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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery edged up two cents to $58.54 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March added 23 cents to $64.85 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $23.20 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for February lost eight cents to $2.00. The TSX energy index lost 1.29 points to close at 143.15.
Amid rising tensions in Northern British Columbia, where a handful of activists are protesting the Coastal GasLink pipeline -- and where the RCMP recently opened a criminal investigation after finding "traps" and "bags full of fuel-soaked rags" along the project's access road -- the fates have decided to insert a good chuckle. Recently the project's proponents were left scratching their heads after a United Nations committee called on Canada to suspend Coastal GasLink (among other projects) until it obtains indigenous backing. The project does, in fact, enjoy broad indigenous backing, with all 20 of the bands along the route having signed support agreements. This utterly escaped the attention of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In the wake of the committee's report on how "disturbed" and "alarmed" it feels at Coastal GasLink's supposedly callous treatment of the locals, someone has finally decided to tell the poor committee what is going on. It came as a great surprise to committee chairman Nourredine Amir. "I did not know that most first nations agree on [Coastal GasLink]. That is something new that comes to my understanding," he told Reuters yesterday. Reuters took it from there: "Asked why the committee did not gather more information, [Mr.] Amir said its role does not include investigations." Indeed. In fairness, the committee's 18 members are described as "experts of high moral standing and acknowledged impartiality." Rudimentary research skills are not part of the job description.
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