ownership of the property or sell it cheaply or at a loss so it can be torn down and used for some purpose that the government deems more beneficial to its bottom line. That’s how little respect the government has for our rights. It used to be that you could post a “No Trespassing” sign on your prop-



erty to send the message that no one could venture onto your private property without your permission. As the Tennessee Supreme Court recognized in State vs. Christensen, “a homeowner who posts a ‘No Trespassing’ sign is simply making explicit what the law already recognizes: that persons entering onto another person’s land must have a legitimate reason for doing so or risk being held civilly, or perhaps even criminally, liable for trespass.” Unfortunately, taxpayers have become trespassers on their own property thanks to the government’s ongoing land grabs and utter disregard for property rights. So much for that whole pipedream about one’s home being one’s castle. When it comes right down to it, the right to property is the first—and last—right, and perhaps the most inherent. The undermining and dissolution of this critical right may well prove to be one of the few things to rouse the American people to action. As polls show, too many individuals have been willing to accept limitations on their rights to free speech, privacy and due process, as well as other important freedoms, in exchange for the phantom promise of security.

Fundamental right The right to own property has always been fundamental to all other rights. Mind you, the term “property” is much more fundamental and personal than just land ownership. It refers to a

kind of sovereignty over one’s life and possessions—especially one’s money. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Property is grouped in the same category as life and liberty in the Fifth Amendment because it is difficult to enjoy life and liberty without the stability, security and assurances that property provides. Private property, at a minimum, checks governmental power for it provides the citizen a right of space where even government agents cannot intrude without proper authority. Without sovereignty over one’s life and property—an unshakeable guarantee of ownership and dominion, even over one’s own life—there can be no true liberty or freedom. This most sacred of rights is under siege. More than 200 years after early Americans went to war over their right to life, liberty and property, “we the people” have been reduced to little more than serfs in bondage, indentured servants, and sharecroppers. If the government can tell you what you can and cannot do within the privacy of your home, whether it relates to what you eat, what you smoke or whom you love, you’re not the king or queen of your little castle. If government officials can fine and

The final frontier



arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard you no longer have any property interests in your home. If school officials can punish your children for what they do or say while at home or in your care, your children are not your own—they are the property of the state. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Likewise, if police can forcefully draw your blood, strip search you and probe you intimately, your body is no longer your own, either. This is what a world without true property rights looks like, where the lines between private and public property have been so blurred that private property is reduced to little more than something the government can use to control, manipulate and

harass you to suit its own purposes, and you the homeowner and citizen have been reduced to little more than a tenant in bondage to an inflexible landlord. In other words, we’re slaves. If you have no choice, no voice, and no real options when it comes to the government’s claims on your property and your money, you’re not free. You’re not free if the government can seize your home and your car (which you’ve bought and paid for) over nonpayment of taxes. You’re not free if government agents can freeze and seize your bank accounts and other valuables if they merely suspect wrongdoing. And you’re certainly not free if the IRS or CRA gets the first cut of your salary to pay for government programs over which you have no say. After all, a government that doesn’t respect the rights of its citizens will have even less regard for their property, be it land, money or personhood.

So where does that leave us? Battling for our lives, liberties and property. Indeed, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the battle to protect our private property has become the final constitutional frontier, the last holdout against our freedoms being usurped. Questions about who has ultimate control over our money, how much of it can be claimed by government and how it gets spent go to the heart of the battle over property rights. Remember, governments generate no wealth on their own. Any resources that they have at their disposal have been appropriated from the original producers of that wealth, the citizens. This fundamental truth has largely been downplayed over the years, because the government doesn’t want us to remember that it exists to serve at our pleasure and for our common good. Yet any government that ceases to serve this function risks being declared illegitimate. It happened once before. It can happen again. All it takes is the right spark to start a revolution. 

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of the Rutherford Institute. His book Battlefield America: The War on the American People is available online at amazon.ca. Mr. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Information about the Rutherford Institute is available at rutherford.org.





Let’s Build Lots of Pipelines But don’t let government bail out big pipeline projects for the sake of ‘jobs’


he pipeline battle rages on. On the pro-pipeline side, the argument revolves mainly around economics. And a big part of that argument is: pipelines create jobs. It’s true that it takes a lot of workers to build, operate and maintain a major pipeline. And it’s understandable why politicians and industry



make their case in terms of job creation. Voters like jobs, after all. But this is bad economics. All too often our public discourse treats employment as an end in itself. This is a big mistake. If we say the merit of building pipelines comes from the jobs created, then we have stepped into a trap. This


trap opens the door for the government to throw taxpayer money at a project even when it no longer serves the interest of the marketplace. All for the sake of protecting “jobs.” And indeed, this is what is happening. The Notley and Trudeau governments in Alberta and Ottawa have declared that they will provide a tax-funded safety net

for investors in the highly controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. We see this argument come up whenever governments need to justify a bailout of some kind. Harper’s government bailed out the auto industry for the sake of jobs. Trudeau’s government bailed out Bombardier for the sake of jobs. And so on.




“So if not jobs, what is the proper economic justification for building pipelines? We need to keep in mind the goal of all economic activity: satisfying the wants and needs of consumers.”

So if not jobs, what is the proper economic justification for building pipelines? We need to keep in mind the goal of all economic activity: satisfying the wants and needs of consumers. (And remember: we’re all consumers, and even the most radical anti-oil environmentalists find it impossible to forsake the bounties of petroleum in their day-to-day lives). Pipelines provide an efficient way to move goods to where they are more valuable and thus more effectively satisfy consumers than otherwise.

