Friends of the Richelieu. A river. A passion.

"Tout cedit pays est fort uny, remply de forests, vignes & noyers. Aucuns Chrestiens n'estoient encores parvenus jusques en cedit lieu, que nous, qui eusmes assez de peine à monter le riviere à la rame. " Samuel de Champlain

"All this region is very level and full of forests, vines and butternut trees. No Christian has ever visited this land and we had all the misery of the world trying to paddle the river upstream." Samuel de Champlain

Monday, October 12, 2015

Jessica Ernst, public ennemy of the state?

Photo: Colin Smith

"Oscar Steiner, a land advocate and one of the organizers of the landowners' tour (March 2006), would later reflect that the Alberta government had done everything it could that spring to discredit Ernst. Spokesmen for the EUB (Energy & Utilities Board) even whispered to reporters in Nanton and elsewhere that Ernst had fabricated the water contamination because she was mentally unstable. "They had no idea how to handle her, none," recalled Steiner. "They had never dealt with someone as uncompromising as her. And they were in panic mode." One EUB official told Steiner he'd never seen anything as well organized as the landowner tour "except among terrorist groups." Was Ernst now a public enemy of the state?"

Excerpt of Andrew Nikiforuk's book Slick Water, p.148


Ma traduction libre d'un extrait du livre d'Andrew Nikiforuk intitulé Slick Water:

"Oscar Steiner, un défenseur des terres et l'un des organisateurs de la tournée des propriétaires terriens de mars 2006, commentera plus tard que le gouvernement avait fait tout ce qu'il pouvait ce printemps-là pour discréditer Ernst. Des porte-paroles du EUB (comité en énergie et des services publics) avaient même murmuré aux journalistes de Nanton et ailleurs que Ernst avait inventé de toutes pièces la contamination de son eau parce qu'elle avait des troubles mentaux. "Ils n'avaient aucune idée comment l'approcher, aucune," se rappelle Steiner. "Ils n'avaient jamais rencontré quelqu'un d'aussi intransigeant qu'elle. Et ils étaient en mode panique." Un responsable chez le EUB avait dit à Steiner qu'il n'avait jamais vu quelque chose d'aussi bien organisé que la tournée des propriétaires terriens, excepté chez les groupes terroristes. Est-ce que Jessica Ernst était devenue une ennemie publique de l'état?"

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Un gouvernement sans plan d'urgence ni protocole en cas de contamination

Photo: Jessica Ernst

"As an insurance measure, Ernst took her own water samples. The vials she filled - properly - came back from the lab showing three times more methane than the government-filled ones. It was now obvious that the government had no emergency plan for landowners and no water collection or safety protocol. Ernst had to call a plumber and arrange for the installation of fiberglass tanks on her own. It took the government a year to reimburse her."

Excerpt of Andrew Nikiforuk's book Slick Water, p. 145


Ma traduction libre d'un extrait du livre d'Andrew Nikiforuk intitulé Slick Water:

"Par mesure de précaution, Ernst préleva ses propres spécimens d'eau. Les flacons qu'elle avait remplis correctement sont revenus du laboratoire avec des résultats de tests démontrant qu'ils contenaient trois fois plus de méthane que ceux remplis par le gouvernement. C'était maintenant clair pour elle que le gouvernement n'avait pas de plan d'urgence pour les propriétaires terriens et aucun protocole de prélèvement d'eau ou de sécurité. Ernst a dû appeler un plombier et coordonner elle-même l'installation de citernes en fibres de verre. Le gouvernement a pris une année entière pour la rembourser."

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Progress in the attic

I'm at last able to make sense of the mess that had accumulated in the largest room of my attic. Some call it the "train room", because T was to take the whole room for a model train project. But it never went beyond temporary tracks put down with thumbtacks on a shelf built at eye-level and quickly wired electricity to run the trains.

The room had so much stuff in it that I could barely find a few square inches on the floor to be able to go over and open or close windows. What helped the most was getting rid of a Queen sized mattress bought in 1974 that had ended up there when there was a regular stairway. I could no longer bring it down whole because now the access to the 2d floor is a folding ladder through a hole in the ceiling. So to get rid of the mattress, I had to break it down into pieces that fit the opening.

Once that big item gone, I could better make sense of what was left in the room. I was able to sell a few items during a garage sale this last summer, and I threw out a lot of useless things too. I had strung Christmas lights, the incandescent kind, all around, to brighten things up. Those are now in the basement, because that is where I will be working this winter. So there is now actually a bit of room to go from one end of the room to the other.

The second floor of my home is not heated, so I don't think I will be able to go on working up there soon. At least not at decent room temperature. So I plan to continue next year: I will probably separate things in different piles. Stuff I can sell at the next garage sale next summer in one pile, computer stuff in another, books and records in one corner, boxes full of picture frames and laminated photographs in another. Once that is all done, I will have to tackle the trains.

The boxes for all the locomotives and the railway cars are at the far side of the room when you walk in, but all the contents are spread all around on an eye-level shelf. I will have to sort those first, then try to find the corresponding boxes. But I think that once the room is nicely in order, that task will be much more manageable.

This room is the largest on the second floor, and has two large windows looking over the front of the property and the river. My aim is to eventually empty it so I can put on a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling and the walls, and wash the floor. This has never been done since I bought the property back in 1979. So you can imagine how I am itching to get to work and finally have it finished!

The deed is done

I cast my vote today. The location for advance voting is within walking distance, and if I had waited for the 19th, I would have had to take the car to a much farther site. So that was a no-brainer (for me).

Yesterday was grey and rainy, but today is sunny and crisp, so it was obvious that today was the best day to do the deed.

I did not have to vote strategically, because in my riding, the Conservatives get barely more votes than the Greens (which is not a lot!)

The walk along the river was wonderful: I almost forget how beautiful it is here. I flushed a Great Blue Heron and a few ducks, and I forced an injured Snow Goose to walk a bit because I was getting to close for comfort (for it). A lot of injured Snow Geese end their last fall days along our river shores because hunting is not allowed within city limits. It's sad to think they are on their last days, but it gives us a chance to be close to wild fowl. The fall colors are starting to make quite a show, and the wild pale lilac-colored Asters are in full bloom where civilisation will allow it to take over.

The voting station is just beside the cemetery, so I stopped for a few seconds to see my father, my aunts, my grand-parents and my mother. I always walk out of that place with a heavy heart, but the sights along the river quickly make me appreciate the fact that I'm still alive.

La fracturation hydraulique: "Une gamme presque infinie de complexités"

Communication croisée entre puits survenue le 13 janvier 2012 à Innisfail, Alberta, photo courtoisie ASRG

"The EUB's (Energy and Utilities Board) botched frack job list echoed the findings of a 2005 article on fracking written by a half-dozen engineers, that appeared in "Oilfield Review". The engineers once again admitted that natural faults severely compromised the ability of industry to predict the geometry of their man-made fractures. The cracks often shot out of the intended zone reducing stimulation effectiveness, wasting horsepower, proppant and fluids and potentially connecting up with other hydraulic fracturing stages or unwanted water." Hydraulic fractures, warned the engineers, defied predictive models and displayed an "almost limitless range of complexities."

Excerpt of Andrew Nikiforuk's book Slick Water, p. 139-140


Ma traduction libre d'un extrait du livre d'Andrew Nikiforuk intitulé Slick Water:

"La liste des opérations de fracturations bâclées de la régie de l'énergie et des services publics EUB confirmait les conclusions d'un article sur le fracking de 2005 écrit par une demi-douzaine d'ingénieurs paru dans la revue spécialisée "Oildfield Review". Encore une fois, des ingénieurs avouaient que les failles naturelles compromettaient sérieusement la capacité de l'industrie de prédire la géométrie des fractures provoquées artificiellement. Souvent, les fissures se prolongeaient hors de la zone visée, ce qui diminuait l'efficacité de la stimulation, gaspillant leur puissance, des proppants et des fluides et potentiellement allaient rejoindre d'autres étapes de fracturations ou de l'eau non désirée. Les fracturations hydrauliques, prévenaient les ingénieurs, défiaient les modèles de prédiction et comportaient une "gamme presque infinie de complexités."

Friday, October 9, 2015

Shallow fracks everywhere!

"(...)but over the next few years, Ernst searched more than 1,000 wells. She discovered that between 2001 and 2006, Encana had, in secret, fracked 190 gas wells above the so-called base of groundwater protection. She tallied the frack depths: 100.5 meters; 121.5 meters; 142.7 meters; 160.2 meters; and 164 meters. Ernst found fracks as shallow as 98 meters elsewhere in the province. Many of the frack jobs had taken place on top of coulees, in places where water wells were located in river bottoms."

Excerpt of Andrew Nikiforuk's book Slick Water, p. 137,138


Ma traduction libre d'un extrait du livre d'Andrew Nikiforuk intitulé Slick Water:

"Mais durant les prochaines années, Ernst étudia plus de 1,000 puits. Elle découvrit qu'entre 2001 et 2006, Encana avait, en secret, fracturé 190 puits gaziers au-dessus de la ligne de protection de l'eau souterraine. Elle prit en note les profondeurs des opérations de fracturations hydrauliques: 100,5 mètres; 121,5 mètres; 142,7 mètres; 160,2 mètres; et 164 mètres. Ernst avait trouvé des opérations de fracturations aussi peu profond que 98 mètres ailleurs dans la province. Plusieurs opérations de fracturations hydrauliques avaient eu lieu au-dessus de coulées, dans des endroits où des puits d'eau potable étaient situés au fond des vallées."

Thursday, October 8, 2015

L'opinion d'un expert

Photo: Collin Smith

"Watson (Mike Watson, highly respected geologist, expert in migrating gases, works for North American Oil Sands Company) had already told Ernst that the governments's knee-jerk response to the elevated methane levels in her water was ridiculous. How could it blame bacteria and poorly maintained wells without doing the proper water tests or checking with Ernst first to find out if she shock-chlorinated her water well? Moreover, Watson said, the volume of methane in Ernst's water was too high and had changed too dramatically to be natural."

Excerpt from Andrew Nikiforuk's Slick Water, p. 136


Ma traduction libre d'un autre extrait du livre d'Andrew Nikiforuk intitulé Slick Water:

"Watson, un géologue reconnu, expert en migration des gaz, avait déjà dit à Ernst que la réaction réflexe du gouvernement devant les niveaux élevés de méthane dans son eau était ridicule. Comment pouvait-il jeter le blâme sur des bactéries et des puits d'eau potable mal entretenus sans faire des tests adéquats sur la qualité de l'eau ou vérifier tout d'abord avec Ernst si elle avait chloré son puits d'eau potable? De plus, selon Watson, le volume de méthane dans l'eau de Ernst était trop élevé et avait changé trop radicalement pour que ce soit naturel."