Despite spending unlimited money on advertising and flying in canvassers from Calgary, Enbridge’s crude oil pipeline and tanker proposal has been handed a resounding electoral defeat by the people of Kitimat.
“This shows what happens when you actually give people the chance to vote on Enbridge’s proposal,” said Kai Nagata, Energy & Democracy Director at Dogwood Initiative. “What would happen if we opened it up to a province-wide vote? That’s a question we’re hoping to answer through our new website, LetBCVote.ca.”
The rest of British Columbians have not had any chance to vote on Enbridge’s proposal. LetBCVote.ca allows British Columbians to add their name to a pledge calling for a fair, province-wide vote.
“This project would have serious ramifications for the whole province, so all British Columbians deserve to vote on it,” continued Nagata. “That should extend far beyond just speaking to a panel or writing your local newspaper. Regardless of whether you support this proposal, the decision should be made by British Columbians.
Dogwood Initiative and allied pro-democracy groups are currently exploring the option of launching an initiative petition under the Recall and Initiative Act, should the federal and provincial governments both green-light the Enbridge’s pipeline and oil tanker proposal.
B.C.’s so-called ‘direct democracy’ law – which is unique to our province – allows any British Columbian to bring a matter of provincial jurisdiction forward for a vote, provided they collect supporting signatures from 10 per cent of registered voters in every riding in the province.
In this case, British Columbians could vote on whether to approve or deny dozens of provincial permits required for Enbridge’s proposal.
“What happened in Kitimat was the result of neighbours taking back their power by talking to each other about what’s important to their community, one doorstep at a time,” said Dogwood’s Director of Organizing, Celine Trojand. “We’re so inspired by Douglas Channel Watch, the grassroots community group that defeated Enbridge in Kitimat’s David and Goliath battle. Now it’s time to scale up and organize all across the province so every British Columbian gets the chance to vote.”
“Right now our network includes 45 teams just as committed as the folks from Douglas Channel Watch in Kitimat,” Trojand continued. “We’re bringing in new allies and are growing every week. Anyone who wants to help organize in their community is encouraged to sign up at LetBCVote.ca.”
Media contact: Edie Irons, Dogwood Initiative Communications Director, (250) 370-9930 ext. 31