Deep discount We frequently hear about the discount applied to Canadian crude due to strained transportation capacity and limited market access. Canadian heavy crude—which can be refined into a multitude of useful products— typically trades at a 25- to 30-percent discount off the West Texas Intermediate benchmark. The severity of this discount reflects the fact that Canadian producers cannot get the most capable and urgent buyers for their product. New pipelines help address this problem. That is the real key to the case for pipelines—increasing the capability to move energy products to where they are most needed.



Even if a major pipeline project only created a single job, it would still be worthwhile because of the service it provides in ultimately getting goods to consumers more efficiently. Only jobs that arise to serve the needs of consumers are desirable and can increase our standard of living. When the government throws money at something to “create” or “save” jobs, it ultimately makes everybody poorer. Many jobs actually make society poorer. There is an old nerdy economist joke that mocks the idea of jobs for the sake of jobs, by absurdly proposing that the government hire folks to dig holes and refill them over and over. Most people recognize that this would be pointless and keep people from finding useful jobs. But that is the logical path we walk if we think of jobs as an end in themselves. Now consider the Trans Mountain situation. If Kinder Morgan abandons the Trans Mountain project, that is a strong indication that it would not represent an effective way to serve consumers, due to political and regu-

latory interference. It might be better that they allocate capital to other projects without such opposition. If they did this, it would be a strong indication that throwing taxpayer money at the problem for the sake of “jobs” would be a huge mistake. If people don’t want to put their own capital into a project—put their own skin in the game, so to speak—then it makes little sense for the government to step in and throw other people’s money at it.

Limited resources Resources are limited. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. We have to remember that some jobs must be destroyed for the government to subsidize other jobs. We want jobs that the market deems valuable for the sake of helping consumers, not jobs for the sake of jobs, regardless of the lack of value created. Let’s build pipelines. Lots of pipelines. But let’s not do so because of jobs. Let’s do it to benefit consumers who need affordable energy to have a good life. 

C. Kenneth Reeder is a Calgary financial analyst providing mergers and acquisitions advisory services for mid-sized, privately held companies in Western Canada. He works with many clients in the oilfield services sector. He is also the editor of CanadianMarketReview.com.


The L3RP Update

As Enbridge embarks on the second season of its epic replacement project, here are some of the facts CAEPLA members and corridor residents have been asking for:


In addition to laying more than 1,000 kilometres of pipe, the Line 3 Replacement Program also includes installation of:


Interconnections between the facilities and the pipeline

new remotely operated valves


new pump stations and associated infrastructure and equipment

FACT: Construction is expected to be completed this fall at the Metiskow pump station in Alberta; stations at Cactus Lake, Loreburn, Craik, Bethune and Langbank in Saskatchewan and the Cromer Terminal and West Souris station in Manitoba.


FACT: Construction of the remaining facilities is expected to begin at these sites: Kerrobert, Herschel, West Milden and Richardson in Saskatchewan; and Odessa, Glenboro, St. Leon and the Gretna Terminal in Manitoba.

New oil storage tanks, booster pumps and meter banks at the Hardisty Terminal

A bit of background: • Line 3 has been in service since 1968 and carries crude oils from western Canada and the Bakken region to Chicago, the U.S. Gulf Coast, the eastern U.S. and refineries in Ontario and Quebec. It runs about 1,660 km from Edmonton to Superior, Wisconsin. • Replacing this vital piece of the Enbridge network will help ensure a safe and reliable supply of crude oil used in gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and consumer products including cosmetics, textiles and plastics.

• In late 2013, Enbridge voluntarily restricted the pressure of Line 3 to handle about half its capacity of 760,000 barrels per day. Completion of the new line will enable it to carry the volumes it did previously. • The newly installed pipe is 91.5 cm (36 inches) in diameter, versus the existing 86-cm (34-inch) line. The change is not to increase the amount of oil in the pipe, says Enbridge, but to conform to standard pipeline sizing, enabling use of in-line tools to inspect and maintain the inside of the pipe. (see map on following page) 




L3RP Construction Map Edmonton



Hardisty Metiskow Cactus Lake




Herschel West Milden Milden Loreburn




3 1 - 9 Numbers indicate construction spreads

Line 3 Pipeline (completed segments)


Line 3 Replacement (2018 construction) Not in scope for the replacement project Enbridge Facility Facilities Construction (anticipated completion in 2018) Facilities Construction (anticipated completion in 2019)







hune Regina

Richardson Odessa White City Glenavon

Langbank Cromer






West Souris /Souris


Glenboro St. Leon Gretna








Why Are Pipelines in Peril? Because property rights were already precarious



“Whether a proposed pipeline expansion is a good or a bad thing is beyond the proper purview of an economist.”


he Northern Gateway, Energy East and Pacific Northwest LNG pipeline proposals have been scrapped. The proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion is still in limbo, as are other less prominent proposals for new and expanded pipelines. The level of tension is palpable: Shareholders are anxious, investors are leaving, workers are worried and environmentalists are strident. Still others are angry, despondent and befuddled. In pursuit of directing societal change, intellectuals and politicians smitten with cultural Marxism are twisted like pretzels, their hypocrisy revealed. Meantime, energy prices facing consumers continue to rise. Interpersonal conflicts over pipelines reveal that pipelines are much more than they seem. There’s a lot at stake, much more for some individuals than others. And it’s much more than money: it’s family business, friendships, security, ecology, property, freedom, the future—and things so personal and deeply subjective that they defy words. Economic science should be particularly helpful to make sense of this problematic situation. After all, economics is about people and it is value-free. Propositions of economics, such as the law of demand, neither state nor imply any judgments about what is good or bad, right or wrong. As the price of something increases, all other things being the same, the demand for it falls. Whether the price increase is a good or bad thing

is beyond the proper purview of an economist. So too is whether a proposed pipeline expansion is a good or a bad thing. It is up to you to contemplate and make up your own mind.

