Enbridge oil pipeline will be stopped, Coastal First Nations’ Art Sterritt says

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      The executive director of the Coastal First Nations believes an oil spill due to the proposed $5.5-billion Enbridge pipeline out to Kitimat would spell “the end of the coast” as he knows it. And he doesn’t feel fine.

      While Enbridge kicked off the process several years ago that has led to the Northern Gateway proposal of 1,172-kilometre twin pipelines across B.C., Art Sterritt said his own group has studied the pros and cons these past three or four years and concluded there is no real benefit to having the pipeline built, but there are plenty of potential hazards.

      Sterritt is primarily concerned with finding out more about “the safety of pipelines, the safety of tanker traffic, the safety of double-hulled tankers, the safety of pilots, and the safety of tugs”. Sterritt claimed Enbridge has not provided them with this info. So CFN has commissioned technical reports to try and find this out, even as hearings have kicked off on the project that will span across the Rockies from Edmonton to Kitimat.

      “We’ve tried to talk about the safety of clean-up,” Sterritt told the Straight by phone. “Everybody talks about ‘new technology’. The reality is, 20-some-odd years ago in Valdez, the technology that was used to not clean up oil there was the same technology used in the Gulf a couple of summers ago. There is no new technology to clean up oil. You can’t clean it up. If we have a spill, it’s the end of the coast as we know it. It’s the end of our livelihood.”

      For this reason, Coastal First Nations and other First Nations and environmental groups are redoubling efforts to fight the pipeline, something Sterritt said he believes will result in it not getting built. On January 22, from 1:30 to 5 p.m., Sterritt will join Rex Weyler, founder of Tanker Free B.C., and federal NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen for a panel discussion at the Roundhouse Community Centre.

      “We are not going to allow an oil culture to overtake the culture of the coast of British Columbia,” Sterritt said. “That’s what they [pipelines] do. That’s what they did in Alaska and that’s what they did in the Gulf of Mexico. They are just not welcome to do that here. There’s just no reason for it.”

      Admission is free for the discussion, called Oil Free Coast: Tankers and Pipelines: Protecting and Preserving our Land.

      Cullen and CFN are cosponsoring the event. Ta’Kaiya Blaney, environmentalist and singer-songwriter, will also be putting in an appearance.



      Heather Tuite

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:49pm

      I'm very happy to see Nathan Cullen bringing this issue to the forefront. I'll be supporting him in the leadership race based on his admirable environmental record.

      We got people!

      Jan 13, 2012 at 12:51pm

      We have good people working for the environment. How can you tell?
      Well there are those on the payroll who will be gone as soon as the money runs out and good people are there just the same making sure everything works out for the best of man kind.

      Native Prince

      Jan 13, 2012 at 3:37pm

      The people of Hartley bay my people have a right to say NO! What embridge is trying to fource our people to risk is called fascism!! And fascism is an act of war!! It's time for all our nations to stand say NO TO EMBRIDGE AND IF IT COMES TO IT FIGHT FOR OUR LANDS!!

      devils advocate

      Jan 13, 2012 at 8:35pm

      that guy sure doesnt look native at all...anyway, how insular and narrow minded they all are...and how incredibly ignorant to say they cant see any benefit in this project...cant they see past their own little sphere of existence?

      do they ever wonder where social program money comes from at all??

      the people of hartley bay have no right to a veto over large scale projects like this that benefit the country as a whole...no way 200 or so people are going to negate the benefits for 33 million others...they will get consulted and attempts to accomodate them will be made but no veto exists...sorry art

      devil slayer

      Jan 14, 2012 at 10:01am

      The devils advocate is an ingnorant city dweller who hasn't a clue of what ecological values are at stake. Nor does the individual have a clue about what Canada is simply giving away with this project. If it is jobs we are after, then refine the oil in house then send the goods via a port out of Vancouver. Raw products should not be allowed to leave this country/province. Period.

      West Coast

      Jan 14, 2012 at 12:03pm

      Having lived on the north coast and meeting the people there I know without a doubt should this pipeline be built, the employees of Enbridge will most likely "go missing". Ever hear about the guy who cut down the golden spruce on QCI? Went "missing" shortly after. Good luck Enbridge, even if it goes through it'll be more trouble than its worth.


      Jan 15, 2012 at 10:52pm

      You can̓t tell by looking who is FN....some people are so ignorant....FN isn̓t a race its a legal category...government issue....get with the program!


      Nov 2, 2012 at 12:30pm

      Ok, props for the REM reference. Took me a minute to register, but put a smile on my face.

      Gitxsan man

      Feb 4, 2013 at 10:09am

      we need our fish. it is our culture its is us! do not kill them