Federal panel met in Kitimat by protest against Enbridge pipeline, tankers

For Immediate Release – August 31, 2010

(Kitimat, B.C.)  Hundreds of northern B.C. residents rallied today outside the Riverlodge Recreation Centre in Kitimat, where the federal panel reviewing the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline conducted its first public meeting.

The crowd of local residents, including many First Nations from the region, say Enbridge’s plan to transport tar sands oil through B.C. by pipeline and oil tanker is the wrong choice and should not be allowed to proceed.

“The opposition to this project is massive and growing every day,” the event’s MC Gerald Amos from Kitamaat Village told the crowd. “We have drawn a line in the sand. There will be no Enbridge Pipeline and there will be no crude oil tankers in our waters. This is not a battle we intend to lose.”

In solidarity with the Kitimat rally, over 200 people also gathered outside Enbridge’s Vancouver headquarters and marched to a rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Speakers at the event, including MPs Ujjal Dosanjh and Finn Donnelly pledged to work to put in place a legislated crude oil tanker ban for B.C.‘s northern waters.

Community members at the event carried banners and placards. Several dressed as oil spill cleanup workers to remind the crowd of Enbridge’s recent pipeline oil spill in Michigan.

“Due to the uncertainty associated with the transport of crude oil along our unpredictable northwest coast, the Village of Queen Charlotte has resolved that this project should not proceed,” said Kris Olsen, a municipal councillor with the Village of Queen Charlotte. “All Haida Gwaii municipalities stand together in opposition to Enbridge because the tradeoffs and risks involved are unacceptable.”

“Haida Gwaii is creating a sustainable economy that takes into consideration all environmental services when determining the value of a project. The Enbridge project threatens our economy and opportunities for future generations,” added Olsen.

Joy Thorkelson with the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union expressed concern that an oil spill would harm important sectors of northern B.C.‘s existing economy.

“For hundreds of years, the fisheries have been vital to our communities’ economies and our way of life as coastal people, and we’re not willing to put that at risk. The commercial fishing industry is the largest private sector employer on the central and north coast and a handful of oil jobs won’t replace the importance of the fishery.”

For more information, contact:

Gerald Amos: 250-632-1521
Kris Olson: 604-862-3957
Joy Thorkelson: 250-624-6048 or 250-624-5333
Pat Moss, event organizer (Friends of Wild Salmon): 250-877-9745

High resolution digital photos available for download at http://PipeUpAgainstEnbridge.ca
Broadcast quality video of the event available by contacting 250-877-9745

h3. High resolution photos:

“Dave Shannon from Terrace carrying placard at rally - 2.6 Mb jpeg”:http://pipeupagainstenbridge.ca/images/uploads/kitimatrally/DSC_0367.JPG

“Deiter Wagner from Kitimat at rally - 2.6 Mb jpeg”:http://pipeupagainstenbridge.ca/images/uploads/kitimatrally/DSC_0371.JPG

“Members of the Heiltsuk First Nation from Bella Bella in Kitimat at rally - 2.8 Mb jpeg”:http://pipeupagainstenbridge.ca/images/uploads/kitimatrally/DPP_0002.JPG

h3. Video downloads:

“Clip 1 - Quicktime format - 53.4 Mb”:http://pipeupagainstenbridge.ca/images/uploads/kitimatrally/kitimat1.mov
(Musician Rachelle van Zanten plays for the Kitimat rally; Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson speaks to the crowd)

“Clip 2 - Quicktime format - 72.3 Mb”:http://pipeupagainstenbridge.ca/images/uploads/kitimatrally/kitimat2.mov
(Footage of inside panel meeting; Village of Queen Charlotte councillor Kris Olsen speaks to crowd; Heiltsuk First Nation drummers and dancers perform)

“Clip 3 - Quicktime format - 83.2 Mb”:http://pipeupagainstenbridge.ca/images/uploads/kitimatrally/kitimat3.mov
(Frank Brown from the Heiltsuk speaks to crowd; Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen speaks to crowd)


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