Crux of the controversy Digging a bit deeper, the crux of the controversy is really a debate about the nature of property rights. When we think of property rights, we often think of ownership. Private ownership of the means of production is the fundamental institution of the market economy. And because it is central for the functioning of market processes, one would expect a consistent message from economic scientists. But there hasn’t been. Why have economists been so ineffectual in helping others better understand the problematic situation? Economics is a science of the means individuals must choose if they are to reach the humanly attainable ends they have chosen in accordance with their value judgments. One reason that economists have not been especially helpful is that in exercising their own value judgments, and without overt acknowledgement, they have invoked distinct and conflicting theories of property rights in their work. In his 2011 book The Myth of the Rational Market, Justin Fox identified and delineated five competing theories: Classical Liberalism; three theories linked to the progressive movement: Utilitarianism, Pragmatism and Legal Positivism; and finally, Modern Libertarian theory.




“The reason central planning always fails is because it requires a utilization of knowledge that is not given to any single person or small group in its totality.”

[1] If the value judgment of the economist is some form of utilitarianism—i.e., allocation of property to highest valued use, economization of transaction costs, the greatest good for the greatest number—this is a basis to either support or oppose pipeline expansion. [2] If the value judgment of the economist is that of a political pragmatist—i.e., property rights are the product of resolution of past conflicts or perceived imbalances and reflect “good” values for which we have “good” reasons—this is a basis that also can be used to both support or oppose pipeline expansion.

In other words, “rules are rules,” and the harm inflicted on some because of pipeline expansions are worth it for the upside it offers to beneficiaries. Bottom line: Economic science can be and is used to defend both [1] and [2]. For the most part, economists engaged in research have adopted a utilitarian theory of property rights. The source of the difference in the two positions lies with the a priori valuation or mind set of the individual. Valuation and selection of ends are beyond the scope of economics and every other science. It is interesting to note that both [1] and [2] are fatally flawed positions, because each requires quantifiable inter-personal comparisons of well being, something that is neither amenable to quantification nor objectively knowable. Devastating problems arise when individuals are compelled to rely on economists, or anyone else, in place of their own decision-making faculties. Author C.S. Lewis famously



remarked that of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. He was correct. The reason central planning always fails is because it requires a utilization of knowledge that is not given to any single person or small group in its totality. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Frederich Hayek explained, “The economic problem of society is not merely a problem of how to allocate ‘given’ resources—if ‘given’ is taken to mean given to a single mind which deliberately solves the problem set by these ‘data.’ Rather, it is a problem of how to secure the best use of resources known to any of the members of society, for ends whose relative importance only these individuals know.”

Complex elaboration Only an economist could offer such a complex elaboration of the reality that humans are not omniscient.

But it is precisely because we can forget or choose to minimize or to ignore the people involved, that to our detriment, some are drawn to government interventionism and forms of socialism that circumscribe, reject or eliminate the institution of private property. This is the root cause of pipeline conflicts. And economists could draw better attention to it if they paid closer attention and communicated their premises about property rights. The ability to build transprovincial infrastructure in Canada is predicated inexorably on economics. Recognizing differences in how individuals perceive and tolerate the institution of private property provides vital insight with regard to dead and floundering projects. It also enables unique critical assessment of decisions by policymakers, the effects on the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and the billions of dollars of foregone earnings of entrepreneurs and property owners. 

Danny Le Roy, PhD., is an economics professor at the University of Lethbridge where he is also coordinator of the Agricultural Studies program. Areas of research include commodity production, marketing and trade, government interventionism and Austrian Economics. He blogs occasionally at mises.ca.

Previous page: iStockphoto.com

Consider the following two:


BUYOUT: Worse Than a Bailout Nationalization of TMX a serious conflict of interest with terrible ramifications for the economy


he federal government suggests its buyout of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion (TMX) project will not cost taxpayers anything. In this act, Kinder Morgan will be indemnified, a new Crown corporation will be set up, Alberta’s government will backstop cost overruns and Export Development Canada will fund the buyout. It’s worse than a bailout. I’m not sure what’s more ludicrous: the fact that the finance minister has no idea what he’s talking about, the fact that nationalizing an industry— any industry—will have deep ramifications for the strength and stability of our economy, or the fact that we as taxpayers are forced to pay for Kinder Morgan executive compensation packages. This action is no different from the bailouts of the banking industry, where banks received billions of taxpayer dollars in order to maintain profitability and executive bonuses. Kinder Morgan will of course use these buyout funds in its own interests, just as if it sold to any other party in the market. This also sets a dangerous precedent, as any busi-

“Private industry is the only bona fide place for pipelines—businesses should not be operated by a government with seemingly enough capital to backstop projects where the cost-benefit analysis is irrelevant.” ness seen to be running in the best interest of Canadians, as determined by an incumbent government, can be saved by bailouts and buyouts. The private sector is the only bona fide place for pipelines, or any other industry—businesses should not be operated by a government with seemingly enough capital to backstop projects where the cost-benefit analysis is irrelevant. There will be no measurement of how profitable this will be for all Canadians, because it won’t matter. The current process of pipeline creation forcibly expropriates land from private landowners, and the due process of arbitration to settle adequate compensation is handled by a tribunal whose decisions are bound in a legal no-contest. That process alone will have a massive conflict of interest now that the compensation, pipeline and tribunal are under the same control. Do your research on this process— it will blow your mind. (CAEPLA’s mission is to educate Canadians on this very process. – Eds.)

