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Behind the pipeline industry is a poorly...
Dave Core, CAEPLA's CEO and Director of...
By Benjamin Sinclair
Of the highest-yielding stocks on the S&P/TSX 60, seven pay out more in dividends than they make in income. Two others - Potash Corporation of Corporation and National Bank of Canada - are making shareholders very nervous.
Oddly enough, the last name on the list is TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP), whose Keystone XL pipeline proposal was just rejected by U.S. president Barack Obama. As of this writing, TransCanada's dividend yields nearly 5 percent and could easily be your best dividend option on the TSX 60. We take a closer look below.
A stable business
Plummeting oil prices have not been helpful to TransCanada. As energy firms cut back on drilling, they need fewer pipRead more »
Court ruling does not bode well for property rights or democracy.
When it comes to energy transport projects, a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling this week confirms what CAEPLA has been saying for years, the National Energy Board (NEB) is itself supreme, and its decisions trump those of all other levels of government.
The case resolved around the eco-activist Mayor of Burnaby's use of that city's bylaws to obstruct Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline expansion.
While it is not yet known whether Burnaby will appeal, the judicial reinfrocement of NEB power does not bode well for landowners.
The ruling is a clear denial ofRead more »
The next time you look up, you may see the latest safety tech embraced by pipeline companies...
Landowners are the pipeline industry's "first line of defense." It's a concept industry has long touted, and one CAEPLA wholeheartedly agrees with.
But farmers and ranchers are beginning to see some competition when it comes to just who - or what - constitutes energy transport's first line of defense. And it comes in the form of technology.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones as they are more commonly known, first became familliar to the public from their use by the military in places like Afghanistan.
But drone technology is increasingly being deployed closer to home. Many ranchers are using them to monitor herds, and pipeline companies are experiRead more »
Will Trudeau promote pipelines and make the NEB respect your property rights?
Canada's 42nd federal election is finally over.
Justin Trudeau is in with a majority and Stephen Harper, styled by some the "pipeline prime minister," is out.
CAEPLA of course is non-partisan but that won't stop us asking what you and pipeline landowners across the country are wondering right now: what will the Trudeau Liberal government mean for pipelines and property rights in Canada.
No new major pipeline projects were completed on Mr. Harper's nearly ten year watch, despite the moniker.
We already know PM-elect Trudeau is supportive of TransCanada's controversial and long delayed Keystone XL, the Canadian leg of which was completed with CAEPLA's assistRead more »
"In the long run, one of the best ways to promote economic development is to respect property rights."
In the rush to stop Trump's presidential bid a lot of media and pundits have suddenly discovered property rights because Eminent Domain (government expropriation) is one of the GOP front runner's vices.
This is good news for Canadian landowners as US political topics eventually trickle into the public debate in Canada too.
This article, while a bit too sympathetic to the "hold out" argument in favour of expropriation, does point out a couple of tRead more »
Industry acknowledging what CAEPLA has been saying about pipelines
"Because pipelines are buried in the ground, they are literally out-of-sight, out-of-mind," says Enbridge community relations manager Jason Manshum. Until recently "you didn't get too many people asking questions" about energy infrastructure buried underfoot, he explains here.
CAEPLA has been talking for years about what Manshum dubs a "paradigm shift" in public scrutiny of pipelines. Heightened public awareness of pipelines has brought issues like safety into greater focus, but has also made the industry targets for activists dominating the political debate who want to shut down the energy industryRead more »
Premier says energy transport better get proactive with the public...
Brad Wall is right.
It is not often we agree with, much less praise, anything a politician has to say.
But the Saskatchewan premier nailed it last week in Regina when he told attendees at the Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA) Foundation fall meeting that industry is at risk of losing the argument over the use of oil in the court of public opinion.
Premier Wall said what has needed to be said - and what the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations (CAEPLA) has been saying - for a long time, and said it straight to theRead more »
Activists hope to stop replacement of Enbridge's aging Line 10.
