If you’ve been following the No Tankers campaign this year you might be wondering why we’ve decided to encourage folks to make presentations at Northern Gateway public hearings when we’ve argued the review process is inadequate and inherently flawed.
The terms of reference for and the lack of BC representation on the panel reviewing Enbridge’s project certainly haven’t changed. Nor has the power of the federal cabinet to completely ignore any and all recommendations it makes. Yet, I have decided to show up and make my opposition to the project known and put on public record. And I encourage you to do the same. Why?
Because the cards are becoming more and more stacked against those who would stand up for the health and resilience of our coastal communities. The Harper Conservatives, who have close ties to the foreign-owned oil company executives and provincial politicians in Alberta, have been clear: they would force a pipeline through our province to the Pacific no matter the cost or risk.
We need to make our opposition to this project known publicly. We need to shout it from the rooftops, in cafes, from the decks of our canoes, in the opinion pages of newspapers, from shareholder meetings of major banks to the council chambers of municipal politicians and certainly to the three members of the joint review panel, none of whom are from B.C.
The process is flawed, but not participating will just make it even more rigged against us. If enough people sign up to speak we can send a strong message:
This decision is up to British Columbians as we stand the most to lose.
We value the tens of thousands of livelihoods that are dependent on an oil-free coast.
We respect the laws of sovereign First Nation governments.
We figure we’ll need over 1,000 people to sign up to have a strong impact on the public hearings. As of the date of posting, over 800 people have registered to speak. Only 200 more to go!
Blue sky questions I’d love to ask the panel over a beer:
How can you make an independent decision on a project of such magnitude when the political parties that hold government in Ottawa and Alberta are hinting they will do everything in their power to push for approval?
How can what is purportedly in the national interest, and therefore by definition, of benefit to a majority of Canadians, be so at odds with the express wishes of a majority of British Columbians and First Nations?
When did we start equating Canada’s national interest with the bottom-line of companies such as Exxon, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and Sinopec?
Do you ever feel like a rubber stamp?
What would you ask the members of the panel?