Petition opposing Northern Gateway pipeline clears 10,000 signatures
The Avaaz petition "No Enbridge Tankers/Pipeline in BC Great Bear Rainforest", having surpassed its original goal of 10,000 signatures, is now aiming for 20,000 names to pass against the Northern Gateway pipeline to the federal and provincial government.
The petition, started by Kelowna resident James MacGregor, has picked up an increasing number of signatures as more people have become aware of the issue.
"BC's entire Great Bear Rainforest, its wildlife and the livelihoods of coastal First Nations are all at great risk if Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline is approved," he said.
MacGregor plans to deliver the signed petition on October 1 to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The federal Conservative government has set a deadline of Dec. 31, 2013 for the Joint Review Panel to complete their report on Northern Gateway.
Due to growing opposition in BC, Stephen Harper has tempered his support for the Northern Gateway pipeline in recent weeks. Despite saying in early August that Northern Gateway was of "vital interest" to British Columbia and Canada, he has since stated that "science, not politics" will determine the pipeline's fate. In the past few months, opposition to the pipeline has spread spread so wide across through so many channels that critics have started to say that Northern Gateway looks to be a a non-starter.
"I know I'm not the only one out there speaking up about the pipeline, but I felt like I couldn't sit back and do nothing," MacGregor commented.
Having seen the natural landscapes of northern BC as well as the Yukon and Alaska over recent years, he said he developed an appreciation for the region. If the Northern Gateway pipeline is built, advocates say, it will endanger the protected waters and wildlife of the Great Bear Rainforest, which is one of the largest coastal temperate rainforest in North America.
"Some resource projects carry with it an acceptable risk," he said.
"Northern Gateway is not one of them -- not with Enbridge's track record of over 800 spills since 1999."