There's no way to summarize the wrongdoings of the Irving family of companies that could possibly outshine the fact that there isn't a single other example of what can only be described as a resource based, reactionary, hereditary fiefdom in still in existence in this country. They're a relic of time gone by and seem like an inevitable future. We can't explain this any better than Canadaland already has.
There is an entire subreddit dedicated telling them to fuck off, and Left Merch was in part founded by an escapee of the People's Republic of Irving. Like the Catherine Breshkovsky of New Brunswick, printing t-shirts and cheering on comrade Mackenzie Thomason from a distance.
We will give KC Irving one thing, the man was an innovator; he was one of the first leaders of Canadian industry to move their company HQ to Bermuda to avoid paying taxes in the 1970's. If you're not from the east coast you may think we're being dramatic but every level of government in the province is in a 139 year-long hostage situation. How do they do it? Well they simply own everything. One out of every 12 New Brunswickers work for the Irving Family, and in a "have-not province" that makes them unchallengeable.
Much like the Yesterday's matchup, this could be a 700 page true white collar crime novel if we put even a fraction of their crimes so we're gonna toss some highlights in a quick point-form list:
- Furnishing New Brunswick with a company man to run the province the way they want
- Plenty of union busting
- Consolidating media to the point that every major newspaper in the province but one is owned by them, therefore making them virtually immune to serious criticism or investigation
- Exploiting New Brunswick's resources and labour while evading taxes by moving their mansions to Bermuda
- "Spewing an excessive amount of ash-like catalyst" into the air in Saint John
- Dumping pulp and paper waste in the Saint John River
- James Irving being the #7 richest person in the country and Arthur Irving being #17 while New Brunswick is still considered a "have-not province"
- Robert Irving using frozen french fry company Cavendish Farms to buy up land around his house so the City of Moncton couldn't build more housing and parks that would bring the plebs dangerously close to his horses
- Firing an editorial cartoonist for submitting cartoons with relatively milquetoast critiques of Donald Trump
- Requesting to increase furnace oil wholesale margins 99% in the middle of a global pandemic with no reasoning
- Unsafe work conditions at the Halifax Shipyard
- Using contractors and temporary foreign workers to avoid creating more unionized jobs
- Allegedly banning this very website on their free WiFi
As for Enbridge...
Jason Kenny has been staring at the Enbridge Line 5 rebuild with the concerned desperation of my dog waiting for me to me to drop a cheese knowing full well the consequences of him having dairy could very well make the living room uninhabitable. There only catch is the Michigan government has already revoked the ill-advised permit Enbridge was given to run gas under the Strait of Mackinac way back 1953.
They're adamant that it's fine and nothing could go wrong, but tell that to Hershel Saskatchewan. Or even Michigan itself, which was the site of the largest inland oil spill in US history, from Enbridge's Line 3.
The block is a huge win for the Indigenous nations and activists who've lead the fight against Line 5. But back in 2019 Enbridge appears to have intentionally hired and indigenous consulting firm SPECIFICALLY in an effort to suppress momentum gained by land protectors. We're not gonna weigh in on this, but here's an NPR story about it.
Enbridge pipeline workers have also been caught in a sex trafficking sting, which is less specific to Enbridge and more of an indication of the way man camps and the oil industry as a whole bring violence to indigenous communities...
They also secretly lobbied disgrace of the Maritimes, former senator Mike Duffy, according to the diary that became evidence in the investigations into his lavish spending of government funds.
The "spills and violations" section of the Enbridge Wikipedia page is pretty lengthy, but ultimately we just have so many Irving-hating New Brunswickers among our audience, that I will eat my PROI t-shirt if Irving doesn't win this thing by a landslide.