If you ever wanted proof most environmental activists are no friends of pipeline landowners, this is it.
You read that right: an alleged environmental group is opposing the replacement of an aging pipeline that passes through highly populated Hamilton, Ontario, en route to the US Border.
Now, if you are like most people concerned about pipeline safety and environmental sustainability, it's the aginRead more »
CAEPLA backs payback for pipeline company.
Enbridge is looking for millions of dollars worth of tax breaks - and we couldn't be more supportive.
The Calgary-based energy transport titan is petitioning the Minnesota tax court for property tax paybacks from several counties in that state.
But why should landowners support a windfall for a pipeline company? Especially when the energy transport industry is too often guilty of enjoying the financial subsidy known as expropriation/Eminent Domain at landowner expense?
Glad you asked.
Pipeline projects are forever justified in terms of a "greater good" that includes taxes paid to governments.Read more »
Government needs to talk property rights with landowners - or get out of the way.
At this summer's National Energy Board (NEB) Safety Forum, newly minted Board chair Peter Watson informed those of us in attendance that he planned to do things differently.
As a long-time advocate of the NEB doing things differently - or better yet, not at all - I was curious. His predecessor had claimed the Board could only operate within the limitations of government legislation. So I asked Mr. Watson, publicly, what in fact he meant by "doing things differently."
His response was that he intended to consult and "talk more" with "stakeholders."
The new chair did not elaborate on who all he would recognize as "stakeholders."
But unless Mr. WatsonRead more »
Let's make something clear: this petition against eminent domain is not really about respect for landowners, their property rights or safer pipelines. In fact it is simply hypocritical. These folks feel taking private property is fine as long as it benefits "them" (the petitioner) but it's not fine if it benefits someone else.
The language in the petition is the dead give away. The philosophy expressed is essentially anti market -- the foundation of which is the principle of property rights -- just like eminent domain itself.
"Taking private property from landowners for corporate profit is an abuse of emiRead more »
Canada's nationally regulated oil and gas pipelines were originally constructed more than 50 or 60 years ago. Many of these pipelines are reaching the end of their useful economic life.
The National Energy Board (NEB) has the regulatory authority to authorize pipeline companies to decommission or abandon these pipelines. While the NEB has implemented a toll surcharge to generate funds for this purpose, the abandonment funding currently being generated will be sufficient only to accomplish removal of approximately 20 percent of this pipeline infrastructure.Read more »
What is government good for? It's time to answer this question.
I read this editorial at the Globe and Mail's news service this morning.
After reading the article I realized that CAEPLA has been asking the same question about the Canadian Government's National Energy Board (NEB) and the many provincial Energy Regulators across Canada for years.
At the recent NEB Safety Forum (June 2nd and 3rd, 2015) I was asked to make a presentation on landowner issues concerning pipeline safety and I was asked to look to the future. As I look back at my remarks. I realize we simply responded in the same fashion and came to similar conclusions about the NEB as the Globe and Mail's Editors did in this editorial about government.
The NEB bureaucrats have simply compromised pipeline safety by creating "Goal Oriented Regulation" where safety is a goal rather than an expectation.
If property rights were respected, and landowners, private property owners were able to negotiate contracts disciplined by the courts, rather than bureaucrats, then the prescriptive covenants in those business contracts would enforce safety. Safety would then be an expectation.
This article in the Globe supports our historical and ongoing concerns with the NEB as explained in my presentation at the NEB Safety Forum.
"We are also witnessing the alienation of the public from the regulator with trust in the Board at an all time low. Regulators are seen either as serving industry, or government, or as being too remote or slow moving to address issues in a meaningful way."
"We need to depoliticize and 'debureaucratize' the process. We need to liberalize the system to provide landowners and industry the freedom to negotiate 'win-win' business agreements on a level playing field."
"We believe Enbridge's new working relationship with CAEPLA demonstrates a newfound respect for landowners' property rights and environmental stewardship, and signals a sincere commitment to safer pipelines."
