“Love Will Save This Place”

2015-05-19

in Economics, Politics, The environment

The power of this ferocious love [for places where people live and where they care about] is what the resource companies and their advocates in government inevitably underestimate, precisely because no amount of money can extinguish it. When what is being fought for is an identity, a culture, a beloved place that people are determined to pass on to their grandchildren, and that their ancestors may have paid for with great sacrifice, there is nothing companies can offer as a bargaining chip. No safety pledge will assuage; no bribe will be big enough. And though this kind of connection to place is surely strongest in Indigenous communities where the ties to the land go back thousands of years, it is in fact Blockadia’s defining feature.

Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. p. 342 (hardcover)

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. November 3, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Resistance to infrastructure projects has become the norm in Canada’s resource sectors. As part of a four-month investigation, the Financial Post identified 35 projects worth $129 billion in direct investment — mostly private money — that are struggling to move forward or have been sidelined altogether because of opposition from environmental, aboriginal and/or community groups. The downside is adding up: slower growth, lower Canadian oil prices, investment chill, less control over domestic resources, over-reliance on the U.S. market, regulatory gridlock.

A $100-billion loss in direct investment is no drop in the bucket. It means an additional loss in value (roughly equivalent to the rate of return on the investment) of at least $8 billion to $12 billion a year for the life of the resource projects, generally 40 years, or $320 billion to $480 billion, estimated Jennifer Winter, energy economics professor at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

Bitumen pipelines from Alberta have dominated the headlines, but other projects have also come under attack, including the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Newfoundland, a uranium mine in Quebec, a wind power project in Ontario, liquefied natural gas development in B.C. and fracking in New Brunswick. The list goes on.

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