First Nations and environmental groups hopes came true when thousands of people gathered to attend a ‘No Enbridge’ rally this afternoon.
The rally took place at 2pm next to Science World and was part of a national ‘Defend Our Climate’ day of action. There were 115 rallies held across Canada today and while demonstrations took place across B.C., the largest rally in the country was in Vancouver. Thousands gathered in False Creek near Science world to voice their opposition to the proposed Enbridge pipeline and to call on the government to do more to protect the environment.
“Today’s rally is sending a strong message to Christy Clark and Stephen Harper — it’s time to listen to the people and stop this reckless pipeline project once and for all,” said Ben West of ForestEthics Advocacy.
Earlier this month B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Allison Redford announced a framework agreement for moving forward on the controversial pipeline, which would connect Alberta’s oil sands to B.C.’s coast at a terminal in Kitimat.
Enbridge responded to today’s rally in a statement to Global saying they “respect the fact that people want to voice their concerns on the issue of climate change and responsible resource development and we share those concerns.” In addition to outlining their “Neutral Footprint program” and their solar power record, Enbridge also says in their statement, “as an energy transportation company, we look forward to remaining a key part of the dialogue on these important issues, and we are deeply committed to bring part of the solution.”
The project has yet to receive approval by a Joint Review Panel that held meetings throughout the past year. Even if it is approved, First Nations groups have vowed to do everything in their power to stop the pipeline from being built.
“The Coastal First Nations have spent the last decade building a conservation based economy,” says Art Sterritt, the executive director of Coastal First Nations.
“An oil spill will damage and destroy the cultural, ecological, and economic values of the Great Bear.”