"This is a trend that CAEPLA's member pipeline landowners are ready to embrace. We believe it will result in safer, more environmentally friendly pipelines."
On June 2nd and 3rd, the National Energy Board held a Pipeline Safety Forum. CAEPLA's CEO, Dave Core was invited to be on a panel to discuss Right of Way Issues and Solutions.
Other Members on the Panel were Pierre Lemieux, Union des producteurs agricoles du Quebec and Humphrey Banack from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Banack provided excellent coverage of landowner issues and the challenges of having pipelines "forced" on their land.
Mr. Core, from his years of experience dealing with pipeline landowner issues across Canada, provided a fresh perspective of the future and how respecting landowner property rights and resolving their legitimate issues addresses concerns for pipeline safety and the environment.
"I was helpfully advised by a nice person at the Board to please not come here to give a history lesson. I was reminded that there is a new team at the NEB now, a new chair, and a whole new attitude..."
Paul G. Vogel is a partner in the London law firm of Cohen Highley LLP. Paul contributes to Agrilaw, a syndicated column produced by the full service London law firm of Cohen Highley LLP. Paul G. Vogel practices in the area of commercial litigation and environmental law. Agrilaw is intended to provide information to farm operators on topics of interest and importance. The opinions expressed are not intended as legal advice. Before acting on any information contained in this column, readers should obtain legal advice with respect to their own particular circumstances and geographical area.
Farmers across Canada are becoming increasingly concerned about the introduction and spread of noxious weeds and other pathogens and the potentially disastrous consequences of these biosecurity risks for annual crop production. From clubroot in the West to soya bean cyst nematode in Eastern Canada, government agencies, producer organizations and farmers are all focused on controlling these biosecurity risks.
CAEPLA has been working hard on behalf of you, the landowner, to build bridges with industry.
Since reaching out formally to pipeline companies last year in pursuit of "win-win" business agreements that address your legitimate concerns in the way no regulator or green activist ever could, we are pleased to report some progress.
At this year's Enbridge Annual General Meeting, Enbridge CEO, Al Monaco, reported to Enbridge shareholders and its board of directors how the company has responded to CAEPLA's plea for constructive resolution of landowner issues. We include some excerpts from his comments down below.
Dave Core, CEO and Director of Federally Regulated Projects for CAEPLA, also took the opportunity to respond to Enbridge now working cooperatively, to move toward a more respectful, productive, and profitable relationship between industry and directly affected landowners. We also include his comments below.
Al Monaco's Remarks at Enbridge's AGM:
"…This is all to say that the energy landscape in North America has changed.
And we’re leading that change.
Here’s how Enbridge is approaching the business today."
Engaging Communities and Landowners
"First of all, the most important thing we emphasize – listen to what communities are saying!
We’re using that input to make our projects better.
It’s important for our staff, but that also applies to me as CEO.
Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of communities.
It’s critical to build strong relationships with our landowners and communities – and through that, we build trust.
The value of constructive relationships is evident in our Line 3 Replacement Project.
I’d like to acknowledge the involvement of Mr. David Core the president of CAEPLA (Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations).
Dave is here today. He’s been at our Annual General Meeting before.
He does a good job of holding us to account, but also in finding solutions to make projects better.
In 2009, a key factor enabling construction of our Alberta Clipper pipeline was a landowner agreement we developed working with Dave and his membership.
More recently, Dave was instrumental in pioneering an environmental protection protocol with Enbridge to prevent the spread of club root.
In Q1 2015, we were successful in reaching an agreement – and support – for Line 3.
That collaboration is testament to the ability of both groups to find common ground."
Dave Core's Remarks at Enbridge's AGM:
I attended last year's annual meeting to plea for constructive resolution of landowner issues and suggest it was time to do business another way. Time to move away from regulatory processes in favor of "win-win" business agreements. Time to stop expropriating landowners and embrace us instead as business partners. And perhaps more importantantly, as public relations partners. Partnership with property owners will permit pipeline companies to win political and PR battles and earn the social license the public demands in order to get projects done. Why, because addressing landowner issues will make pipelines safer. Landowners can help ensure that.
