About 75 protesters gathered in Grizzly Plaza on Oct. 25 to protest two oil pipeline projects proposed for B.C.

Video: Pipeline protesters gather at Grizzly Plaza

About 75 people attended an Oct. 24 noon-hour protest in against oil pipeline projects in B.C.

About 75 people rallied in Revelstoke’s Grizzly Plaza on Oct. 24 as part of a noon-hour protest against oil pipelines, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal. The local protest was one of over 60 in communities across B.C. organized by Defend Our Coast.

Demonstrators targeted their local MLA offices, but since there’s not a constituency office here, they held the protest in the downtown plaza.

Local organizer Jennifer Crockford gave a brief speech before organizing the crowd for a photo to be sent beck to Defend Our Coast. Afterwards attendees hung around and chatted with each other.

In an interview, Crockford said she was primarily motivated by protecting wilderness. “For me it was about pipelines crossing some of the [most] pristine nature in northern B.C., but even more [importantly] about the supertankers coming into the Kitimat port and going through Hecate Strait. Most of us agree that their will be an oil spill – it’s just a given,” she said.

Crockford also cited larger geopolitical issues, such as the controversial proposed Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPA). The trade act signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to go into effect Nov. 1 without debate in Parliament. Critics say the law will give Chinese state-owned mineral and oil companies the authority to skirt Canadian environment rules and labour laws.

(continues below)

PHOTO: Local protest organizer Jennifer Crockford. Aaron Orlando photo

“Our country is possibly going down a really bad path of letting foreign interests take over our oil,” she said. “It’s part of the great Canadian heritage to give away our resources – maybe it’s time to stop.”

“When you see that people in a small town in the Southeastern part of B.C. are this committed to stopping the Northern Gateway Pipeline, it tells me that there is a huge movement against the [pipeline],” Crockford added.

Resident Stu Smith said the risks and legacy to future generations are unacceptable. “The grandchildren of the politicians that are making these decisions are being left in a position where it’s not if, it’s when they’re going to be dealing with the clean up of a horrendous mess on our pristine rivers and our coastline in B.C.,” he said.

For Smith, the pipeline issue will determine his vote in upcoming elections. “I’m a proud Canadian but I’m ashamed of my government and the decisions it’s making,” he said.

Resident Leah Evans said she’d travelled to areas in Northern B.C. where the pipeline route is planned. “It’s beautiful. I think a lot of people don’t realize what we have, and to see something destroy that – that can never come back,” she said.”

Wednesday’s protests followed Monday’s rally in Victoria where more than 2,000 protesters gathered on the B.C. legislature lawn, some promising to provoke arrests as well as criticizing proposed heavy oil pipelines from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

(continues below)

 

Organizers of the Victoria rally offered training in civil disobedience techniques to the more than 1,000 people who signed up for the protest, under the banner of Defend Our Coast. Sponsored by Greenpeace and the Council of Canadians, the coalition includes unions, aboriginal leaders and environmental organizations. Victoria Police were out in force to back up legislature security, who locked the buildings down and turned away visitors for the day.

The new proposals are “job killers” because more diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands will be shipped out raw, either from Burnaby or Kitimat, said David Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.

The protests focused on two proposed projects, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline from northern Alberta to Kitimat and the pending application by Kinder Morgan to twin its oil pipeline that has been carrying Alberta oil to Burnaby and Washington state for more than 60 years.

~with notes from Black Press

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local doctor cautions Revelstokians as skatepark reopens

Dr. Bret Batchelor reminds people the pandemic is not yet over

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Revelstoke elementary students write poetry about coronavirus

‘You wish you were free like a black bear’

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Most Read