This Article is part of the Tar Sands Reporting Project special report See the full report

In their own words: demonstrators speak out against Harper's Enbridge pipeline decision

"Here, you see older people, people in suits, people from all walks of life. I think there's enough dissent in BC to stop this."  

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16-year-old Jacqueline Lee-Tam protesting oil at Enbridge rally in Vancouver - Mychaylo Prystupa

Other people, however, said First Nations were vital to the movement against further oil infrastructure in Canada. 

“We’re supportive of the First Nations who are leading this opposition. If environmentalists and First Nations work together, we can turn this thing around,”  said Ray Bradbury, who came to the rally from West Vancouver with his wife, Elspeth. 

Photo of Elspeth and Ray Bradbury by Jenny Uechi

Both said the First Nations' campaigning around the pipeline had gathered a groundswell of support among mainstream British Columbians. 

“But obviously, Harper is completely at odds with First Nations. He doesn’t begin to understand the issues facing this world. He doesn’t care.”

“Climate change is undoubtedly the hugest issue facing the world at this moment and Canada is a disgrace,” Elspeth said. "There's a broad sense in British Columbia that the government is moving Canada in the wrong direction."  

“It’s more than disrespectful…it’s the end of safe drinking water, it’s also the end of Mother Earth," said a visibly upset Mona Woodward, executive director of the Aboriginal Front door society. She opposed the pipeline infrastructure due to increased development of Alberta's oil sands. 

"The only thing we can do now is raise our voices together and have a peaceful protest, to make a strong statement that this is not OK.” 

 Photo of Mona Woodward by Jenny Uechi 

"Further development of the oil sands is taking us backwards — we need to be investing in renewable energy,"  said Morgan Martin-Wood. "The companies developing the oil sands have come up with crazy technology to do what they’re doing — so there’s no reason they can’t put that toward renewable energy."

Photo of Morgan Martin-Wood by Jenny Uechi
"We live in a democracy. If you call everyone who dissents a radical or a terrorist, then it's obvious you don't believe in democracy. Here, you see older people, people in suits, people from all walks of life here. I think there's enough dissent in BC to stop this. " 

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Athabasca tar sands, photographed by Andrew S. Wright

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