Ultimately, when government is used to further the interests of industry, that is called “crony capitalism.” When all your business buddies get access to the public treasury because you’re in power, it spells disaster for this so-called democracy. This will all be spun as a good deal for Canadians through layers of rhetoric. I hope you see through it. 

Michael Sidhu is a recovering banker who lives in British Columbia with his wife and business partner, Marena, and three children. Michael’s experience in the financial industry includes investments, insurance and mortgage banking. He earned his CFP designation in 2005, the FMA designation in 2007, and the RCIS designation in 2017. In 2016, Michael earned his Infinite Banking Practitioners Certification through the Nelson Nash Institute. After banking, Michael discovered Austrian Economics and the writings of dozens of authors on the topic.





Are Gas Station Owners the New ‘Kulaks’? Anti-oil attitudes target all kinds of small business owners


erhaps it’s another case of history repeating itself. Gasoline prices are a hot topic among British Columbia voters these days. And most of the blame is falling on a party I would never have guessed. It reminds me of an old history lesson about the Soviets: Out of the peasant class there came some relatively affluent farmers (the kulaks). Obviously their success meant they did something bad. So they were



scapegoated as class enemies of the poorer peasants. Their property was taken away, and many were killed. Their farms were turned into communal areas and given over to less prosperous peasants, who—surprise— were not as good at farming as the kulaks. After that came mass starvation. Anyway, what does this have to do with British Columbia and the cost of gas? Let’s lay out some background. Start with a spring refinery shutdown season that then leads into the

ultra-high-demand summer holiday driving season. Tack on a complete unwillingness to build new refineries. Fortify with zero tolerance for increased tankers in coastal waters. Obviously it goes without saying that when pipeline projects like Trans Mountain are resisted (or in the case of the Northern Gateway project, killed off altogether), that threatens to pump up fuel prices via supply restrictions. Then come these pesky high prices for gasoline.

If X doesn’t get the result you want, the answer is obviously more X I’ll give you a rough cross-section of the personalities I hear in conversation as I travel around B.C.’s Okanagan region:

The “There Oughta Be A Law” chick Vaguely pro-environment, vaguely anti-profit (except when she’s profiting), thinks any cost increase at the pump should be met with stricter regulations and perhaps even a boycott of certain service stations.

The Lemming-Ostrich Hybrid Wonders why fuel and insurance and food are all going up in price, friend told him it was because capitalism was evil, sounds plausible … hey, did you see the latest on Instagram?

You may say, “Well, we have bigger issues to defend than the honour of the gas-bar owner.” Isn’t it interesting, though, and more than a little terrifying, that the general citizen is so quickly willing to scapegoat a middleman further on down the line? The gas-station owner is, after all, their neighbour. And not in the sense of a general appeal to king and country, but a person who literally lives down the block. And that turns out to be the owner’s biggest weakness—he or she is right there in front of them and is not only in business, but the oil business. The family-owned gas bar and convenience store is, after all, the terminus of every pipeline any of those profiled above ever hated.

I find myself thinking things like: • Should the owner not be able to earn a living? • How much or little profit should he or she make, and who gets to decide? • Thank goodness gas prices went up—thank goodness the market responds as it should in times of higher scarcity. Should owners instead be discounting their prices as demand goes up and supply goes down?

“Kill ’Em All and Let Gaia Sort ’Em Out” guy


Won’t be happy until gas is unaffordable for everyone except celebrities and dignitaries who jet around the world lecturing the rest of us on population control. Even though the above two types are his natural allies, he hates them because they insist on driving cars. The connecting factor of all three is their public and vocal condemnation of gas-station owners.

I’m not saying the gas station owner is some sort of misunderstood hero. But that is about the last place I’d look if I were bitter about pump prices. We might start, instead, by looking in the mirror.

How long to stay in the political closet? Falling on the wrong side of the eco and equitable camps these days means keeping your thoughts to yourself unless you want to be hassled, protested or worse.

“Falling on the wrong side of the eco and equitable camps these days means keeping your thoughts to yourself unless you want to be hassled, protested or worse.” You also don’t want life to become constant and petty squabbling with every other member of your community, nor does it seem healthy or effective to forever fret about things over which you have very little control. And yet, it’s a well-worn political cliché to talk about “divisiveness.” But I’m not sure that divisiveness is such a bad thing (the alternative being mindless lock-step, perhaps off a cliff). It’s closer to an ultimate truth about the human condition. A necessity, even. So forget all that hooey about convincing others. Maybe the best you can hope for is to make enough money that you don’t have time to care about gas prices because you’re too busy getting your accountant and lawyer to stash your cash somewhere safe. And while you’re at it, propose to some of your golf buddies that you all go in together, not on an apartment complex in Florida but on a politician who might have your back once in a while. Until you’re at that point, it feels like the greedy gas-station monster caricature is a nice barometer to check. Like people railing against the greedy factory owner or greedy farmer of the past, it’s like a pop song that gets recycled every other decade or so. 

