April 6: Art Sterritt and the Northern Gateway Pipeline; Elena Herrada and the “Consent” Agreement in Detroit

Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Listen to entire program here:

The last program fell on Good Friday heading into the Easter holiday weekend – a weekend full of a message of peace and transformation; yet, with the Ontario and federal budgets this country and province are being transformed into ruthless dog eat dog places that place people and the environment dead list in a list of priorities meant to satisfy the global investor class.

 In the budget was $7-8 million earmarked for Revenue Canada to go after charities that receive funding from abroad. It is commonly understood that this move is a way to silence critics of the Tar Sands and the planned Northern Gateway Pipeline to the BC coast.

With me on the phone from his home in British Columbia was Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative and an opponent of the Northern Gateway Pipeline. The First Nations that comprise the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative “occupy the Northern and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii areas of B.C., from the Alaskan border in the north to Vancouver Island in the south. This region is the unceded Traditional Territory of more than one dozen First Nations.”

Click map image for more on the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative

If you’re looking where the fight is against the Harper regime look to Art Sterritt and the Coastal First Nations who are opposing the Northern Gateway Pipeline. In this audio clip Sterritt outlines the scope of the pipeline, the studies the communities he represents have carried out and the bullying tactics of the Harper regime. He also points out that any agency, government or otherwise, charged with protecting the environment are affected by funding cuts in the last federal budget. the environment is at stake; any semblance of democracy itself is at stake:

Proposed route of Northern Gateway Pipeline

In this segment, Sterritt explains that it is not pipelines that are the problem, it’s the crude oil, or in this case, the bitumen from the Tar Sands. The BC economy is self-sufficient and thirty thousand jobs rely on a healthy environment:

The illogic of the pipeline, coupled with a lack of a national energy policy leaves Canadians victims  to the whims of unaccountable global energy conglomerates:

The fight against the pipeline is one we should all be willing to take on. The Harper regime’s move to silence dissent is reason enough to take action. In this clip Sterritt also explains that past disasters must be avoided because the social costs as well as the economic costs are too great:

Click image for more on this band

For the oceans:

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In the second half hour I spoke with Elena Herrada, a Detroit community activist and school board trustee about the “consent” agreement giving the State governor, and in reality, corporations control of the city:

According to Herrada, the decision to implement the consent agreement is illegal and racialized as it is cities with majority Black populations and Black leadership that are “under an emergency manager of one form or another”:

In this clip, Herrada explains the effects of the consent agreement with some context around the realities of the tax base which depended on a residency requirement for city workers – that they actually live in Detroit – a requirement lifted ten years ago setting the stage for the state/corporate takeover of the city. She aptly describes how the inner city has been further eviscerated and become the playground of those living in the suburbs while inner city residents struggle to survive without  representation or the power of taxation:

Click image for Rachel Maddow segment on Emergency Manager Law at the 6:13 minute mark.

Click on image to learn why Detroit may be down but NOT out. (Thanks to Rich Feldman for this)

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