No Pipeline/No Tankers - Action PageThe Great Bear Rainforest is frought with a number of proposals to carry crude oil and liquefied natural gas by supertanker through its pristine waters. Much research and evidence show that the risks are simply too great. Not only do these proposals threaten a pristine marine ecosystem, home to some of the rarest species on earth, but they also threaten the livelihoods, economies and cultures of Northern and Coastal British Columbians.
But what does this new agreement really mean when it comes to safeguarding the environment and the rights of First Nations from the risks associated with massive pipeline and tankers projects? Not much, because Alberta doesn’t have jurisdiction over—and therefore is not accountable for—most of the areas of concern in the list of conditions. The discussion needs to be moved away from Christy Clark’s five conditions, and back to protecting our coast, climate and communities.
In order to do this, let’s address why the five conditions cannot be met:
Condition #1: Successful completion of the environmental review process. In the case of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, that means a recommendation by the National Energy Board Joint Review Panel that the project proceed.
- The Joint Review Panel’s assessment will be revealed next month. Whether it comes in the form of a positive or negative recommendation, it will be fraught with conditions regarding First Nations rights and title, further environmental baseline monitoring and other assessments necessary to mitigate what the panel regards as outstanding effects. Although the cabinet has the final say on whether or not the project proceeds, they will have a tough time challenging or ignoring any conditions attached to a recommendation.
Condition #2: World-leading marine oil-spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.'s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy-oil pipelines and shipments.
- Just last month, a West Coast Spill Response Study was released by the Province of B.C. This report outlines major flaws and gaps in federal and provincial oil spill response plans. This report also points to the rather important fact that there is currently no funding mechanism in place to pay for oil spill clean up should it come down to this. The report concludes that effective oil-spill response just isn’t achievable in many situations on B.C.’s north coast.
- It is impossible for mitigation measures to properly account for, and manage, the full suite of adverse effects this project will have. It would be remiss of our political leaders to think otherwise, especially given the ‘evidence’, submitted to the Joint Review Panel, which outlines unmitigable and significant adverse environmental effects. Enbridge’s track record so far in Canada (171 pipeline incidents on record since 2000) fails to demonstrate competency in their ability to mitigate and manage risks associated with transporting bitumen.
Condition #4:Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project.
- When it comes to First Nations, opposition to ENGP is as strong as ever. Over 160 First Nations have also now signed on to the Save the Fraser Declaration, banning the transport of tar sands oil through their traditional territories. Coastal First Nations also remain unequivocally opposed to oil-tanker transport on the coast and have indicated their unwavering resolve to this end.
Condition #5: British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy-oil project that reflects the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the government, the environment and taxpayers.
- Christy Clark is free to impose a tariff on crude oil transport but has not yet begun conversations with Ottawa about this, despite the fact that we have been exporting oil via the Trans Mountain Pipeline since 1953. In the ‘agreement’ between Clark & Redford, the premiers simply decided that it was not for their governments to negotiate economic benefits between one another, giving industry uncontrolled negotiation over our public resources.
On top of it all:
80% of British Columbians are opposed to transporting oil through the Great Bear Rainforest .
It’s up to us to let Premier Clark know that she cannot simply negotiate behind closed doors, ignoring the strong opposition to increased pipelines and tanker traffic felt by the majority of British Columbians and stated by most First Nations affected by these projects, nor can she negate the evidence that we are woefully unprepared for inevitable spills.
Neither B.C. or Alberta have the social license to pursue this environmentally destructive proposal.
Your voice is needed. !!Please write a letter to Premier Clark today to remind her that British Columbians and citizens from across the country remain strongly opposed to the increased shipping of tarsands crude through B.C.’s land and waters.
Christy Clark's email address: email@example.com
And her phone number: 250-387-1715.
The people of british columbia say NO to Enbridge:
Hundreds of thousands of ordinary British Columbians have raised their voices in opposition to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project. We have created a timeline that summarizes some of the volume and diversity of opposition to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline (ENGP) Project.
Take ActionThere are so many ways to make your voice heard, on a personal level as well as within your community.
- Host a letter writing party.
- Hold a community film event in your local school, community center or theatre.