Sean Corbett is an Okanagan-based writer and filmmaker. He runs the marketing agency Repria Multimedia Corp (repria.ca)





Do You Really Want to Save the Environment? Try science and technology instead of activism, says young Canadian mycologist


grew up in Alberta. Surrounded by nature, I spent my childhood skiing in the Rockies, fishing on the Bow River and camping in Kananaskis. Surrounded by such beauty it would be near impossible to



not fall in love with the environment, and not want to fight to protect it. I believe I’ve been an environmentalist my entire life. However, I’m not your typical environmentalist. Where others see protesting, boycotting and rallying

as the answer, the be-all and end-all ways to “protect” our environment, I believe that the best way to create change is to actually do something, to create solutions. Rather than dedicate time and energy to opposing oil and gas opera-

“In order to protect the environment, we must first understand it and learn from it.�

This page and facing page: iStockphoto.com

tions, I believe that time and energy is better spent dedicating ourselves to creating new solutions and developing new technologies to make the industry more sustainable and environmentally conscious, while at the same time working to develop those new technologies so that when we are ready, we can begin a smooth transition to incorporating new energy sources.

A global concern Growing up in Alberta I was exposed to the oil industry from an early age. As I grew up I began to take notice of some of the press surrounding the industry, focusing always on the negatives, and highlighting the environmental concerns.

It was around this age that one afternoon while I was in the alley behind my house, I noticed a dandelion growing up through the pavement. Knowing asphalt was hydrocarbon based I became curious as to why dandelions could grow in an environment that was toxic to most other plants. With a bit of research I soon discovered it was attributed to the accumulation of a fungus in their roots. Since this discovery nine years ago, I have developed two novel and completely natural methods of remediation, to help support the industry by alleviating some of the environmental concerns. In 2016 I founded my first company, MycoRemedy, with the goal of changing the way the world remediates.

Contamination of both soil and water is truly a global concern, and the problem is only further elevated by the lack of current technologies to efficiently address this contamination. Current remediation technologies tend to be slow, costly and extremely energy-intensive. At MycoRemedy we aim to change this, by using fungi-based techniques in order to restore polluted environmental sites naturally. We aim to provide the most cost-effective, rapid and environmentally conscious solutions available, without sacrificing high quality results. Our technology utilizes fungi, part of which is diverted agricultural waste from commercial mushroom production and manufactures it into our novel MycoMats. All aspects of our MycoMats are completely natural, meaning they can be left in the soil indefinitely, requiring no removal once remediation is complete. Early trials show our technology is 90 per cent cheaper, 98 per cent faster, and unlike traditional methods that don’t actually do any remediation, we remediate 100 per cent of the contaminants. In order to protect the environment, we must first understand it and learn from it. I feel it is important to support our environment, ensure its protection, but I don't believe we need to sacrifice our industry and our economy in order to do this.




“A prosperous economy is integral to innovation, especially environmental innovation.”

Fostering innovation A prosperous economy is integral to innovation, especially environmental innovation. To support innovation, to support change, we must support our industries, help them adapt so we can secure an economy that can support and foster innovation. I believe the lack of “social licence,” the opposition to new projects that would enable more efficient transport of crude across our country, comes from a place of misinformation and wrong assumptions. Many see a huge environmental risk where in reality the risk is minimal. They simply care. They want to protect the environment, ensure a healthy world for future generations. We need to show them the incredible environmental innovations taking place in our society, the innovations in all areas of policy and technology that are addressing our unique environmental challenges and working proactively to reduce our footprint. We need to show them that we are addressing problems aggressively, that we are capable and that we are ready. 

Kelcie Miller-Anderson is an award-winning scientist, innovator, writer and social entrepreneur based in Calgary. She currently splits her time between research, speaking to future leaders, and on her environmental startup, MycoRemedy. She is a dedicated environmentalist and fierce industry advocate.



How to Remediate Soil Naturally Before the Pipe on Your Property Leaks BY KELCIE MILLER-ANDERSON

Most people don’t realize it’s possible to be both pro-pipeline and pro-environment. Supporting pipelines doesn’t mean you don’t support the environment or the transition toward more sustainable technologies and energy use. Simply put, pipelines are one of the safest and most environmentally conscious ways to transport oil and gas. The current transportation methods for oil and gas include rail, trucking, shipping or using pipelines. They all have their advantages and disadvantages but pipelines are the clear winner for their safety and reliability, making them the best existing method for the transportation of oil and gas products. So if the advantages of pipelines far surpass other methods, why does there seem to be a general fear and uncertainty around pipelines? Most of the fear and opposition surrounding pipelines comes from a lack of information or understanding. The main fears are likely two-fold: the fear that leaks will occur and not be reported or detected, and the fear of what happens when a spill does occur and contaminates the land or environment. The fact is that pipelines in Canada maintain a stellar safety record, and data from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) backs up that claim. Canada is a leader when it comes to protecting the environment, and this extends to our laws. Pipeline companies operate under a “polluter pays” principle. What this means is that regardless of who is at fault for the leak, the operator of the pipeline has the responsibility to take action to restore any contaminated or damaged land. These laws ensure that not only are pipeline operators being proactive to avoid leaks but also ensures that they are taking responsibility for any future risk associated with the operation of the pipeline. New technologies are constantly being developed to make pipelines safer and more efficient, and work is moving forward on developing novel technologies that can address pipeline spills rapidly and in an environmentally conscious way if spills were to occur. One such technology we are developing at MycoRemedy even has the potential to be installed proactively with a new pipeline as an environmental safety tool already in place if a leak were to occur. The technology is applied as a pipeline is laid and remains dormant in the soil. In the case of a leak, natural organisms begin to remediate the contamination immediately. Canada is at the forefront of this innovation and is a leader in developing novel remediation technologies that are ready to act in the rare event of a spill. These technologies range from mechanical solutions, to more natural enzymes, bacteria, plants and even fungi that are being developed to address oil contamination.

Visit caepla.org

Read the latest articles, discover upcoming community events, connect with other landowners and learn how CAEPLA is on the front lines of the fight for your property rights.



