Transcript: Franke James meeting with Joe Oliver

by Franke James

Franke James March 3, 2012This is a condensed transcript from my one hour meeting with the Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, on March 3/12 at his riding office in Toronto. I brought in a digital tape recorder to ensure accuracy. The interview has been condensed for length and also relevance to my visual essay. My husband Billiam James came with me, so you’ll see some of his questions too.


What bothers Joe Oliver’s green conscience?
Joe Oliver Denies Any Oil Subsidies Given by Harper Government
Joe Oliver on why we need an Independent Review on the Northern Gateway Pipeline
Joe Oliver on Eating Fish from the Athabasca River
Joe Oliver on First Nations Rights, Radicals and Adversaries
Franke James on Bringing Stakeholders to the Table

What bothers Joe Oliver’s green conscience?

Franke: What bothers your green conscience?

Joe: Well, what bothers my green conscience? Me, personally? I think as a citizen of the world I want to contribute to a healthy planet.

Franke: That’s good, but even people who don’t think of themselves as very green are still bothered by their Green Conscience on a regular basis. Now you might throw a piece of paper in the trash and then think “Oh darn I was supposed to put that in recycling.”

Are there any times during the day when you say, “Oh that bothers my green conscience?”

Joe: I don’t think about things in that term. I’m involved in dealing with govt policy on a whole host of important issues and though it’s extremely important that what we do in the Natural Resource area be socially and environmentally responsible, my impact is greater in that context than on an individual basis.

Franke: That’s true…

Joe: We all have to behave responsibly. But I’m someone who likes to gather the facts. I’m influenced by what objective scientists have to say and you know govt policy has to be grounded in a factual basis. And then when you gather as many facts as are available then you make policy decisions. So that’s why the govt has spent over $10 billion dollars in investing in energy efficiency, alternative energy and reducing the environmental footprint of conventional energy production.

Franke: Right. So one of the things that really kicked my green conscience into gear was the Eco-energy retrofit program where you were able to insulate your house — that made a huge difference to us. A huge difference. [Research after the meeting: the Eco-energy retrofit program has been terminated]

Joe: It’s one of the most efficient ways of reducing carbon emissions. When you look at a cost-benefit analysis you want to look at what the cost is and what the impact is, and it’s one of the best ways of actually doing that and it also gets people personally involved so they feel engaged. It creates an ownership psychologically.

Franke: Yes, well that was a huge factor for us.

Joe: We continue to do stuff. I was down at the auto show giving awards to energy efficient cars and we’ve already got guidelines and we’re going to be updating them to take account of more realistic driving conditions because I think what we have now, when you find out what the mileage on a car is, it’s the ideal mileage. It’s not realistic. It’s very good at telling you which car is more energy efficient than another car, but it overstates the mileage a bit, not a huge amount, maybe it’s 15% or something. So we’re going to get more accurate numbers to reflect actual driving conditions and climatic conditions in Canada. So that’s one of the — it’s in accord with — the retrofit program for homes, and the energy efficiency and the idea also of being able to indicate to people what types of things in their homes achieve what environmental result and so then we should be able to have a whole series of evaluations which will enable someone who is building a house to get that house kind of a green stamp on it so to speak, which will mean that the house will be more energy efficient. It will also probably improve the resale. Well it will improve the resale of course. Both from a conscience point of view and just pure numbers.

Franke: Yes. So individually we all have our part to play in addressing the solution.

Joe: So yes those are some examples of that.

Joe Oliver Denies Any Oil Subsidies

Franke: Your major emphasis – if we stand back – is the oil sands.

Joe: Yes but we’re not giving companies money to develop the oil sands.

Franke: Aren’t you subsidizing the oil industry?

Joe: No.

Franke: There are no subsidies?

Joe: No, there are no subsidies.

Franke: Ok, I’ll have to do some research on that. I thought they were subsidies.

Joe: People have said a lot of things.

Franke: So there are absolutely no subsidies given to the oil industry in Canada? I just want to be clear on that.

Joe: The only thing — There has been some help on the green stuff, for example one of the first things I did was to go up to Fort Saskatchewan which is north of Edmonton, to make an announcement in respect to an upgrader where they’re looking to create a carbon capture and storage system. Now we put in $120 million but over a billion was invested, part by the govt of Alberta and part by Shell and so we did help in that specific project because we’ll reduce emissions by 40%. And it’s uneconomic so that’s why we put a bit of money.

Franke: So, I’ll do some research and if I find out differently I will get back in touch with you.

