#NoEnbridge protest on Saturday at Sunset Beach may be the largest pipeline demo in B.C. history

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      Environmental activist Ben West just smiles when asked if he thinks massive advertising campaigns by the energy sector are changing Vancouverites’ minds about proposed pipeline projects.

      In an interview by English Bay, the campaign director of ForestEthics Advocacy told the Georgia Straight that much of what he’s seeing “has Frank Luntz’s fingerprints all over it”.

      Luntz, a Republican communications strategist, has achieved considerable fame in the United States for testing words and phrases that create positive impressions of industrial activities.

      For example, Luntz has said that he prefers “energy exploration” over “drilling for oil”.

      Here in Canada, the federal government routinely claims it’s practising “responsible resource management”, notwithstanding international condemnation for its record on greenhouse-gas emissions.

      West maintained that when a major news story arises concerning the oil and gas industry, he hears the same language coming from a variety of different angles.

      “The stuff that comes from industry sounds almost identical to what comes from the federal government,” he said. “More often than not, I’m seeing people get frustrated by the obvious spin-doctoring that’s coming from industry. I don’t think they’re doing themselves any favours by not having a more rational and reasonable discussion about what truly responsible resource management would look like. What we’re doing in Canada is anything but ‘responsible resource management’.”

      On Saturday (May 10), those who agree with West will converge on Sunset Beach (at the corner of Bute Street and Beach Avenue) for the #NoEnbridge Pipeline Rally at 2 p.m. West said that it’s being organized to send a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his cabinet that Vancouverites are opposed to the proposed Enbridge pipeline, which would transport bitumen from the Alberta tarsands to Kitimat, where it would be shipped overseas to Asia in oil tankers.

      Last December, the federal Joint Review Panel recommended approval of Enbridge’s application for the Northern Gateway pipeline provided it met 209 conditions. Under federal law, the cabinet must make a decision within 180 days of the earlier ruling.

      West said this means that Harper will have to make up his mind in the first week of June.

      “We think it’s important not only that we send a signal…that this issue is not going away but also to really remind Harper, as has been said before, that the politicians issue permits but the people give the permission. And they don’t have permission to build this pipeline,” West stated.

      He promised that in addition to speeches from scientists, labour leaders, First Nations representatives, politicians, and environmentalists, there will also be opportunities to send messages directly to the premier, prime minister, and other party leaders.

      “I can give you one little inside scoop,” West said with a mischievous smile. “We’ve got a salsa troupe that’s going to be leading the entire crowd on some sort of interactive ‘hot planet, cool salsa’ activity.”

      The first #NoEnbridge Pipeline Rally was held in November, attracting a massive crowd near Science World. West said that he’s expecting a larger turnout for the event on Saturday.

      “We’re actually calling it The Orca Strikes Back: #NoEnbridge Pipeline Rally 2,” he said.

      West pointed out that in 2013, there was more employment in the United States in the solar-energy industry than in the coal and gas industries. The rally coincides with a national day of action on climate change, which is being organized by the Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities coalition.

      “A lot of people don’t understand that there are viable alternatives that are economically viable,” West said. “There are mature technologies that are ready to be put in place.”



      Frankie L.

      May 7, 2014 at 12:20pm

      "We suggested that everyone wear rubber boots in the rain. The Joint Review Panel agreed, and made it one of 209 conditions we must meet to build the Nothern Gateway pipeline."

      Wayne Fraese

      May 7, 2014 at 9:01pm

      Did someone say "...viable alternatives that are economically viable"?

      Hey that's right! How about: Germany currently producing 25% of its national electrical needs with renewable energy (solar + wind), with the goal being 80% by 2050.

      That's what happens on a continent where fossil fuel doesn't entirely dominate governments. In the U.S., 22 of the top 26 administrators around Obama are oil industry affiliated. In Canada, Oil industry memos become Canadian law.


      May 8, 2014 at 10:46am

      Remember to ride your electric bike to this shindig.

      Kim Collins

      May 10, 2014 at 6:32am

      "Oil sands growth is standing in the way of Canada’s climate commitments. Expansion plans for Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gaspollution, enabled by pipelines like Energy East, are impossible to reconcile with Canada’s international promise to do their fair share to tackle climate change. By putting oil sands development front and centre, Canada is turning its back on international cooperationto deal with climate change and contributing significantly to global climate devastation.

      Who can stop this? We can – you and I can. And it is not just that we can stop it, we have a responsibility to do so. Those countries and companies primarily responsible for emitting carbonand accelerating climate change are not simply going to give up on fossil fuels; they are too beholden to short-sighted profit.

      We have to push them to do the right thing. Just as Canadians reached out to help South Africans rid themselves of the scourge of apartheid,we can work togetheragain to protect our shared planet fromthe worst of dangerous climate change. Time is running out, but we can do this."

      Source: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/mobile/story.html?id=9823193


      Jun 6, 2014 at 8:03pm

      Will they drive their cars to the anti-pipeline protest?