Everybody Benefits from Pipelines It’s easier than ever for companies to leave the land better than when they entered it


atural Resources Canada estimates that there are 840,000 kilometres of pipeline within our country. To put that into perspective, the Canada-U.S. border is about 6,422 kilometres long. There’s enough installed pipe in Canada alone to span that entire border almost 131 times, coast to coast.



It’s important to note that this is Canada, not Alberta, not British Columbia, not Ontario and not Prince Edward Island. This situation is not unique to Canada, either—the Global Energy Institute estimates that there are 4.1 million-plus km of pipeline installed in the United States. Like so many others, I have witnessed first-hand the struggles when industry and landowners do not cooperate. There is no progress, there are no profits and neither party

“In 2013, Galloway Construction Group took the position that enough was enough: the spread of noxious weeds through access matting was unnecessary and out of control.”

leaves the project happy. An impasse is not a precedent that should be set for the younger generations who are learning to lead future projects—it is not a legacy we should leave behind. Galloway Construction Group Ltd. in Ponoka, Alberta, like many other firms on the cusp of innovation, constantly asks not only management and executives, but everyone else all the way to front-line labour, “Is there a better way?” As more companies and landowners begin to ask this question, the answer becomes quite clear: there has to be. Fortunately, innovations that break with the traditional way of completing projects are constantly coming onstream. These innovations help industry advance while working side by side with landowners to move the interests of both parties forward.

Photo by Steve Sutherland

Clubroot mitigation With the planting of this year’s crops still fresh on every farmer’s mind, it is safe to assume that worries such as clubroot have already been considered at least once this year. As one of the oldest, most pernicious, and easily recognizable plant diseases, it seems odd that even to this day industry and landowners are still locking horns over mitigation techniques. In 2013, Galloway Construction Group took the position that enough

was enough: the spread of noxious weeds through access matting was unnecessary and out of control. Through a partnership with Newpark Mats and Integrated Services, DURA-BASE® composite matting was reintroduced to Western Canada. Unlike traditional wooden or even rubber access matting, DURA-BASE® access mats are compression moulded into a single piece made from a non-porous HDPE material. What this means is that they can effectively be decontaminated of not only clubroot spores, but also of all other noxious weeds and contaminants. The single-piece construction also means that there is no debris left behind for landowners to pick up after the project has come and gone. Farmers and other landowners are doing their part to help solve biological issues that plague the land. For clubroot alone, they have introduced resistant varieties of canola seed, they are planting bait crops, and they are embracing healthy crop rotations— among many other practices. Industry has taken note of the extra effort put forth by landowners and is exploring innovations such as DURA-BASE® composite matting. No one is forcing the multi-national energy providers that are constantly in the news to utilize DURA-BASE® composite matting; they are doing it voluntarily together with Galloway Construction Group because it is the right thing to do.

Every single one of us benefits— if not profits—in one form or another from the pipelines that run across North America, and their installation and maintenance shouldn’t be a fight while renewable energy sources are developed. The solution should be clear. It should be an easy choice for landowners to say yes to industry. It doesn’t have to be “us or them.” We all have the same fundamental needs for heat, for power, for fuel, for travel… we should all be moving in the same direction. With all the innovations at their disposal, it is easier than ever for companies to leave the land better than when they entered it. We should all be moving forward together—and we will. 

Chace Elliott has more than nine years’ experience in the oil and gas and heavy construction industries, working with Galloway Construction Group and founding his own company. He holds a master’s degree from Dalhousie University in Resource and Environmental Management. His international experience includes partnerships and expansion opportunities between Canada and the U.S., and his current research involves studying the correlation between the spread of noxious weeds and the construction of linear projects.





CAEPLA’s Construction Monitor Innovation

The missing link in real-world social licence for pipelines


nlightened companies seeking to deliver vital energy products to market are increasingly working to address the legitimate concerns of landowners and other stakeholders. Astute leaders and the corporations they represent realize that no matter how necessary these products are for the general welfare and growth of our society, they cannot be produced and transported unless



those who are affected most by these activities are on board. You may have heard this process of generating broad social acceptance through securing the ongoing approval of impacted stakeholders referred to as “social licence.” Plainly stated, if the people who are most affected by an enterprise consider it safe and equitable, the remainder of the population will likely adopt the same view. So how can key stakeholders be confident that petrochemicals are being produced and transported safely and ethically?

CAEPLA has entered into a 125page agreement with Enbridge that is tied directly to the construction of the Line 3 Replacement Project, or L3RP. This contract is aimed at developing mutual trust and respect. The agreement outlines the most stringent obligations for careful soil handling and bio-security ever seen in the industry. The National Energy Board has made this agreement one of the conditions for regulatory approval of the project. At the core of the agreement— ensuring that these promises are kept—is a commitment between the

“Each day, InFocus monitors—armed only with a camera and a keyboard—travel up and down the L3RP right of way, observing and recording the execution of every phase of construction.”

parties to engage a group of independent third-party monitors. Enbridge and CAEPLA have agreed to contract with InFocus Management Consulting for this task. InFocus provides a team with expertise in the disciplines of pipeline construction practices and inspection, soil management and environmental conservation, farming methods and landowner relations. The monitors work alongside engineering and construction team leaders, construction contractors and inspectors, environmental inspectors and, importantly, landowners, to ensure that everybody complies with the agreement.