Follow Up Note: I sent Joe a follow up email asking for clarification because the Global Subsidy Initiative 2010 report on Canada cites well over a billion in subsidies.

See my subsidy post written after the meeting:
Why Oil Subsidies and Oily Weasels are Not Endangered.
Also see the March 2012 article by Mike de Souza:
Ending fossil fuel subsidies is no-brainer: former Tory MP

Joe Oliver on the need for an Independent Review on the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Franke: So we’re here today because I want to ask you about the Northern Gateway Pipeline… The pipeline is all about risk versus reward. There’s trillions of dollars in rewards for Alberta and the oil industry but B.C. would be taking most of the risk. Nathan Cullen says that the $140 million dollar wild salmon economy would be totally threatened if not ruined by a spill. The B.C. coastline has had a 40 year ban on tankers because the waters are so treacherous and hard to navigate.

Joe: False.

Franke: It has had a 40 year ban. [See link to May 2012 motion by NDP to uphold the ban.]

Joe: There’s an exclusion zone that doesn’t have it.

Franke: The Douglas Channel you have to admit is skinny. And the zigzag route [to Kitimat] involves many hairpin turns which are tricky for tankers.

Joe: Ok, let me answer that. This is precisely what the environmental review has to look at. I don’t know the answers to that question. I’m not a scientist, so that’s why we’re getting an independent evaluation to look at it to see. We don’t want to go ahead on any project that isn’t safe for Canadians and for the environment.

Franke: What independent review is that?

Joe: The National Energy Board.

Franke: Ok, so let’s hope that really is arms-length and independent. The thing is I looked on the Northern Gateway website and they have a figure of $1.2 billion in tax revenue to B.C. over 30 years. Which sounds significant. However, one spill could wipe that out. The Exxon Valdez cost more than $9 billion to clean up, and Exxon only paid about $3 billion of that amount. Taxpayers were stuck with the rest.

Joe: No, I don’t believe that is correct. Well first of all you have to have insurance, and then you have the company behind you.

[Franke’s note: The Exxon statistic comes from page 34 of What’s at Stake?]

Franke: Right but the interesting thing is that the insurance – and I happen to have this analysis: “Who pays for oil tanker spills in Canadian Waters?

Joe: There hasn’t been an accident on the coast.

Franke: Since 2006. There was a major accident. Remember the Queen of the North?

Joe: There hasn’t been a tanker accident in over 20 years.

Franke: The Queen of the North accident was a ferry and it’s still causing trouble in terms of leaking fuel.

Joe: Well, that’s another thing that the environmental review will look at. Fortunately technology is improving. All the tankers will be double-hulled. And there will be extra pilots and so that’s what Transport Canada has to look at. These are the things which an environmental review looks at. Technology is improving. The risks are diminishing.

Franke: Well, when you were talking about liability one of the interesting facts I found out was that if there’s a pipeline rupture, Enbridge will pay. However if there’s a tanker spill, Enbridge doesn’t pay because the oil will already have been transferred to the tanker.

Joe: Well, somebody else pays.

Franke: But will that company be able to pay a multi-billion dollar bill for the clean up? A spill could easily be $2 billion dollars to clean up. And you can never bring the marine animals back to life. Or the Spirit Bear who is dependent on the salmon. There’s a whole circle of life.

Joe: Well, you know there’s liability insurance but we’re talking here about something that has to be examined by an independent regulator who is going to be using science to make that determination. You know, I am told that the technology has improved significantly and will continue to improve and so the risk of accidents becomes quite remote.

Franke: You mentioned the double-hulls and there was actually an accident in Texas in 2010 with a double hull tanker.

Joe: So what happened?

Franke: I was just reading about it this morning.

Joe: Did it contain the oil?

Franke: No, the double-hull didn’t contain it!

Joe: Well, I never heard of it.

Franke: It still had a spill. I can follow up and send you that report.

[Franke’s note: In 2010 alone there were two major spills from double-hulled tankers: the Eagle Otome, with a coast pilot onboard, at Port Arthur, Texas and the Bunga Kelana 3 in the Strait of Singapore. Combined, the two tankers spilled 4.6 million liters of oil into the ocean. Source: Living Oceans]

Franke: There are some more things. You can have a copy of this if you want. It’s about the liability issue and I found that fascinating. (I gave Joe the fact sheet: “Who pays for oil tanker spills in Canadian Waters?”)

