Photo: Story of Corporate Deceit:  How Enbridge erased BC islands

Everyone in BC knows that the Northern Gateway pipeline is proposed to travel from the Albertan oilsands, through our province to Kitimat where the oil would be loaded onto supertankers to travel across the ocean to China. The fear of an oil spill has really galvanized opposition to the pipeline.

So, Enbridge (the pipeline company) hired a PR firm (one that has worked for Big Tobacco and Enron) to roll out a multi-million dollar campaign to convince the public that the pipeline is safe. The problem was that the tanker route was extremely treacherous including the maze of islands that oil tankers as long as the Eiffel Tower would have to precariously weave through.
So, what did they do? They ERASED these BC islands right off their map and pipeline safety videos.

I'm an independent specialist in scientific data visualization and I recently discovered that Enbridge deliberately removed 1,000 square kilometers of islands off their route safety video and map to make the oil tanker route look much less treacherous than it actually is.

Please join us in demanding that Enbridge pulls this ad.

They can't erase part of the BC coastline just like that.

This video makes their deception very clear: Enbridge Northern Gateway flyover Misleads the public

By Lori Waters

Victoria, BC

People only defend the things they know about. Share these stories.

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May 31, 2014
9:47 PM

So typical.

May 28, 2013
1:54 PM

there are about twenty thousand people who depend on the inter tidal zone for sustenance on the proposed route. they do not intend to, nor could they ever replace the foods the first people of the coast survive on. in February/March the Oolichans come to the rivers and are caught in the intertidal zone as well as a recovering herring stock, April/May brings the harvesting of the intertidal species that live on the rocks…..Seaweed,chitons(2 different species)as well as water fowl(eggs) it is also the time of year for the prized steelhead to return to rivers they came from,June/July Brings the early salmon runs,all salmon traverse the proposed route…. August/September sees the late salmon runs…the coastal stocks from the thousands of small streams that receive chum,pink and coho salmon..October through January….the most critical time for the first peoples of the coast….the sand dwellers that brought us through thousands of winters past as evidenced by shell middens…It is proven that the first peoples farmed the beaches closest to them for greater returns of clams and cockles… the risk is to great… it is not just the Beautiful scenery at risk but a group of people and there identity at risk.

Jan 20, 2013
3:05 PM

never have i seen a clearer example of the arrogance of the corporate mentality towards the general public………well guys…… know the old saying………you can fool some of the people etc………they are so used to getting away with it that it has become endemic to the corporate culture…….why not give it a try……….it is just another strategy to get things the way they want them……….a methodology of omission in order to satisfy the greed which is at the root of this modern form of evil……..too obvious this time………

Nov 20, 2012
4:06 PM

This project along with our Federal Government need to be shut down. We cannot let democracy be ignored. As Canadians it is our duty to stand up to this government who seem determined to turn us into a 3rd world nation. The Enbridge pipline would not have gottten out of the starting gate if we had a government with any kind a social or environmental grasp oif reason. People of British Columbia cannot and will not stand by and watch our coastline be destroyed for the profit of multinations or Canadians for that matter. Frankly if we Canadians had any real guts we would shut down the tar sands completely, concentrate on renewable energy solutions and move forward with the civilized people of the planet.

Sep 18, 2012
7:57 AM

Take a look at the English channel and Malacca Straits…some of the worlds largest tankers pass through these areas

Sep 09, 2012
4:01 AM

Enbridge is treating the Canadain public as if it were a pack of simpletons. This stupidity detracts from serious consideration of a serious economic proposal.

Aug 30, 2012
7:16 PM

Say no for the pipeline

Aug 23, 2012
6:51 PM

Ok, so just because they said it's a 'representation and not to scale' at the end of the video makes it right? They knew what they were doing by eliminating those islands = makes their case look better.

Aug 23, 2012
12:59 PM

There are a couple of important things to note here: 1. This story was submitted as part of our Best Pacific Ocean Stories contest and is NOT David Suzuki Foundation content. 2. Within hours of this story going out, Enbridge pulled the video from their site and reloaded it with the added disclaimer that this is not to scale and removed the misleading image from of one of the videos. Regardless, even if the video is only a graphic representation and not to scale, it still very much conveys the false image that the Douglas Channel is wide open and easily navigable, when in fact there are 1000 sq km of islands in the channel, making it extremely treacherous for tankers of any size, let alone ones that are as long as the empire state building. In fact, one of the erased islands (Gil Island) is the one that the BC Ferry Queen of the North hit before it sank. 3. The Enbridge disclaimer says that the “animation is for illustrative purposes only and is meant to be broadly representational, not to scale”. The ad itself is, however, is describing the safety of the pipeline route, so if it was to be even ‘broadly representational’ it should include the islands that fill a large part of the Douglas Channel. It appears to misrepresent the very issue the video is addressing – safety. 4. It’s true there is another detailed video of the tanker route. This story is not about that video. Though it lives on the same site, it doesn’t detract from the importance of fairly depicting the risk associated with the pipeline and tanker route in all promotional materials.

Aug 19, 2012
4:42 PM

The political spin of this example and countless others has gotten to the point of being extremely tiresome. The deception and the stupidity is mindboggling. Is there a way back to honesty and integrity and Canada following the guidelines of scientists now when this is needed more than ever. We need to put an intelligent foot forward if we're ever to stop trashing the planet.

Aug 19, 2012
1:09 PM

Enbridge isn't entirely wrong in this depiction. If they get their pipeline, those islands are as good as gone.

Aug 16, 2012
7:58 PM

Call in the cavalry (NTSB) and chase out the keystone cops….!

Aug 16, 2012
12:10 PM

Please make sure to include the original videos and source so people can make educated decisions.

I very much agree that they oversimplified the Douglas Channel, but the video CLEARLY states not to scale and oversimplied etc etc and it's not even the main video it's literally just a flyover of the pipelines route in a cartoony drawing. < The video in question. HRm… well it does say does not represent scale and has been simplified…

They do follow up with this though:

Aug 16, 2012
12:04 PM

Wouldn't it only be fair to link the DETAILED video, which exists on the EXACT same site, which explains how they plan on navigating the treacherous channel? It took me 5 minutes to find this on the SAME SITE the flyover video is on

If you also watch the original video it clearly states:

"The animation is for illustrative purposes only. it is meant to be broadly representational, not to scale"

I really WANT to support your cause, but not when you support your own motives with this kind of lack of journalistic integrity. Give me the entire context. Give me the big picture.

Aug 16, 2012
10:00 AM

Heres my view: just leave enbridge dangling out in cyberspace wearing this ad of theirs and all possible repercussions against themselves. For example as soon as I saw this story on a discussion site about Aboriginal issues, I looked up the US NTSB site and forwarded to them a link to the story as it appears in the Vancouver Sun. In other words, I felted prompted to come up with some measure to help reveal this corporation's activities in a forum wider than Canadian media. Whether that little email has an effect directly, I know it does reinforce in me that I can and should be active on behalf of my beliefs about our future. Each of our actions will lead us to a stronger position as individual citizens and as a group. We will be less passive and accepting of the actions of aggressive corporations. We must PRACTISE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

Aug 16, 2012
9:22 AM

My hope is that our voice will be heard and that we as a people can do our part to keep our province green without the use of enbridge and other such deceiving companies

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