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Two thousand protest Enbridge oilsands pipeline in Prince Rupert

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First Nations see the pipeline as a threat to their traditional territories, the foundation of culture and livelihood

The Prince Rupert police estimate that 2,000 people protested against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in Prince Rupert yesterday, in a rally that took over the city.

“It was an incredible day," Prince Rupert city councillor Jen Rice said.

“We may associate negative feelings and negative emotions with this project, but the irony of it is that it actually brings people together.”

According to the CBC, Hartley Bay councillor Cameron Hill has said in the past that he is willing to die to stop the Enbridge project.

“Because I don’t know any other life," he explained. "This is the life I have and been brought up in. This is what I want my kids to enjoy. And I want them to have the life that I have had, which I consider to be the best life ever.”

The Enbridge pipeline would impact the traditional territory and livelihood of many of the First Nations who adamantly oppose the project. 

(24) Comments

Truth February 5th 2012 | 5:17 PM
This is stupid, suck it up. I'm sure they all share the same mentality..."not in my backyard." Well guess what, be a team player to the nation and if you're opposed to oil fields/pipelines all together, then throw out everything plastic you own and trade in your cars for a bike.
ER February 5th 2012 | 5:17 PM

Whether other posters on this site realize it or not - we must be MUCH smarter about our use of NON-renewable resources such as oil and gas. 

We are using these products at an absurd rate and the rationale for all current and proposed oil developments is to allow for continued growth.....*that* is what is ridiculous. 

Many of these people *are* being team players for Canada - after all clean water and healthy fish stocks are common property resources. 

If we - as a nation - really want to protect our own interests we will catch the fish, cut the trees, mine the ore, pump the oil - the PROCESS it ALL in our own country.

I - for one - will NEVER just "suck it up" when it comes to protecting the birthright of all Canadians - present and future alike. 

Anita February 5th 2012 | 5:17 PM
Cool! We can a put a stop to this, just like in the states! Focus on protecting the land and the water, the wildlife! Keep protesting! We started a petition in Alberta too! Uneducated people should find out what these pipelines will do to the environment weigh the pros and cons and then see if it's really with it! With the proper education and all the facts they would protesting too! The pollution causes cancer and two headed crickets, study the wind direction, and see what it does to the people, land, and water downwind! Don't get mad, and look at short term gain! Get all the facts! Make an informed decision! Maybe then you'll see what's really stupid, looking back! Maybe in 20 years you won't be dying from cancer! Get all the facts! Great job! Woohoo!
Actual truth February 5th 2012 | 6:18 PM
This tactic of over simplifying and polorizing is a favorite of tar shills. All kinds of people appose this project including those who re use and recycle (it would be wastefull to throw out) all their plastics, and ride bikes. Others appose it because they can't wrap their heads around why it would make any sense to export a dwindling resource at the same time as we import it... Others appose it because of the economic ruin that the increases at the pump would heap upon this country (asia will pay more for oil therefore domestic prices rise). There are those tens of thousands of workers who depend on a healthy coast for their livelyhood who do not feel that they would like to bet their jobs against the thousand (likely less, and less likely local) or so jobs promised by enbridge and their stooges (there will certainly be a little bump in employment when it comes to cleaning up the innevitable spill). And there are still others that may simply feel that they don't feel like there are any dollars that could be thrown at them that could convince them that it is okay for a company with a record of spills and coverups to be shipping some of the dirtiest oil in the planet cut with other toxic chemicals - through their back yard. To name a few....
Harrison H February 5th 2012 | 7:19 PM

Keep that dirty oil in Alberta. Our nation won't see any of this money...Embridge is not a Canadian company..Get those Greasy Americans out of our great Country. Last thing we need is an Ecological Disaster on the West Coast. The pipeline poisons our streams and land. It harms the ways of life of all the region's inhabitants, not just the First Nation People.

Brian Waddington February 5th 2012 | 8:20 PM

Harper, China and enbridge would do well to note the # of Grannies getting involved. These ladies do not loose when they get moving and they are moving now.

And yes i have sold my car, shrank my footprint and do what I can to stop my pollution.

