Tag Archives: Alyana

08Oct/19

Enbridge defends pipeline safety ad but critics insist company is playing catch

VANCOUVER — Those reading major newspapers in British Columbia, Alberta or Ontario over the past two days might have noticed a full-page ad placed by Calgary-based Enbridge.The statement from the oil giant emphasized the company’s “99.999 per cent” pipeline safety record and its commitment to preventing oil spills.While Enbridge maintains the ad was not a direct reaction to negative publicity it has been receiving in recent months, some critics are viewing it as an effort to win over those opposed to one of the company’s major proposed Canadian projects.Andrew Barr/National Post Shortly after the scathing U.S. report, which likened Enbridge to the “Keystone Kops,” Enbridge announced it would invest another US$500-million in safety improvements to the Northern Gateway pipeline.But the oil giant continues to see opposition to the proposal.Hillman said Enbridge would need to do much more than placing an ad if it wants to persuade British Columbians to support Northern Gateway.“As much as you like to have a large flag that you can wave, the reality is you’re still dealing with aboriginal communities, and with others all the way along the pipeline and other interest groups,” he said.“You need to be able to work with them and develop those relationships as well.”Holder agreed.“There’s no question, we know we have a lot of work to do, especially in the province of British Columbia, to convince the public that Enbridge is a respectable company, that we can build pipelines in a safe and reliable and sustainable way,” she said.“I wouldn’t say we’re ready to say it’s working yet — I believe we have a lot of more work to do, but we have some time on our side, and we will continue helping the public understand who we are.”In Ottawa, the head of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Brenda Kenny, acknowledged the industry is playing catch-up when it comes to countering the negative perception some people have of pipelines.“As a sector, we’re coming to this late in terms of going public with the programs we have underway,” Kenny said.“We should have been more communicative earlier. This is a sector that’s been operating very, very safely — and frankly, below the radar screen — for many, many decades. We recognize that it is of high importance to Canadians at this point in time, and very important to our country. So you will be seeing a lot more of us.”The association’s news conference Thursday on Parliament Hill was intended to draw attention to an initiative that has been in place for about four years aimed making pipelines safer and more environmentally sound.Kenny said her group plans to ramp up communications to better publicize the program, but dismissed the suggestion it amounted to little more than a public-relations effort.“This is absolutely not a PR exercise,” she said.“We owe it to Canadians to deliver infrastructure that is the safest in the world, and we owe it to Canadians to provide information that helps them make their own decisions about how they feel based on the facts.” Enbridge’s pipeline safety record has been attacked recently by environmental advocates, politicians and the media due to several spills from its pipelines in the U.S. The criticism comes as the company is trying to gain approval for its controversial Northern Gateway project, which would take Alberta oil to northern B.C. to be shipped to foreign markets.Indeed, it’s likely no coincidence that a prominent industry group staged a separate news conference Thursday in Ottawa to promote an existing program aimed at making pipelines safer and more environmentally sound.Mike Hillman, a former B.C. Liberal party campaign manager and a former public affairs consultant, said the Enbridge ad indicates the company may be trying to “play catch up” with those opposed to Northern Gateway.Hillman said if Enbridge is trying to garner support for the project, it should have made the company’s pipeline safety statistics more apparent to the public sooner.“If in fact you have an exceptional record and you have qualities that are in fact very real, then there’s no reason why those things shouldn’t be known to people much earlier in its existence,” he said.[np-related]“By bringing out those things now, by the sounds of it, to counter some of the reactions to their project in B.C and to also recent incidents that have happened, it’s a bit of catch up.”University of British Columbia social marketing professor Darren Dahl said the ad, which is a written statement by the company’s president Al Monaco and chief executive officer Pat Daniel, may also be an attempt to move public sentiment by giving out information that Enbridge feels is more accurate.By bringing out those things now, by the sounds of it, to counter some of the reactions to their project in B.C and to also recent incidents that have happened, it’s a bit of catch up“If you asked someone 10 years ago about pipelines, they probably had no opinion or they’re like, ’Yeah they’re well-managed,”’ Dahl said.“But because of the high stakes of the (Northern Gateway) proposal, and there has been some pipeline incidents in past years that has caught the media’s attention, people don’t have the same neutral or positive attitude…towards pipelines.”Indeed, Enbridge’s ad stresses the necessity of getting the facts on pipelines straight.“Pipeline safety has been much in the news lately, and so it’s important to give the issue some context—to look beyond the latest headline and recognize the outstanding long-term safety record of this important energy delivery system,” Monaco and Daniel wrote.But the company’s executive vice president of western access said the ad is not a direct response to some of the negative publicity it has been subjected to.“We’re just trying to assure the public that we do take safety very seriously,” Janet Holder told the Canadian Press in a phone interview.“This just further enhances that we take safety very seriously and that our track record would show that.”Last month, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board criticized Enbridge’s response to a pipeline spill of millions of litres of oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River on July 25, 2010, affecting more than 50 kilometres of waterways and wetlands.AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File read more

06Oct/19

UN team arrives in Liberia to survey needs of proposed peacekeeping force

The 11-member team will submit recommendations for the size, structure and mandate of a UN force, as requested by the Security Council.”We…talked about Monrovia, where things seem to be moving,” Mr. Annan told the press after a meeting this morning with United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. “We are making progress, both on the political and the military front, and we hope that in the not-too-distant future we will be making even greater strides.”The Liberian Government and two rebel movements signed the peace accord on Monday, paving the way for an interim government to take power in October to rebuild the nation and prepare for elections in two years’ time.The deal – brokered by representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mr. Annan’s Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah – was signed two-and-a-half months after peace negotiations began in Accra, Ghana, and just one week after former President Charles Taylor left the country for exile in Nigeria on 11 August.Meanwhile on the humanitarian front, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) joined an inter-agency mission that moved beyond Monrovia to get a clearer picture of displacement and humanitarian needs in areas outside the capital.The joint-team went to Tubmanburg, a town about 50 kilometres north of Monrovia, where an estimated 20,000 people have been displaced amid the recent fighting. UNHCR said the displaced have been surviving mainly on cassava leaves and palm cabbage, and are in desperate need of food, health care and sanitation. The local hospital is empty, with all the medicine and equipment looted. Makeshift medical facilities have been set up at a nearby church.In Monrovia itself, security is still problematic, with daily reports of looting, carjacking, rape and burglary. The World Food Programme (WFP) continued distribution to some 9,000 displaced people, bringing the total number receiving food aid this week to 45,000. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners continued their operation to chlorinate some 3,000 wells around Monrovia. read more