(Victoria) The Royal Canadian Mint has issued Dogwood Initiative with a cease and desist order regarding their current campaign to protect the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest from tar sands tankers and oil spills.

In letters sent to Dogwood Initiative and businesses involved in the campaign the Mint accuses the BC based non-profit of trademark violations and contravening the Currency Act (Section 11) by using Canadian coins for purposes other  “than as currency” and warns of possible summary convictions, fines and imprisonment.

Section 11 prohibits the melting of coins.

“When we embarked on this campaign we knew there were certain risks but decided that the risks posed by tar sands tankers and oil spills were far greater,” remarked Charles Campbell, Dogwood Initiative’s Communications Director.

Dogwood Initiative has targeted the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project which would ship almost half the current tar sands crude oil production to Asia via pipelines and a tanker port in Kitimat. Dogwood Initiative is demanding a legislated tanker ban.

The Mint has given Dogwood Initiative five days to respond to its letter. The BC based environmental watchdog is currently consulting its lawyer.

“We have been very careful not to deface any coins,” said Campbell. “The notanker decals can be removed by a flick of the finger and the loonies brought back to their former selves. The same can’t be said of an oil spill on our coast. In a world facing huge risks from global warming the risk of legal sanctions for blackening loonies with oil spill decals seems minor.”


Click here for Royal Canadian Mint letter to Dogwood Initiative

Click here for Currency Act, Section 11