Benn Byers February 5th 2012 | 10:22 PM
Viva La Resistance!
Malory February 6th 2012 | 3:03 AM

All Canadians should unite against the greedy oil corporations. Always keep in mind that they don´t work for our good, but for the good of their stockholders. Energy resources in Canada make just 2.1% of our GDP. Even the pipeline and increase of production from tar sands wouldn´t change this number so much. I´m so upset about the position of the government, that it stays with the corporations against its own people. Its up to us to defend our nature.

Darcy shawchek February 6th 2012 | 11:11 AM
Hho water fuel cell for your cars is unacceptable to the oil company's but is clearly our only alternative considering that it costs far less to convert a gasoline engine to hydrogen in comparasent to electric conversion. Anyone can do it. Follow YouTube for the instructions. I did it and it works.
Jake February 6th 2012 | 12:12 PM
If first nations were to give up the welfare checks and have to work for a living in trade for the pipeline not going through which would they chose. Give up the free money for the pipeline to stay out or put the pipeline in and keep the welfare checks. This option could also be used a a tool, to be able to say to government: here is a vast number of people ready to join the work force of this country and contribute millions through paying taxes and saving tax payers billions. That way the amount of immigrants being brought into the country could be reduced and more money would stay in Canada rather than getting sent overseas to support there relatives. When it comes down to it it's always about the money and when u talk about money to government they might really start listening. Another point is why dont they just run the pipeline farther south down to Vancouver?
Canadian Citizan February 6th 2012 | 12:12 PM

Supporters all say that the northern Gateway will be good for Canada. What they will not say, Truth, is that the pipelines will be built with the cheapest materials available. What the supporters will also not say is that Enbridge is not responsible for any tanker accidents. They will also not say is Enbridge’s lack of Humanity morals in the past; all you have to do is look at what happened in the states over the last decade or more.

What supporters will also not say is that Alberta, not any other provincial or federal government, will have the most benefits. Too, it will only be the Enbridge shareholders who will not be affected by any "spills" (the companies will change how they classify spills for their reporting) and not pay for any "clean ups" (Enbridge has falsified reports on clean up status in the USA).

Supporters will also not state that Enbridge is supported by multi-national corporations that also are part of the "un-ethical oil" projects.

D Cunningham February 6th 2012 | 12:12 PM
I work at one of the Oil Sands projects in northern Alberta. I came here to get a full-time job and make money. While I understand the strong feelings people on the west coast have towards the environment, the Enbridge pipeline would employ hundreds of people in B.C., from the building of the line, expanding the sea port, providing services to employees now, and into the future. Your sons and daughters would be employed making sure everything is done right, monitoring the line, selling parts and services, providing accomodations and food, operating heavy equipment, and even loading the tankers. You and future generations could bear the responsibility of making sure the project is flawless, and be proud.
Alison Richards February 6th 2012 | 2:14 PM

Yes, we all need to curb our appetite for plastic, walk, bike and take public transit when able and live more sustainably in all areas. I suppliment my food supply by growing what I can, shop locally and am careful to avoid GMO's and fake fish products. I am so proud of the people up north for standing up and protecting our land. 

Alvin February 6th 2012 | 3:15 PM

I'm an American, and our nation lives off cheap oil and coal. With the cheaper and closer Oil Sands, and the coal heaps under Virginia, it'd seem obvious to just use these sources, no?

Well, in 30, 40 years from now, what will we use? The same 'cheap' oil and coal? Drill for more? The reason why many are opposed to the Keystone XL and Enbridge isn't just from the possible threat of pollution.

Its because we're rejecting taking a step into the inevitable future. 

Oil will get more costly. The moment people stop buying it, all teh jobs you've created will dissappear in a flash.

Start something more sustainable- in both economic and environmental terms.

 

 

Ladybug February 6th 2012 | 3:15 PM

Good on the people of Northern BC. I'm proud that they are banding together over this- the pipeline is just another disaster waiting to happen.

