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Save BC's Great Bear Region from Enbridge's Tar Sands Pipeline!

Save BC's Great Bear Region from Enbridge's Tar Sands Pipeline!
  
  

 

Why this is important to me

Update: Jan. 17, 2014 - Environmental Groups Respond to Northern Gateway Report, File Lawsuit to Block Pipeline Approval - desmog.ca: http://desmog.ca/2014/01/17/environmental-groups-respond-northern-gateway-report-file-lawsuit-block-pipeline-approval

Update: Dec 19, 2013 - Panel recommends approval for Northern Gateway pipeline, with conditions - Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/northern-gateway-pipeline/article16056689/

Update: Nov. 5, 2013 - BC's Clark and Alberta's Redford reach pipeline deal - Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/clark-redford-reach-deal-on-pipelines/article15260483/

Update: May 31, 2013 - BC rejects Northern Gateway over environmental concerns - CTV: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-rejects-northern-gateway-project-over-environmental-concerns-1.1305479

Update: May 7, 2013 - Enbridge breaks safety rules at pipeline pump stations across Canada - CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/05/05/pol-enbridge-breaks-neb-safety-rules.html

Update: Oct 27, 2012 - A 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake hit BC's Haida Gwaii region - highlighting the dangers of routing a tar sands pipeline to BC's North Coast.

BC's Great Bear Rainforest (the world's largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest) is under siege! In mere months, Canada's Government will decide whether or not to approve the 1170 km long Northern Gateway pipeline to pump crude, unrefined bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat, on British Columbia's north coast. It would be built by Enbridge, a company that has been responsible for over 800 oil spills, since 1999 (1). This pipeline would cross many rivers, the Rocky Mountains and pristine wilderness. Much of this area is home to First Nations people. Oil tankers would collect and ship the raw crude to China (the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter).

We can stop this irresponsible development - BC's First Nations have a constitutional right to be consulted - and this hasn’t adequately been met. New documents reveal that the government knows that it can't address the legitimate concerns of First Nations from the area at risk.

Let Canada's government know that the voices of First Nations will never be silenced. Add your voice to the call to uphold the legal rights of the traditional custodians of the land and stop this reckless project from going ahead. It's not a matter of IF an oil spill would happen, but WHEN!

An oil spill would have devastating effects on the region and its native species. One species at great risk is the official mammal of BC (2), the Kermode or "Spirit" Bear, a genetically unique, white Black Bear possessing a recessive gene. With fewer than 400 of these bears left in the wild, they're rarer than China's Giant Pandas. In 1987, the Valhalla Wilderness Society started the Spirit Bear conservancy campaign and, along with many others including Simon Jackson's Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, were successful in 2006 in protecting over 1/2 million acres of habitat from clearcut logging. Protection never would've happened without the full support of the Kitasso Xai'xais & Gitga'at First Nations.

Now a larger threat looms for the Spirit Bear. Giant tankers plan to bring bitumen to Asia via the proposed Enbridge pipeline from Alberta's tar sands. Given the narrow marine channels, huge Pacific storms and the risk of Tsunamis & Earthquakes (3) in the Spirit Bear's homeland, an inevitable oil spill would devastate fragile marine ecosystems for decades to come, including salmon and other marine life that bears depend on. Such a catastrophic spill would also destroy the traditional livelihoods of First Nations communities and others in the area, representing millions of dollars of loss annually. We can't afford to have another Exxon-Valdez like spill or any major spill off the BC coast.

Stephen Harper's Government openly supports building the pipeline. The BC government on May 31, 2013 came out in opposition to Gateway. However, on Nov. 5, Premier Clark reached a framework deal with Alberta on building pipelines to the BC coast (4). On Dec. 19, the review panel recommended approval of Northern Gateway - with 209 conditions attached (5), despite vast opposition to the pipeline. Please sign & share the petition and call for a permanent tanker ban off BC's north coast, protection of fish habitat and tell Ottawa and Victoria that the destructive Northern Gateway pipeline must NOT be approved by government.

The time is NOW to speak out for a healthy environment, sustainable economy and for a government that stands for all Canadians, not just for corporate elite!

Sources:

(1): Out on the Tar Sands Mainline - Mapping Enbridge's Web of Pipelines: http://www.tarsandswatch.org/files/Updated%20Enbridge%20Profile.pdf

(2): B.C. SPIRT BEAR NAMED OFFICIAL PROVINCIAL MAMMAL http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2006OTP0065-000366.htm

(3): Geological Survey identifies Tsunami hazard, possible fault line in Douglas Channel: http://nwcoastenergynews.com/2012/09/18/3753/geological-survey-identifies-tsunami-hazard-fault-line-douglas-channel/

(4): BC and Alberta reach pipeline deal - Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/clark-redford-reach-deal-on-pipelines/article15260483/

(5) Panel recommends approval for Northern Gateway, with conditions: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/northern-gateway-pipeline/article16056689/

* Photo credit: Spirit Bear by Simon Jackson - Spirit Bear Youth Coalition Founder

Posted February 1, 2012
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