Alamy Stock Photo

Backstop protectors Demonstrating commitment to the agreement, CAEPLA and Enbridge have decided to extend InFocus monitoring services to all privately held lands. This makes InFocus monitors the backstop protectors of all non-government-owned lands, regardless of the affiliations of respective landowners. This shows commitment by both Enbridge and CAEPLA to build trust with all stakeholders—the necessary precursor to a real-world social licence. Each day, InFocus monitors— armed only with a camera and a keyboard—travel up and down the L3RP right of way, observing and recording the execution of every phase of construction. Monitors ensure that survey and

line-locate teams practice bio-security protocols for washing and bleaching equipment and boots. They assure that work crews adhere to the agreed points of access and that they park trailers and equipment in places that don’t trespass or cause safety hazards or inconvenience to area farmers. Monitors ensure the same for fencing teams, which cordon cattle from unsafe hazards along the right of way, and hydrovac crews which expose crossing and proximate pipelines to prevent the possibility of striking any buried infrastructure. InFocus Monitors take special care to ensure that topsoils are stripped to the exact depths determined by prior soil horizon sampling. They make sure that these soils are stored separately and safely in order to eliminate admixing, minimize wind and water erosion and prevent the spread of weeds. Additionally, the monitors oversee the replacement of these soils at depths and levels of compaction that match the conditions before the ground was disturbed. Among the many ways InFocus Monitors have proven their value to L3RP have been the remarkably few citations by NEB auditors during numerous rigorous examinations. Enbridge has quickly remedied the handful of very minor irregularities—such as missing documentation regarding washing a vehicle (though the equipment had, in fact, been washed according to specifications). Simply put, Enbridge inspectors and InFocus Monitors have spotted

and fixed all potential problems before they became non-compliance issues.

Record of accountability Should the observations of InFocus Monitors ever go unheeded by Enbridge inspectors or construction managers, a process is in place for a joint committee of Enbridge and CAEPLA representatives to work it out. To date, with pipe laid in 3.25 of nine spreads, no issues of non-compliance have arisen. This record of accountability goes a long way toward establishing trust among the most important stakeholders—those who live on and make their living every day from the land through which the project passes. Infocus Monitors are playing a key role in serving not only CAEPLA members, but all affected landowners, responsible pipeline companies like Enbridge, government regulators and the public at large. Their meticulous, independent confirmation of proper safety, bio-security and soil-handling practices build confidence among all stakeholders that pipelines can be built safely and with respect for all lands and stakeholders. 

Infocus is an Aboriginal-controlled Canadian land management company that has been in business for more than 10 years. It is committed to being an honest broker that embraces the model described above.





Walking On Water Canada’s energy transport sector perfects technology to protect rivers and lakes


anada has 8,500 rivers and two million lakes—an enormous amount of water on which all Canadians rely for drinking, washing, recreation and many other uses. Pipelines, by necessity, are sometimes put in place through waterways and near aquifers. Building this infrastructure near water comes with many challenges that have to be identified, mitigated and monitored. The risks include floods, landslides,



settling earth and erosion. But well before construction even starts, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) member companies have already done their homework. With the help of biologists, environmental specialist and other experts, they seek the least impactful locations to cross water bodies. They choose the safest ways to build, based on analyses of bank stability, wildlife, vegetation and other factors. And they follow exacting industry-leading standards and government regulations. Ensuring comprehensive water

protection is in place requires a collaborative approach with stakeholders from across the energy sector. A prime example of that is the sector’s approach to ensuring compliance with two pieces of federal legislation, the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act. Different environments offer different challenges, and it takes a unique and innovative approach for industry to operate efficiently while maintaining a high level of commitment to safety and environmental protection.

“Special cameras are mounted on the ground, on aircraft and at critical locations. These cameras are so sensitive they can detect, at distances up to two kilometres, hydrocarbon vapours that are invisible to the human eye.”

Assessment tool

Alamy Stock Photo

CEPA, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Canadian Gas Association, working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the National Energy Board, hundreds of experts and online public input, recently completed work on a standardized assessment tool. Called the Fish and Fish Habitat Impact Assessment Tool (FFHIAT), it provides a more efficient way of ensuring pipeline compliance in different and complex environments, streamlining the process and, most importantly, helping to place appropriate protections on Canada’s waterways. The transmission pipeline industry employs innovative solutions to pipeline construction and monitoring, as well, including web-based tools for monitoring in the field. In 2015, CEPA’s Geohazards Management Users Group started an initiative to test new technologies that will enhance the monitoring of pipelines, thereby protecting our water resources, from hazards like changing water currents or ground movement. One of these technologies is an acoustic monitoring system that can detect when buried pipelines are exposed. Enbridge conducted a successful trial of this system at a Coquihalla River crossing in British Columbia.

Trenchless installation Whenever possible, CEPA members employ a trenchless method of pipe-

line installation called horizontal directional drilling. This method allows the operator to drill under a river and thread the pipe through, with minimal disturbance to the water and surrounding banks. The pipe used around waterways may be thicker and covered with corrosion-resistant coatings, and, as with the rest of the pipeline, fusion welding at very high heat is used to join sections together. Pipelines crossing water bodies are also equipped with block valves on both sides of the water crossing that can immediately stop the flow of product. Once pipelines are constructed, control rooms check the operation of the pipes constantly using aroundthe-clock, high-tech monitoring systems. Sensors detect minuscule pressure changes—even a small leak can cause a change in pressure.

