B.C. activists look to direct democracy law to block Kinder Morgan pipeline

Dogwood Initiative gathers signatures to try to trigger a province-wide referendum, similar to 2010 B.C. effort to get rid of HST.

Activists are vowing to use B.C.’s direct democracy law to try to block the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion from being built.

The Dogwood Initiative is gathering support to prepare for Premier Christy Clark’s likely approval of the $6.8-billion project, after the Trudeau government gave the green light on Tuesday.

Clark said Wednesday all but two of the five conditions to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline have been met, so she is “very close” to giving her support. Those two conditions are ensuring the federal government’s new Ocean Protection Plan will provide world-class marine spill prevention and response, and that B.C. gets its “fair share” of the project benefits and jobs. The province is also still waiting on the outcome of its environmental assessment.

With that remaining work expected to be completed by this spring, the Dogwood Initiative is hosting events on Saturday to recruit volunteers who will canvass their neighbourhoods for enough support to trigger a province-wide referendum on the pipeline.

“If politicians and Big Oil think they can push reckless tanker projects through our province despite First Nations and public opposition, we’ll launch a citizens’ initiative. British Columbians deserve a vote,” its website reads.

A unique process in B.C. called the Citizens’ Initiative allows a registered voter to propose a new provincial law or changes to an existing law. The voter must collect signatures from 10 per cent of the registered voters in each of B.C.’s electoral districts in a short time period. The matter then goes to the legislature, and one of the possible outcomes from that is a province-wide referendum.

“If Clark cuts a deal that betrays the majority of voters in B.C., we have the power to put this to a vote – just like when Gordon Campbell misled citizens about the HST,” the website reads.

A Citizens Initiative petition against the harmonized sales tax led by Bill Vander Zalm got enough signatures to pass and that led then-Premier Campbell to put the issue to a provincial referendum, where the HST was defeated.

Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion project would result in a seven-fold increase in tankers running through Vancouver harbour, carrying much more diluted bitumen than in the past.

Environmental groups and First Nations voiced their outage at the Trudeau cabinet’s approval of Kinder Morgan earlier this week. Some of his own MPs in the Vancouver area said they were disappointed in the decision.

– with files from Jeff Nagel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIA Rail lays off 1000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Council approves reduction to leisure services monthly pass rates during COVID-19

Passes will be discounted while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, and will return to normal after.

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Northwest Indigenous governments form new alliance

Alliance intended as way to share resources, maximize opportunities

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

VIA Rail lays off 1000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

Most Read