Enbridge Pipeline will never be built

We won’t allow the Enbridge Pipeline say First Nations and NGOs to Joint Review Panel decision

• First Nations, environmentalists and representatives from northern communities held a press conference on December 20 in response to the 209 conditions on the Enbridge pipeline announced December 19 by the Joint Review Panel (JRP) of the National Energy Board (NEB).

“The JRP’s conditions are so flawed, they are to be ridiculed,” said Gerald Amos, Chair of the Wild Salmon Coalition, introducing the session. “They do nothing to protect communities, the land and the ocean from a catastrophic oil spill and the people of BC will not let this pipeline be built.”

“The JRP, in their 209 recommendations, did not take into consideration the facts presented to them by thousands of people,” said Des Nobels from the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union. “The NEB failed to protect us from the very real danger posed by moving tar sands oil through this region. To suggest that any of these conditions could reduce this risk to our coastal fishing economy and our way of life is sadly mistaken.”

With the JRP recommending this pipeline be approved with conditions, it is now before Stephen Harper and the federal cabinet.

“The majority of people in BC are opposed to Enbridge’s pipeline and the question many people were asking me [on December 19] is what can we do now to stop it. There are basically three main ways we can stop this pipeline: in the courts, through political organizing and through direct action,” said Ben West, Tar Sands Campaign Director at ForestEthics Advocacy. “We are hoping the politicians do the right thing and listen to the people before things get more serious because this issue has the potential to end up making Clayoquot Sound look like a walk in the park.”

The groups highlighted the Hold The Wall initiative started by the Yinka Dene Alliance, in which, in only two weeks, 15,000 people pledged to stand with First Nations to stop this pipeline from being built. The groups called on the people of BC to get involved in the campaign.

Some have gone so far as to say that First Nations have a veto over projects, highlighting the more than 400 projects in Canada that have been stopped by First Nations challenges based on their land and title rights. Amongst the strongest concerns regarding this proposal are those from northern BC residents who will have the pipeline run through their backyard.

“The people who live along this proposed pipeline route participated in the review process believing that our voices meant something. The JRP recommendation and the weak 209 conditions prove the breakdown of democracy in this country, the priority given to big oil, and the abandonment of communities like mine. We are not going to stand for this,” said Kandace Kerr of the Ft. St James Sustainability Coalition.

“They have approved this project knowing that it is impossible to clean up after a spill — they call the devastation that will ensue ‘temporary and insignificant,’” says Karen Wristen, Executive Director of the Living Oceans Society. “The people of this coast would be forced to live in fear for their culture, their livelihoods, even their health and safety. No one should have to live like that. Coastal communities will stand with First Nations and the thousands of Canadians who know this project is wrong for Canada to stop this pipeline from being built.”

Resources

Friends of Wild Salmon: Friends of Wild Salmon on Facebook

United Fishermen & Allied Workers: www.cope378.ca

T.Buck Suzuki Association: www.bucksuzuki.org

ForestEthics: http://forestethicsadvocacy.ca

Living Oceans Society: www.livingoceans.org

Fort St. James Sustainability Coalition: 250-642-0303

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