Not only would it destroy the natural habitat of animals that are already hard-pressed to find somewhere to get away from humans, but it would also negatively affect the First Nations people's culture, natural resources, and remainder of their land- what hasn't already been destroyed by those who came and forbade them to live their own way.
I hope they are able to stop Enbridge from taking their land from them, and I hope that the rest of Canada can find a way to stop more drilling for export, too. The search for oil should be over- we should be working on the search for sustainable energy. It may not be easy, and it may not be immediate, but it IS inevitable

Summergirl63 February 6th 2012 | 4:16 PM

To all of you who are saying that the "Natives" need to give up their welfare checks if they'd like to keep their land- When was the last time you tried to find work? If it was recently, it probably wasn't easy to find a job, let alone one that paid over 10 bucks an hour. Now add another factor- when was the last time you tried to find work when your skin, or accent, marked you as what society has stereotyped as a "drunk" or "lazy" or any of a myriad of different derogatory stereotypes? It's not simple- people in Canada don't even recognize that they're racist and no amount of legislation to provide equal rights to all ethnic groups will change that.

Further, don't you think that maybe they are owed at least this much, the $610 dollars that covers VERY basic living costs, when their family's whole LIVES have been ruined by our impact on their society? You might not have done this, personally, but as anyone that has lived through incredible trauma will tell you- these scars do not heal easily. A whole culture lost everything that made them who they were, and were completely removed from their beliefs, their possessions, and their families. Nothing was ever done to repair this damage- nothing could. If you're sitting there thinking, "What are they whining for, they get free money from the government!", consider the cost of this "free" money.

flyguy February 6th 2012 | 7:19 PM

I lived in Prince Rupert and area for 5 years.  The idea of a tanker going down in what is widely known as some of the roughest water around is nauseating.  The amount of shorline amongst all the islands and coves of the coast in this area would make a cleanup almost impossible.  The number of people whose entire livelihoods would be destroyed would be phenomenal.  I remember all highway, air and sea traffic being shut down for a week in bad weather and a shortage of milk and vegetables in stores as there were no supplies in.  If a tanker accident happened during that kind of weather then a cleanup couldn't even start for a week.....much to late....I don't think any amount of oil money is worth the cost of a seemingly inevitable spill....

Eve February 6th 2012 | 9:21 PM

@Jake. I am of both the settler culture and First Nations. I was working 3 jobs and full-time school with a large extended family to squeeze out some time for! Now I have a master's degree. Who are you talking to? Your ancestors were indigenous. Who's weren't? lol! People like yourself have created and are creating the "drunk lazy indian"; sometimes a co-creation between the oppressors and the oppressed...why aren't I this stereotype? Perhaps I would be if I was treated as brutally as some of those on the streets passed out on a bench...(of any ethnicity). Hmmm maybe we who are more "successful" should employ the protesting power of those who have fallen. Give them jobs PROTECTING the land and a connection back to the land that may help heal their hearts and free their bodies from the prisons of addiction. After all, that's what wealth is for, for-giving. END+BRIDGE...seems that we are bridging gaps by most comments here...and putting an END to blatant destruction of the land. Way to go Prince Rupert and all you "radicals" ha ha! May Mother earth & our Creator discipline us for our own good...and give grace for our transgressions and power to be transformed. 

WeeKsmHyda February 6th 2012 | 9:21 PM
Jake wrote:
If first nations were to give up the welfare checks and have to work for a living in trade for the pipeline not going through which would they chose. Give up the free money for the pipeline to stay out or put the pipeline in and keep the welfare checks. This option could also be used a a tool, to be able to say to government: here is a vast number of people ready to join the work force of this country and contribute millions through paying taxes and saving tax payers billions. That way the amount of immigrants being brought into the country could be reduced and more money would stay in Canada rather than getting sent overseas to support there relatives. When it comes down to it it's always about the money and when u talk about money to government they might really start listening. Another point is why dont they just run the pipeline farther south down to Vancouver?
Kevin Koch February 6th 2012 | 10:22 PM

Stopping Endbridge means we don't want to use oil or oil products like plastic, really??  Look at the Endbridge project - the bitumen would be shipped through BC en route to China, meanwhile we Canadians get most of our oil from overseas.  Make sense?  The Endbridge project has nothing to do with economic benefits for B.C.  We are working on plenty of much more sustainable economic projects in this province, including renewable energy projects and mining.  We have no need at all for this pipeline.    