Joe Oliver on Eating Fish from the Athabasca River

Franke: So, here’s a question for you personally: Would you let your family eat the fish or drink the water from the Athabasca River?

Joe: I don’t know enough about the Athabasca River. I would want to know from the government whether it’s safe to do that.

Billiam: Isn’t it your responsibility as the Minister of Natural Resources to know whether that water is in good condition?

Joe: Well, no actually it’s the Minister of Fisheries but I can’t — it’s his responsibility but I would inform myself. I mean I, we don’t allow (small chuckle) fish that is contaminated to be sold to Canadians.

Franke: Well, unfortunately and that is why I was so shocked…

Joe: So, if it’s sold at the market I would assume it’s safe.

Billiam: No, but it’s caught. The First Nations people are catching fish right out of the river as they have for centuries.

Joe: I understand.

Billiam: And they have a bit of a problem there.

Joe: I don’t know. I mean, you’re asking me a question about the Athabasca River and I don’t know the answer to that. But I know there are people in government who do.

Billiam: You’re saying you don’t know what the status of the fish or the water conditions are in the Athabasca River, as Minister of Natural Resources? You don’t know the answer to that question?

Joe: No, I don’t know at this time the answer to that question.

Franke: OK, so, I want to show you something really important. Because when I read about this a couple of months ago I was really shocked and upset. What this is – this is an Environment Canada oilsands presentation from May 2011. It’s labeled “secret”. It was released to PostMedia News under an access-to-information request.

Joe: It’s secret to me too.

Billiam and Joe both laugh.

Franke: Well, isn’t it good that I’m in here telling you about this, today?

Joe: Well, yeah, this is great.

Franke: Yes, we should work together. So [it says] “Contamination of the Athabasca River is a high-profile concern.”

Joe: The fact that it is marked “secret” by the way…

Franke: Is nothing?

Joe: Well, it doesn’t – I mean these types of communications are all marked “secret” it’s nothing. It’s not a plot.

Franke: Ok, well that’s good to point out, however the point of this… [Joe interrupts]

Joe: Well that fact that I didn’t see it just means. Well, I don’t know if it came before I was appointed which was on the 18th of May. But in any case it’s not my Ministry so.

Franke: Ok, it’s been out in the news for awhile.

Joe: Yeah, yeah I’ve heard something.

Franke: Ok so it says, “Contamination of the Athabasca River is a high-profile concern. Recent studies suggest elevated levels of pollutants near mining sites including hydrocarbons and heavy metals raises questions about possible effects on health of wildlife and downstream communities.”

This is a BIG problem and the fact is that Environment Canada is presenting it to the government and telling them that it’s a big problem, and David Schindler who is an ecologist from Alberta presented evidence of deformed fish in 2010, and my concern is that not enough is being done.

Joe: Well, look, I think what you should do, the proper people to speak to about this are the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Fisheries.

Billiam: Can I just ask you a question? Isn’t part of your job (and especially with your experience as a regulator) to oversee the regulation system for these projects?

Joe: I’m not a regulator. It’s up to the regulator to look at these things and it’s up to – we have a whole government approach obviously but there are different ministries with different responsibilities and that’s why I have a good handle on my own ministry but I’m not going to pretend to know everything about every other ministry in the govt but you know we work together on these matters and as I said we’re not going to proceed with projects that are not safe for Canadians and safe for the economy. Those are two fundamental criteria.

Franke: I’m happy to hear you say that.

Joe: I’ve said it many times. This isn’t the first time I’ve said that.

Franke: But the problem is that the contaminated fish — and it was actually in a BBC news article [EU to vote on oil sands pollution] as well — that the First Nations, it was the Cree Lake Nation, are reporting that they are taking fish out of the water and they have cancerous tumors on them. What I wonder is – there are a whole bunch of issues – but just economically we can say Canadian taxpayers and oil company shareholders are at risk from class action lawsuits regarding the pollution of the Athabasca River. And I am surprised that the govt is not working harder to correct this.

Joe: Well, how do you know how hard they’re working? I think you should address yourself to these other ministries because they’ll know specifically what…

Franke: This was reported in 2010 in the newspapers. It’s been reported recently. I mean it’s an ongoing problem. I think the thing is if you look back at the history you’ll see that it’s been reported for many, many years that this has been a problem and it appears that the govt has been looking the other way. So, let’s move on to another question.

Joe: Well, that appearance I would contest. Well, you’re showing me a memo but you’re not showing me we don’t know precisely what they’ve done.

