Today, I witnessed bold action being taken by First Nations in order to save our precious Great Bear Rainforest and its communities from a deadly oil spill. At a press conference in Vancouver, First Nations stated “…in upholding our ancestral laws, rights and responsibilities, we declare that oil tankers carrying crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands will not be allowed to transit our lands and waters.”
Enbridge, a pipeline company, has proposed to build an 1,170km pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands out to the coast of British Columbia. If this pipeline is built, it will flow more than half a million barrels of dirty oil a day from the tar sands out to the pristine Great Bear Rainforest. Once there, it will be loaded onto oil supertankers and navigate the treacherous coastal waters. The future of the Great Bear Rainforest and the livelihood of First Nations’ traditional territories are in danger from an inevitable oil spill unless we get a ban on oil tankers and stop this project.
First Nations have a powerful voice. They were responsible for preserving fifty percent of the Great Bear Rainforest from logging. They want to ensure their communities are healthy for generations to come. So does Greenpeace.
Check out the full-page [PDF] that ran in the Globe & Mail newspaper this week. It lists all the First Nations, organizations, businesses and famous people who are opposed to the proposed pipeline and oil tankers. Greenpeace signed on to this ad along with the Haida Nation, Margaret Atwood, Patagonia Outdoor Wear, and David Suzuki, among others.
As a Greenpeace campaigner, I am never at a loss for words. Today, however, I stood quietly at the press conference in solidarity with First Nations to secure a safe future of British Columbia’s coast, its communities and our planet.
Twenty-one years ago the Exxon Valdez supertanker spilled 40 million litres of oil off the coast of Alaska. What will Enbridge’s gift to British Columbia be if it is allowed to build this pipeline and bring supertankers to the coast?
Please visit PipeUpAgainstEnbridge.org. You can tell Pat Daniel, CEO of Enbridge, that the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for oil supertankers.
Head up, fist raised high,