- Create a short film expressing why the 'No Tanker' issue is important to you.
- Write a song, poem or short story on your experiences in the Great Bear Rainforest.
- Like the students at University of Windsor, set up screens, hold information sessions and gather names to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. - Check out how they accompplished that here.
NEW ACTION - PLEASE SHARE
A group of Prince Rupert residents has launched an ad campaign to highlight the risks that pipelines, tankers and oil by rail pose to food security and coastal jobs. People all over BC are putting these posters up in their communities.
Join them by sharing this image or downloading and printing the poster from this link: http://saveourskeenasalmon.org/
OTHER WAYS TO TAKE ACTION
If you are interested in hosting a film event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily send you a DVD, promotional materials and feature the event in our 'Schedule of Events' page.
Please send us any creative material you make by e-mail to email@example.com
Make your voice heard!Writing letters is an effective way to make your opinion known both provincially and nationally regarding the proposed Enbridge Pipeline and consequent tanker traffic on the B.C. coast.
Below is some sample text for a letter or you can email the Prime Minister directly. Make sure to personalize it — it's your chance to speak up!
Keep your letter short and to the point – less than 150 words is preferable. Your letter should carry its most important message in the first few sentences. Make your letter timely – if you have just returned from a trip to the Great Bear Rainforest or if it is a reaction to a previous story in the paper. Include contact information so that you can be reached during the day and the evening. Don’t be afraid to tell readers what you want them to do - this is your chance to speak your mind.
Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
I strongly oppose bringing crude oil to the Great Bear Rainforest.
The proposed plan to build a crude oil pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the North Coast is the wrong choice for British Columbia. Allowing this pipeline to be built and oil tanker traffic in the pristine waters of the Great Bear Rainforest would undermine the conservation gains already made and the way of life of the coastal First Nations people.
More than 80 percent of British Columbians oppose crude oil tanker traffic on the North Coast and the coastal First Nations have declared a ban under their traditional laws. This project would be a major, long-term investment in dirty oil development at a time when B.C. and Canada should be investing in the clean energy economy.
We have the opportunity to set an example here. To show how we deal with the last few wild places on our planet and more importantly, for how we honour and respect the rights and traditions of First Nations and all indigenous people. I strongly urge you to have the foresight and ingenuity to move forward with a plan that will move British Columbia, and Canada, into the future instead of clinging to the status quo.
Thank you for your time.
Finding your B.C. Member of Parliament
It is very important to copy your letter to other sources. For example, if you write a letter to Premier Christy Clark, copy the letter to one or more cabinet ministers and a newspaper.
Minister of the Environment
Hon. Mary Polak
PO BOX 9339
Phone: 250 387-1187
Minister of State for Climate Action's Office
Hon. John Yap
Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Hon. Christy Clark
Further Useful B.C. Provincial Contacts
MLA Rob Fleming, NDP Environment Critic
Adrian Dix, Leader of the NDP
Mike Farnworth, NDP
Adam Olsen, Interim Leader of the Green Party
Joyce Murray, MP
(Liberal Member fr B.C. submitted private member's bill to put a legal moratorium on oil tankers traveling on B.C.'s coast which was delayed due to Federal election set for May, 2, 2011)Email: Murray.J@parl.gc.ca
Prime Minister Stephen HarperEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
|23 Alison Blvd (Main Office)|
|Fredericton, New Brunswick|
Minister of Natural Resources Canada
The Hon. Joe Oliver
Telephone: (613) 996-7046
Fax: (613) 992-0851
|511 Lawrence Ave West,|
Minister of Environment
The Hon. Leona Aglukkaq
|Building 208, P.O. Box 1930,|
Leader of the NDP Party
Mailing Address - Constituency Office
|3333 Queen Mary Road Suite 310|
Leader of the Liberal Party
Leader of the Green Party
Writing Letters to Local and National Newspapers
Writing letters to newspapers is extremely helpful. Newspaper editors, like politicians, need to know what people are thinking about regarding the issues facing Canada's Pacific coast. The editorial section is often the first page politicians turn to.
Links to some of the main Canadian national and B.C. newspapers:
National Post email@example.com
Financial Post firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Press email@example.com