Franke: So you know what? Probably the underlying reason that this report was created was that Environment Canada said “We’re not getting moving on this monitoring of the oil sands fast enough and we need to take responsibility, we need to push this forward.” This is probably, I’m thinking, the reason that this document was created. Because since then you’ve decided to implement the recommendations which were announced in 2010 and that you actually do need to have monitoring.

Joe: No, we had monitoring but we’re going to do more monitoring.

Franke: Yes, more monitoring. But slow, slow, slow, sloooooow. You’ve got people who are eating fish that are contaminated and that’s not right.

Joe Oliver on First Nations Rights, Radicals and Adversaries

Franke: Will Canada respect First Nations right to decide about the pipeline crossing their land?

Joe: We have a moral and constitutional obligation to consult with aboriginal communities and we will do that.

Franke: You said “consult”, that’s good…

Joe: That’s correct. That’s what the constitution says.

Franke: Yes, but Chief Atleo says aboriginals aren’t just stakeholders when it comes to extracting natural resources — they’re rights holders and the regulatory processes hasn’t reflected that reality. First Nations also filed a complaint with the UN concerning racism that the pipeline violates international law.

Joe: There is no racism I assure you.

Franke: I don’t think that they are feeling that they are being consulted well enough.

Joe: I assure you that there is no racism. That is simply false. But there is inherent in the regulatory review the consultation obligation and it’s ongoing and it will continue. As I say, it’s a fundamental moral and constitutional obligation. There is then an obligation for accommodation. You know when you move ahead on these matters. So we have to accommodate their interests and that will of course happen.

Look we’re not commenting directly on that pipeline because it’s under review but what I can tell you is – this is a matter of fact – that there’s a billion dollars put on the table by Enbridge for Aboriginal communities. I mean that’s a serious amount of money. And Enbridge is talking to different Aboriginal communities about the project and working with them and some are moving on side, some have said they are, some haven’t yet. So, we’ll see what the result is. But you see for me, I see this as potentially transformative for Aboriginal communities. There is an opportunity for immense progress, economically and socially, which is desperately needed. And here’s a chance for employment, for equity participation, for cash to fund social programs and so on. We’ve seen it in the North. I was up at Baker Lake, you know when the Prime Minister did his annual tour of the North, and that community had an unemployment rate of between 40 and 50%. Now it’s down to 2% because of the gold mine up there. So it can make an absolutely fundamental difference. They don’t have to be taking money from the govt. They’re earning money in high-skilled jobs.

Franke: I can understand the economics, but the problem is that if there’s a spill up there, their wildlife are killed, the fish and water are poisoned. They can no longer maintain their traditional way of life and they will have to move.

Joe: Well, that’s what we want to prevent from happening. Pipelines are the safest form of transporting resources.

Franke: But Enbridge has had over 700 spills in the last decade.

Joe: The size of the spill is relevant. I mean the thing about a pipeline is that if you have a spill it’s contained in that section.

Franke: But it wasn’t contained in Michigan. It spilled into the Kalamazoo River and it has caused a lot of trouble.

Joe: Well, there are tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines going through North America. It’s a ribbon of stuff. The Aguila Aquifer by the way has hundreds of miles – I think thousands of miles of pipeline going… it actually has a drill hole going right through the aquifer, but nobody even talks about that. But anyway that’s going to be avoided. It’s as if this is the first pipeline going over the Aguila Aquifer. No! It is 95 miles out of hundreds and hundreds of miles but anyway they’re not going to do that. But the reality is that there’s a safety record and it’s a very, very good one. But there are accidents from time to time.

Franke: Enbridge doesn’t have a good safety record but anyway, we’ll move on — I have one more question for you. This is a great one. Ok – are you ready for it?

Joe: I’m ready.

Franke: First Nations and Environmentalists are listed as adversaries to the Harper Govt. How do you propose turning this around?

Joe: Listed by whom?

Franke: It was in a document that had allies and adversaries. It was published on the CBC.

Joe: Oh yeah yeah, just a sec…

Franke: But just conceptually you have called environmentalists…

Joe: No. False.

Franke: What did you say? You said, “environmentalists and other radical groups”.

Joe: No, you’re taking part of the sentence. The way you’re saying it, it implies that I said that all environmental groups are radical. I never said that. Some environmentalist groups are radical and they are. I didn’t say all environmental groups are radical.

