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Organizers Anticipating One Of Largest Anti-Enbridge Rallies

By Michelle Cyr-Whiting

Saturday, February 04, 2012 06:30 AM

Opponents to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline rally in Fort St James on Thursday  photo submitted

Prince George, BC - As many as 2,000 people are expected to participate in what's expected to be one of the largest rallies against Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline project hosted by the Gitga'at Nation in Prince Rupert later this morning...

The day-long event runs from 11am until midnight, starting with a parade from Mariner's Park to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, and will feature local First Nations, some environmental heavy-hitters from across North America and musical performances by the likes of rocker Bif Naked and jazz pianist Murrary Porter.

Marven Robinson, a Councillor from nearby Hartley Bay, says, "We have organized this event to tell our young people that oil tankers and pipelines are a direct threat to our way of life."

Enbridge's $5.5-billion dollar project consists of plans to run a dual-pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, where it would be exported via oil super tankers.  In 2006, the BC Ferry 'Queen of the North' sank near the island community of Hartley Bay, which, Robinson says, is still releasing toxins into the environment that is fouling shellfish beds and harming fishing grounds.

"We've already experienced an oil spill," he says.  "And that was nothing compared to what would happen with a super tanker in the narrow waters of Douglas Channel."

"Our people speak with one voice against the Enbridge project: the risk is not acceptable."

On Thursday, approximately 100 members of the Nak'azdli First Nation, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council marched in opposition to the project in Fort St. James, in prelude to a Joint Review Panel public hearing in the community.

CSTC Chief David Luggi says it was a powerful statement to have so many turn out to the FSJ rally, but the participants did not attend the hearing. 

"We've taken the position right from the very start that the government appointed this panel - the members all worked for the oil companies in the past," says Luggi.  "So, number one: how are they going to evaluate the environment?  It's not their career, their career is to promote oil.  Secondly, the terms of reference does not and cannot evaluate title and rights."

The Tribal Chief points out that there is so much uncertainty surrounding the environmental impacts of this project and that uncertainty is area First Nations' power.  He points to the Chilcotin First Nation's concerns with Fish Lake and the Kemess Mine expansion proposed in Takla's territory as examples.  "In both cases, both tribes used the 'power' of uncertainty to stop the projects."

The Joint Review Panel will hold its hearings in Prince Rupert on February 17th and 18th.  The panel is tasked with assessing the environmental impacts of the project and will issue a final report with its conclusions and recommendations to the federal government.


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Comments

Are these the same natives that ship raw logs out to China on freighters laden with fuel. Just asking, seems a bit of irony here.
That would be them,seamutt.
Keep the race nonsense out of this. They may end up saving your environment in spite of your silly bigotry. This issue is too important to allow petty divisiveness into it. Grow up!
Sine Nomine where is the race in this? I am just pointing out a group of people who have identified themselves us such, who speak out of both sides of their mouths.
The jobs and spin-offs will disappear. We Will still be paying exorbitant prices for food and fuel.

It's not about jobs or for the good of B.C.'s citizens It's for the benefit of the Big Oil Man, Big Business! Make them pay as we will have to pay. Put the money upfront as collateral in case of spill! Make them rent the land they want to lay the pipe on. Make the President of En bridge legally responsible in case of spill.
This is our Beautiful British Columbia!
En bridge, President shouldn't have a problem with that IF the deal is so good.
If you drove of flew to this rally your point of view is void. Unless your vehicle or plane runs off of fairy dust and faith alone.

I would be protesting the current pipe line infratructure that is was built pre envronmental assessment act that are the true ticking time bombs..
Sea mutt, I guess it's only ok if enbridge and government officials speak out of both sides of their mouth.
Sea mutt, I guess it's only ok if enbridge and government officials speak out of both sides of their mouth.