My thoughts came in 60-second flashes between the breaths of the humpback whale, as the 36-tonne mammal dove and crested again to spout further away from our sailboat.
I was bobbing up and down on the water in the Great Bear Rainforest, where Enbridge wants to send 225 oil tankers each year. My mind raced with thoughts about what’s at stake: the people of Hartley Bay, who I’d met earlier that day, whose way of life depends on stopping this project; the whales, who migrate here every year to feed in these rich waters; and the stillness and splendour of one of the world’s last untouched wildernesses.
All of these things are worth fighting for. But, as I gazed out over the ocean, I realized the most important thing at stake might just be who we are. This is about the kind of people Canadians want to be. Are we the type of people who force the risk of catastrophe on communities that are saying no? Are we the type of people who sell out our coast so oil companies can make more money, faster? Or are we the type of people who know when to draw the line and stand up for what is right?
I like to believe Canadians know when to say enough is enough. We need to stand together to stop this project or we risk losing our greatest asset: our integrity.
Here are some photos from our trip along the proposed oil tanker route: