Hundreds take part in Enbridge demo

Amidst the laughter, unity, and spirit of a rally against the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, held in Prince Rupert last Thursday evening, there was one word that reverberated again and again from participants - “No!”

Amidst the laughter, unity, and spirit of a rally against the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, held in Prince Rupert last Thursday evening, there was one word that reverberated again and again from participants – “No!”

Organizer of the rally Jenn Rice said governments may come and go, but people on the North Coast are here to stay. “Tonight let’s just walk. We say “no” to Enbridge Oil,” she said.

Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson of Metlakatla thanked everyone for attending and showing a spirit of unity.

“We can’t fight what nature throws at us in natural disasters, but what this corporation is trying to give us, to develop the oil lines and tankers that will ply this coast, we can fight that and we must. Our tradition is our water and our land and all the beautiful resources we harvest from both,” Nelson said.

Upwards of 400 people of all ages, walks of life, and ethnicity congregated at Mariner’s Park, many holding signs to protest the proposed pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the BC coast and its consequent oil tanker traffic. People had travelled from all over the region to attend.

The rally was timed to coincide with the North Central Local Government conference being held in Prince Rupert and attended by representatives of Enbridge as one of the conference’s platinum sponsors.

Rice picked Thursday for the peaceful protest because the conference dinner and dance was being held nearby at Chances Convention Centre.

A teenaged boy from Kitkatla was one of several youth who took a turn at the microphone.

“The youth of all the nations around us have to stand together with our elders and chiefs and say no to Enbridge. If we don’t, we’re going to have nothing and there will be nothing in the future for us.

“We can’t let Enbridge come into our territories and destroy what we’ve got. They’ll try and give us money, but money can’t buy what we’ve got. We are richer than them with what we have in the ocean,” he said.

Louisa Smith, an elder from Lax Kw’alaams, told the crowd she rarely shares her opinions in public, but felt compelled because a way of life is being threatened.

“We say no, collectively, and we hope Enbridge can take that to its minds and hearts and hear what we have to say, that we are here to protect what the creator has placed in our hands for seven generations down the line to enjoy what we have today,” Smith said.

All levels of government were represented at the rally, with Prince Rupert mayor Jack Mussallem, city councillor Joy Thorkelson, MLA Gary Coons and MP Nathan Cullen all taking turns at the microphone.

Referring to the joint panel review process for the pipeline project that will take place over the next two to three years, Mussallem said, “It’s important that we keep informed about what’s going on with that process and that we’re all informed so that we can speak with a degree of knowledge and share our concerns.”

Thorkelson, who is also the northern representative for the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union, reminded the crowd it was the fourth fight she’s participated in since her arrival on the coast.

“We will win this one, we have won all the others,” she said, referring to the Kitimat Oil Port Inquiry and offshore oil drilling inquiries in the 1980s and again in 2002.

Standing with Henry Clifton, president of the North Coast Native Brotherhood, Thorkelson said the two were united in a fight for fish and for a clean and wonderful ocean.

Cullen recounted the first time he met with Enbridge five years ago and was told the company had $1 million to promote the project.

“I told them the money would not buy the hearts and minds of the people in the Northwest who would stand up against the project to say “no” and “yes” to protect the future,” Cullen said.

Fresh from the Enbridge AGM held in Calgary on May 10, Jasmine Thomas read from a declaration that was presented to the board and shareholders.

The gist of the statement was that the laws of the First Nations that are tied to the land and waters cannot permit the Enbridge pipeline project to proceed.

A decision by Canada to approve the project, without consent or prior approval of all First Nations, the declaration added, will be a direct violation of treaty rights and First Nations laws.

“Enbridge and government can try and downplay all the resistance if they want, but if there’s one thing that Enbridge did, it was unite us in such a way that they don’t even know what they did,” Thomas told the crowd.

Rice said she was overwhelmed by the turnout and  thanked Enbridge for bringing everyone together. “That’s the positive and the negative.”

 

Just Posted

An example of what a mural would look like on the back wall on Ron’s Bait and Tackle Store which faces the courtyard and sidewall. The mural photos shown here are mock-ups of existing artwork on walls of interest in the downtown core to build anticipation within the community about the concept of murals. The KPAA will not necessarily be using these locations or this artwork for the actual murals. (KPAA photo)
Kitimat Public Art Alliance mural funding request denied

D’Andrea suggested she will come back to the council at a later date with a more concrete plan

L-R: Vanessa Cuoto, Montana Murray, Connor Best, Dawn Best, Natalia Lopez, Thomas Walton, and Charlotte Collier partaking in the clean-up Kitimat campaign on May 28. (Katie Peacock photo)
Kitimat’s MStar Hotel brings out staff’s competitive clean-up side

The hotel staff circulated the Big Spruce Trailhead and picked up as much garbage as they could

Kitimat’s Water Quality Advisory, which has been in place for just over a week, has been lifted. (Black Press file photo)
Water Quality Advisory in Kitimat lifted

The district has been under a Water Quality Advisory since June 2

On June 16 at 6 p.m., the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a public presentation and discussion with Happipad, a social enterprise, to talk about solutions for affordable housing Kitimat. (Happipad photo)
Affordable housing to be focus of Kitimat Chamber of Commerce meeting

Figures indicate the average Kitimat household needs to make more than $92,000 a year

(District of Kitimat logo)
Hirsch Creek Bridge restricted to single lane traffic

The district is restricting the bridge traffic to legal highway loads only

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read