Protest song falls on deaf ears at Enbridge

March 25, 2010

10-year-old girl who wanted to sing a song of protest to Enbridge officials was stopped by security guards who said they had "locked down" parts of the energy company's building.

"I wanted to sing my song and I didn't think I was scary," said Ta'Kaiya Blaney, who had a rehearsed talk on coloured cards and a video of her song.

The company, which has proposed twin pipelines and oil tanker traffic along the B.C. coast, said it had no one available to meet Ta'Kaiya.

Ta'Kaiya, a member of the Sliammon First Nation, is home-schooled in North Vancouver by her mother, who accompanied her daughter to the building in Vancouver Thursday.

Ta'Kaiya said she did a lot of research for her environmental issues unit. "It's true that the oil pipelines and the tankers will give people jobs, but if there is an oil spill like the Exxon Valdez or the Gulf of Mexico, that will take other people's jobs and wildlife will die," said Ta'Kaiya. "This is the 22nd anniversary of the Exxon Valdez and there is still oil in the water that can't ever be cleaned up."

Ta'Kaiya's message and song, which she co-wrote, was emailed by Greenpeace to all provincial and federal politicians.

Greenpeace B.C. director Stephanie Goodwin called Enbridge "contradictory."

"They say they want public input, but won't even hear the concerns of a 10-year-old First Nations girl who presented her views respectfully."

After Ta'Kaiya and her mother were sent out to the sidewalk, Premier Christy Clark sent the girl an email, saying she had "watched your YouTube video and commend you for your talent. Your message is very clear -- we must be concerned about the environment."

Enbridge spokesman Paul Stanway said the company had no one available to greet Ta'Kaiya, but "will be responding" to her letter.

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