Caravan stops in Kamloops as opposition to pipeline mountsGroup opposes Enbridge Northern Gateway
A caravan opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline parks in front of City Hall Wednesday with plans to drum up local opposition to the megaproject.
The Kootenay to Kitimat caravan left Nelson on Monday and will make stops in centres along the way. With a mock pipeline, leaflets and a petition against the project, organizers plan to stage a rally from 11 a.m. to noon.
Tom Friedman, NDP nominee for Kamloops-South Thompson, will lend his support to the protest and offer another petition mounted by New Democrats.
“I think this is really important to make some people realize the danger of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline,” Friedman said.
The proposed pipeline would carry unrefined bitumen from the oil sands in Alberta to Kitimat, where it would be loaded onto tankers for shipment primarily to Asia.
Northern Gateway Alliance, a coalition of community leaders in northern B.C. as well as a number of northern First Nations, support the National Energy Board regulatory review currently under way.
Premier Christy Clark reiterated Monday that the provincial government remains neutral on the project. The NDP and federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, along with some northern First Nations along the proposed route, oppose the project.
The pipe would cross many remote rivers and streams with environmental risks compounded by the increased traffic of oil tankers along the B.C. coast, Friedman said. A recent report on the 2010 Enbridge pipeline spill in Kalamazoo, Mich., points to a poor environmental record, he added
“We’re going to bearing all the risks and gaining none of the benefits.”
The idea of the caravan is to highlight what organizers say is widespread opposition to the project.
“We know that many people in Kamloops — as in every B.C. community — are really opposed to this project and its environmental hazards,” said Keith Wiley, who is affiliated with a group called Kootenays for a Pipeline-Free BC.
“We will be posting photos and the progress of the project on Facebook and Twitter as we go, so everyone will have a chance to see who we meet and our activities,” Wiley added.