Safe and responsible But transmission pipeline operators do more than high-tech remote monitoring once pipelines are in operation. They also have people on the ground, patrolling pipelines on foot and on ATVs. In the air, they use drones and low-flying aircraft. Special cameras are mounted on the ground, on aircraft and at critical locations. These cameras are so sensitive they can detect, at distances up to two kilometres, hydrocarbon vapours that are

invisible to the human eye. Smart PIGs, or in-line inspection tools, are used to monitor the condition of pipelines from the inside. These devices travel through a pipeline to monitor its health, and diagnose issues such as metal defects. The resulting data can forecast potential challenges so the pipeline operator can address them before any leaks might occur. Whether from remote locations or along the right-of-way, pipeline operators are taking all necessary steps to ensure safe and environmentally conscious operations of their pipelines— just one of the ways that they protect Canada’s waterways while ensuring pipelines are the safest and most responsible way to transport the energy that Canadians use every day. 

Patrick Smyth is vice-president of safety and engineering at the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) where he and his team work with industry partners to enhance industry performance and reputation. A Canadian Registered Safety Professional, Patrick began his career in the trades and progressed into a quality assurance role, obtaining certification in both Canada and the United States in welding inspection and non-destructive examination. He holds diploma of technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and BComm and MBA degrees from Royal Roads University.




The CAEPLA Workshop Series



Take the guesswork out of moving your equipment over pipeline rights of way. INTEGRITY DIGS

What they are, what’s involved and what landowners should know.



How developing and enforcing a bio security protocol protects your land. PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION 101

Everything landowners need to know about the life of a pipeline.

Stay tuned for our next series starting in Fall 2018. Check our website often for new dates, topics and locations.

For more information contact: admin@caepla.org or 306-522-5000


Brought to you by Enbridge and CAEPLA, Canada’s leading advocate for landowner safety and environmental stewardship.


Photo by David Stobbe

Dave Core, left, in conversation with a landowner in Saskatchewan.

Moving On, Not Out Leaving the CEO role at CAEPLA means new opportunities to serve landowner interests


he announcement at the CAEPLA website said “as any farmer knows, spring is a time for renewal.” And spring 2018 indeed is a season of change for CAEPLA, “a time for a fresh start, new projects and a time of optimism.”

It is with great optimism that I have chosen to resign as CEO of CAEPLA and turn the reins over to Annette Schinborn. She is more than capable of fulfilling the role. Annette came highly recommended to CAEPLA in 2010. Since then she has proven her value in a number of different roles at our organization,

a progression that has led naturally to the role of CEO. This change in leadership opens the door to many opportunities. A new generation of leadership means new energy and a new breed of landowner professionals. Each will contribute to a renewal of CAEPLA’s effort to find a way forward for energy




“Encouragingly, there is an interest on the part of young professionals and entrepreneurs in the energy industry in doing things differently.”

infrastructure projects built ethically on a foundation of property rights. Such a foundation is the surest way to instill confidence in society where energy industry safety and environment are concerned. Meanwhile, I will not be disappearing into the sunset—I’m not retiring. The restructuring of our management team means I get to look forward to focusing on CAEPLAnegotiated business settlements, regulatory/government interactions, research development, industry relations and representing CAEPLA on committees—all with a view to better serving you, the energy infrastructure landowner. It will also free up some of my time to devote to my growing business interests outside CAEPLA. When I reflect back on where we started, our goals and vision, and now look at where we are today… we have evolved considerably and contributed to significant change. CAEPLA has stayed well ahead of the curve and are well positioned to continue to influence future developments. CAEPLA’s founders were all fulltime farmers and ranchers. Busy people committed to agriculture: crops, animals, growing food, raising families, stewardship of our soils and environment, while also running our businesses. People who took responsibility for what was “ours” by ensuring that those who came on our land did not continue to dump their liabilities on us as they had been for the previous 40 years.



We were disgusted by energy companies and others disrespecting our property and our rights through the use of threat of expropriation and right of entry; a transfer of our hardearned wealth to the profit margin of company shareholders. We were frustrated by federal National Energy Board legislation that provided multibillion-dollar companies with a kind of rent control— by controlling the price of their most important input, land. Regulations that granted permission to compromise our soils, our normal farming practices, our environmental stewardship responsibilities, and left us with costs that put our families and businesses at risk.

A better way The article “The Book That Inspired CAEPLA” in our Summer 2016 Pipeline Observer edition explains it well. I encourage you to check it out on our website, if you haven’t already read it. In 2000 our goal was simply to show the energy industry, regulators and governments that treating landowners with respect is a better way to get projects built, built right and on time. Standards set through respect for property rights in negotiated business agreements set the bar on safety, and environmental stewardship standards made it easier for industry regulators to approve projects while reassuring the public projects are indeed sound.

At a number of times over the past 18 years our board of directors and I have looked optimistically outside the box, listened carefully to interested individuals, and hired experts and other professionals to help us continue to move forward and to find new ways to promote our ideas. Encouragingly, there is an interest on the part of young professionals and some entrepreneurs in the energy industry in doing things differently. Many now embrace a new approach to getting pipelines built. Some of these individuals see CAEPLA and our ideas as the vehicle for change and want to get involved. So while it’s time for me to step aside, I will not be stepping down or out of the organization. My role now is to support the next generation of the energy landowner movement and support Annette in her new role by taking on special projects that advance landowner interests in harmony with industry. I am excited for the future. I hope those of you who appreciate what CAEPLA has accomplished, and understand the credibility we have created, will be part of helping us plan the future of property rights and the energy industry in Canada. 

Dave Core is CAEPLA’s Director of Special Projects, having served as President and CEO from 2000 to 2018. Dave is the principal at Dave Core and Associates, a firm consulting on land management, agribusiness, and property rights issues.

This is how we protect the land, water and wildlife. Thousands of dedicated professionals across the country – from engineers to environmental experts – work together to deliver the energy you need while protecting the environment. Find out more at aboutpipelines.com