Franke: So my question to you is…

Joe: I was talking to Elizabeth May yesterday and she had that misconception too and that’s what she said in an article, but it’s not true. I told her to look it over in English again and in French. It’s interesting because the wording is – both versions are official — and I haven’t had that criticism from Francophones.

Billiam: Did you write the letter in English or French?

Joe: Well but no they are both official. They are both accurate. No, no, no that’s not a good point by the way.

Billiam: It’s not?

Joe: I know you think it is. But in fact it isn’t. They are identical. And if you look at it you’ll see that it’s an accurate version. I mean they are identical. It’s just that what I said in English, if I can recall the precise wording, was I think I said “There are environmental and other radical groups” so there are, that’s another way of saying that is that there are “radical environmental groups”. And there are. But if I had said “environmental and other radical groups” that would mean that ALL environmental groups are radical. It’s a little – but if you read the French it makes it absolutely 100% clear. So I never said it. And I’ve repeatedly explained that but people don’t want to hear that, the clarification.

Franke: Ok, the point is that we can look at that access to information document in the Pan European Strategy that there were adversaries and allies and First Nations were listed as adversaries.

Joe: Ok just a second I have commented on that in the press. That was written by a bureaucrat. I do not agree with it. I think it was written by DFAIT, by someone in Foreign Affairs. The govt doesn’t agree with it. That is not official policy. And I don’t agree with it.

Franke: Ok that’s fine. Let’s step back from this. Big picture – would you say that the government has not embraced environmentalists and First Nations in this regard?

Joe: I would not agree with that.

Franke: They have taken an adversarial position. So all I’m asking you…

Joe: I would not agree with that.

Franke: Have you brought the environmentalists to the table?

Joe: The Ministry of the Environment consults with environmentalists constantly. Peter Kent constantly talks to environmentalists. John Duncan who is the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs talks to aboriginals constantly. I don’t speak to them constantly but I have spoken to them and I will continue to do that. I was at the Crown First Nations gathering in Ottawa. But it’s not my direct responsibility, so I don’t speak to them constantly. But John Duncan does. Therefore the government is in constant contact with environmentalists and with aboriginal communities.

Franke: You can say all of these things but frankly it appears to me…

Joe: They happen to be facts.

Franke: It appears to me that the government is taking an adversarial approach towards environmentalist and First Nations.

Joe: Ok well I don’t agree with that. The facts would show that isn’t the case.

Franke: Anyway the point is: How do we turn that around?

Joe: (chuckle) Turn around something that isn’t true? OK, it’s a perception of some people. You have this perception. There’s probably other people who have that perception. But it’s an incorrect perception. Ok?

Franke James on Bringing Stakeholders to the Table

Franke: Let’s move on. I’ve got one more point to make. So, what I think is that it’s time to drop the “us versus them” approach. The logging industry used to be at war in the woods.

This is from my Forest Stewardship story. [I showed him printouts from my essay.]

The fundamental question in that essay: “Is it right to cut trees?” You could spin that to “Is it right to extract oil from the ground?” [I read] “But who am I to point fingers because I live in a house made of wood. I walk on floors made of wood. I use paper made from wood.”

And you could make the same argument with oil. Even though we don’t have a car anymore, and we buy renewable energy from Bullfrog, we still rely on oil in our society, right?

Joe: Well, not only for transportation but for the production of a lot of goods.

Franke: Right. The interesting thing that I want to share with you today is this idea. With Forest Stewardship – and you may already know this – they managed to bring together a group of people as opposite as oil and water…

Joe: I know I’ve talked to Avrim Lazar about what he has done in that regard…

Franke: [Reading] “Or as combative as loggers and treehuggers.” They got them to join forces – which is just fascinating. Remarkably they all got together. So we’ve got environmentalists, First Nations, local communities and the loggers. You can probably see where I’m going with this…

Joe: Not yet.

Franke: [Reading] “To find a peaceful and profitable solution that would benefit all. Because the truth is, they all care about the forest.”

You could change that to, “they all care about our oil resources.”

[Reading] “The four groups founded FSC in 1993.” And this is really interesting — “The four groups share power equally.”

No one has more power than the other. Which is really amazing. So I compared it to a car with 4 wheels. If any of the wheels says “No go” it can’t go.

“They have to agree on the destination and how to get there. Because you have four very different groups they want proof that everything is checked. So all sets of eyes are checking everything. So they have an auditing system and each group has their own auditors.”

It’s an amazing system. “The proof is in the mail and in the wood. Every FSC product has a tracking number that verifies it’s path from the forest, to the shop and every step in between and back again.”