As an owner of shares in a number of pipeline companies I attended other annual meetings to pitch these same ideas. In 2014 we began to sense a shift in attitude -- an evolution of thinking, if you will, coming from the executive suite at Enbridge.
So when we reached out to industry to propose new ways of doing things, we were pleased to find Mr. Monaco and his team reaching back. CAEPLA and Enbridge are now working cooperatively, to move toward a more respectful, productive, and profitable relationship between industry and directly affected landowners. And in just the last six months, CAEPLA landowners across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba negotiated and signed a settlement agreement, a business agreement with Enbridge on the proposed Line 3 Replacement Project. That agreement was unanimously supported by our landowner members.
In addition, CAEPLA has recently agreed to work with Enbridge to produce much needed research on the pressing issues of pipeline decommissioning and corrosion -- one benefit of which will be to help the company clear costly regulatory hurdles that delay construction.
Another benefit of the common ground we have found with Enbridge is the creation of a precedent setting Clubroot Biosecurity protocol sure to become the industry standard across Canada.
We believe Enbridge's new relationship with CAEPLA demonstrates a newfound respect for landowners' property rights and environmental stewardship, and signals a sincere commitment to safer pipelines.
CAEPLA has spent the better part of a quarter century advocating for these things on behalf of pipeline landowners. Landowners and their families live and work with pipelines 24/7/365 - safety for us has always been paramount - so who better to partner with in the promotion of new projects?
We are encouraged to see Enbridge acknowledge this and welcome the opportunity to work cooperatively.
Yet, many challenges remain. Important landowner issues still need to be addressed. But we are committed to working on these issues incrementally, one by one, to achieve 'win-win' business agreements. Business agreements that are not only good for landowners, but good for the bottom line and good for shareholders. Business agreements that are not only good for the company, but good for the public, for pipeline safety, and the environment.
We wish to congratulate the executive of this company for your forward thinking and your ability to adapt in a changing environment.
CAEPLA/Manitoba Pipeline Landowners Association(MPLA)/Saskatchewan Association of Pipeline Landowners (SAPL) have recently concluded negotiations that was unanimously ratified by affected landowner members. Another precedent setting pipeline agreement for our landowners on the Enbridge 3 Replacement Project, as precedent setting as the agreement negotiated on the Enbridge Alberta Clipper and Southern Lights projects in 2007. Also included in the agreement is an updated Integrity Dig Agreement and resolution to outstanding issues on the Cromer Line 3 Replacement Project.
CAEPLA/MPLA/SAPL and Enbridge continue to discuss and negotiate the issue of decommissioning of Line 3 as the NEB Hearing process approaches.
Congratulations to our landowner members and Enbridge on a settlement that respects the environment, improves pipeline safety and respects property rights. Another win for the public, landowners and Enbridge.
Research by the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre concludes that, whether it is federally regulated pipelines or pipelines that are regulated by provinces the current regulatory processes are manifestly unfair to landowners, pose unacceptable risks to our environment, and allow companies to escape responsibility for the full spectrum of risks posed by their pipelines.
Under the current regulatory regime, landowners have few rights when a company decides to build a pipeline across their land – and the procedures are anything but transparent. This begins right at the outset.
This paper provides needed independent research on landowners issues and provides the evidence that the federal regulations, regulatory processes and legislated Right of Entry for pipelines is nothing more than rent control and externalization of costs for the Energy Industry.
1) Ottawa's National Energy Board and its disposition towards landowners;
2) The Alberta Land Bills and the impact they will have on property rights, not just in Alberta, but even elsewhere in Canada (see what the CAEPLA SmartPig has to say about that in the letters section), and;
3) What to do when the landman comes calling.
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