After the Mayflower spill, make our voices heard
A lot can change in six months. Yesterday, I joined close to 5,000 British Columbians on the steps of the BC Legislature in Victoria to demand action from our provincial and federal governments to protect BC waters from tar sands pipelines and tankers. An excited hopefulness saturated the air, and with every breath I felt more certain that our feisty people-powered movement has what it takes to fight Enbridge and win.
When we rallied in Vancouver six months ago at the No Tankers rally, the air was full of fear and anger. The Harper Government was running a full-court press to silence pipeline opponents, throwing around names like “radical extremist” and “eco-terrorist”, attacking environmental groups, and destroying any environmental laws that could stand in the way of tar sands expansion.
Yesterday’s rally confirmed that Harper’s plans are backfiring. The diverse crowd included First Nations elders, schoolchildren, teachers, grandmothers and businesspeople - a cross-section of British Columbians from across the political spectrum that reflected the cultural and social diversity of BC.
The growth and resilience of our movement deserves celebration, but our work is far from done. In May 2013, British Columbians will go to the polls, and it’s critical that we elect a government with a strong mandate to fight the expansion of oil tanker traffic on the West Coast. Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal Party would support new tar sands pipelines and tankers if BC gets a payout. The opposition NDP has opposed Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal, but has not taken a position against Kinder Morgan’s new Trans Mountain pipeline, which would dramatically increase tanker traffic through Vancouver’s harbour.
We need to push all parties to oppose tanker expansion and we need to continue our efforts. Tomorrow, October 24, British Columbians in more than 50 communities across BC will link arms in front of their local representatives’ offices, symbolizing the wall of opposition to tar sands pipelines and tankers in BC. Join us!