So, the idea that I had which would be interesting is… We’ve got a Forest Stewardship Council. We’ve got a Marine Stewardship Council. And we could have an Oil Stewardship Council.

You may want to call it an Energy Stewardship Council. But the idea is bringing the stakeholders to the table. All the people who are affected by a development. So you would have First Nations, the Oil Industry, the environmentalists and local communities come together. The Government doesn’t actually even have to be involved in a certification system like this.

And this incidentally are comments from the former CEO of Forest Stewardship Council, Tony Marcil. [I gave a printout of Marcil’s comments to Joe Oliver.]

“Faced with mounting controversy over the negative impacts of industrial scale fishing, the stakeholders adopted the Forest Stewardship Council model and created the Marine Stewardship Council, a certification now required by Loblaws and many other fish retailers. The Canadian petroleum industry and all its stakeholders might do well to establish oil stewardship standards that could be the basis of an independently audited Oil Stewardship Council certification.

“We have forest and marine stewardship councils with standards and certifications agreed to by all stakeholders. Why not an Oil Stewardship Council with environmental and social standards that could be the basis of independently certified crude oil?

“An Oil Stewardship Council certification could provide conscientious petroleum buyers the same assurance that paper and fish buyers derive from the Forest Stewardship Council and the Marine Stewardship Council certifications.

“FSC and MSC are not perfect but they work. So, why not an OSC?

“Even if universally accepted Oil Stewardship Council standards were not achieved, the multi-stakeholder negotiations of trying to get there would be a healthy exercise.”

Forestry is an extractive industry that overcame a history of abusive practices by adopting Forest Stewardship Council Standards. The fishing industry followed with the Marine Stewardship Council. Shouldn’t the oil industry follow suit? It wouldn’t be easy but is there a better solution on the horizon?

Multi-stakeholder approved certification standards for the oil industry sounds like an impossible dream. In 1992, it was an impossible dream for forestry in Canada but the FSC logo is now the accepted standard.

If the fishing industry can make the Forest Stewardship Council approach work, why not the oil industry?

FSC and MSC work for aboriginal, environmental, worker and community rights and industry benefits. So, why not an OSC?

Joe: Look, we very much want to work with different groups. The only groups which we think would be very difficult to work with are those groups which are utterly committed to opposing any hydrocarbon development, or it seems almost any development even hydro-electric power. There are some extreme groups that don’t want anything developed, and they are ideologically driven and there is no possibility of dialogue that I can see. But reasonable people should be able to agree.

Franke: So, what do you think of the concept of an Oil Stewardship Council certification system? It could actually be a benefit… it would be audited…

Joe: I’m not sure what it implies. But I would have to take a look at it a little more. But what we intend to do moving forward is to continue to consult with, and dialogue with, environmental groups, with Aboriginal communities, and with the industry. We are looking here at an immense resource. Canada is blessed. We are extraordinarily lucky as Canadians. The world looks at us with envy and rightly so. We can provide prosperity and security for Canadians. It’s a very good news story. The oil sands by themselves – as I’ve said many times — can produce $3.3 trillion dollars in economic activity over the next 25 years. 700,000 jobs on an annual basis. Hundreds of billions of dollars for govt social programs. So the benefits are enormous. We’ve got to do that in a socially and environmentally responsible way and technology will help us do that.

So we’re sitting here on this enormous potential for Canadian citizens around the country. We want to develop it but we want to do it responsibly. So we need to get people on side. You do that by getting the facts out. And you do that by talking to people and consulting with them and that’s what we intend to do.

[Joe’s assistant] Steven Cooke: We need to move on unfortunately because we’ve got other people waiting.

Franke: Ok. Thanks very much.

Joe: You’re most welcome. Happy to talk to you. I’ll take a look at this (pointing to the oil stewardship paper).

Franke: Great. It’s a concept. There are a lot of different things the council could be called but the idea is to focus on bringing the different players to the table and certifying.

Joe: You’re going to sign the book? I’m allowed to take gifts of up to, well under $50.00.

Franke: Good, good.

Bill: The retail value is $16.95

Franke: (As I signed the book) What do I call you?

Joe: Joe. That’s what people call me. Don’t lay on too big a guilt trip.

Billiam: Well Franke’s book is called “bothered” by my green conscience. So like I’m bothered that I can’t be perfect.

Joe: Yes, I know that. That’s great.

[I signed the book thanking Joe for meeting with me.]

Franke James © 2012 All rights reserved

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