Tr February 6th 2012 | 11:23 PM
Truth wrote:
This is stupid, suck it up. I'm sure they all share the same mentality..."not in my backyard." Well guess what, be a team player to the nation and if you're opposed to oil fields/pipelines all together, then throw out everything plastic you own and trade in your cars for a bike.
It is hardly the fault of anyone you are telling to suck it up that so much is made with plastics derived from oil sands development. The energy sector has been driving public policy by proposing pipelines and further exploitation of this resource and then beating their chests at anyone who squaks otherwise. This has happened for decades, and I, as a thoughtful and engaged Canadian, am tired of the endless deference to the Americans running the oil patch and influencing our governments. Telling Canadians to hush up and bury away their convictions and beliefs for the 'good' of the nation is a valueless way of looking at a very nuanced issue. My friend, if you are such a patriot why are you not demanding that this raw bitumen is refined IN Canada and not on the Gulf Coast to be sold back to us? Why are you not proposing that Western Canada supply Eastern Canada with oil - something that does not happen today - instead of exporting 2/3s of the oil we produce and importing 1/2 of the oil we use? Patriotism is not in question here, and this typical Tory tactic of wrapping your opinions in the flag is disengenuois and transparent. You are welcome to your beliefs, so long as you don't ridicule others when they dare to express theirs on the public stage, something far too few Canadians do and something that can be seen by free falling voter turn out.
kung-gaa jaat February 18th 2012 | 6:18 PM

what free money? last time i checked we did not get free money. last time i checked we had to work for what we need like food housing etc etc, there is always promises to us but they  are never come through, i have been in the military,so i know that disasters can happen easily even if the best of care is taken to prevent that from happening.

we go to school just like anyone else we have lawyers we have doctors we have teachers and so on, haida gwaii may have their people on assistance, but we are not the only ones....

there are more non natives utilizing the food banks up here then haidas,there are more non natives up here that prefer to not work then there are of those haida who wont work.

stereo typing people is wrong, i dont go around and call all non natives baby killers and evil tyrants.

jobs up here are hard to find, so the haida turn to their art wich just barely keeps them above 'ground'. some of the non natives turn to other means to try to keep them above 'ground' sadly there is not much for those who dont have any other training, myself included, I have been trained in other fields that are not used on haida gwaii, such a security[i was one of those people at the airport that checked your baggage and you at YVR],promotions and advertising,low end publishing.

the only skills i can use up here is my researching.but that is hard to get a job in too! I been posting any where i can think to get a job in that... but it has been hard very hard. I am a single mom.I am a HAIDA, I pay rent , I pay for hydro, I pay for phone... I am not on welfare, I hardly see that as I am getting free money.. so I ask again.. where is the free money?

do not put everyone in the same basket, as not all are the same. just like all non natives are not baby killers and war mongers.

howa'a for your time.

~kung-gaa Jaat~

 

Summergirl63 wrote:

To all of you who are saying that the "Natives" need to give up their welfare checks if they'd like to keep their land- When was the last time you tried to find work? If it was recently, it probably wasn't easy to find a job, let alone one that paid over 10 bucks an hour. Now add another factor- when was the last time you tried to find work when your skin, or accent, marked you as what society has stereotyped as a "drunk" or "lazy" or any of a myriad of different derogatory stereotypes? It's not simple- people in Canada don't even recognize that they're racist and no amount of legislation to provide equal rights to all ethnic groups will change that.

Dave McGuigan February 19th 2012 | 12:12 PM
This is complete nonsence. There were not 2000 in that march in Prince Rupert the number keeps getting inflated. The number in reality varies from 200-600 many from outside Prince Rupert. The problem with this whole anti-pipline cause is accruracy of information. Newspapers have a duty to report the facts and and pass on accurat information. Most people ON BOTH SIDES of the issue are very very poorly informed. I live in the north and undersatnd the issue better than some. Why do we not do a comprehensive report on the sourse of funding for the anit-pipline issue. Not the Tides Foundation they are just a front for the groups in the USA that are in fact fianancing much of the cause. The question is why. I hear nothing from these groups about Bristol Bay oil and gas exploration and protests in Alaska. Strang is it not. I do not see these groups out in front of the White House Protesting offshore exploration in Alaska
\kenny November 17th 2013 | 1:13 PM

well hello some talk about being on welfare and getting free money.  its not free money its money well earned, most companies do not I repeat don't like to pay royalties but just to a hand full like village governments paying them off , and a big bonus for there short work..yes they say there will be work but for who the company men waiting for the one phone call . or the union men who are promised the job before it starts