As hearings into the Northern Gateway Pipeline resume in Edmonton, a mass protest organized by opponents of the controversial project is being planned for the B.C. legislature in Victoria.

The sit-in, which organizers call an “historic act of peaceful civil disobedience,” is scheduled for Oct. 22 to protest the proposed pipeline that would bring bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to Kitimat on the west coast. Tankers would then ship the oil to Asian markets.

The protest will be attended by business, First Nations, environmental, labour, academic, medical, and artistic communities across Canada, according to Greenpeace Canada.

Over 80 community, union, business and First Nation leaders have publicly endorsed the protest, including Stephen Lewis, David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, and Naomi Klein, Greenpeace said.

“There are moments in history when it’s clear that our elected leaders are failing us and it is necessary to take a stand,” said author and environmentalist Tzeporah Berman in a posting on Greenpeace Canada’s website.

“Today we are stating our intention to defend our coast and calling on others to join us. The risk of oil spills and irreversible harm to our tourism and fishing industries from these pipelines and tankers is just too great.”

After a break on Sept. 8, a Joint Review Panel resumed hearings in Edmonton to assess the environmental impact of the $6-billion project. The hearings, mandated by the Minister of the Environment and the National Energy Board, are scheduled to conclude by April 2013 and include public consultation.

On Monday, lawyers for an aboriginal group fighting the project questioned Enbridge officials about the possibility of Chinese investment buying control over the pipeline and oil supply. Lawyers for environmental groups raised similar concerns earlier this month.

A police officer watches over protesters who crossed a barricade to take part in a sit-in against the Keystone XL pipeline on Parliament Hill in September 2011. A similar mass sit-in at the B.C. legislature is being planned to protest the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

This week for the first time, Enbridge officials will have an opportunity to address questions at the hearings.

Janet Holder, Enbridge’s executive vice president in charge of western access, said in a news release that the company “believes that the concerns expressed by Canadians to date, and particularly those living in British Columbia, can be addressed in a reasonable and responsible way.”

While proponents argue the 1,170-km dual line is needed to open up Canada’s oil exports to Asia and will add billions to the GDP, opponents and those living along the route fear the fallout from possible spills.

The Victoria sit-in aims to build on the success of other protests against oil sands expansion and proposed pipelines that have taken place in recent years.

The August 2011 sit-ins in Washington, D.C., that helped delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and the September 2011 sit-in in Ottawa are noted by organizers as inspirational examples.

 “We hope people from all walks of life and from across the country join us in Victoria and defend the natural beauty and cultural richness of the B.C. coastline,” said Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation, whose territory in central B.C. would be impacted by the pipeline.

 “We will be there to show the widespread opposition to tar sands pipelines and tanker proposals and to show the strength of the support for First Nations people’s rights to land and title and the internationally protected right to free, prior, and informed consent on any development impacting our traditional territories.” In another effort to stop the pipeline, a petition started by Kelowna resident James MacGregor has surpassed its goal of 10,000 signatures and now aims to reach 20,000. MacGregor plans to deliver the signed petition to Ottawa on Oct. 1. ( Source )

The risk of oil spills and irreversible harm to our tourism and fishing industries from these pipelines and tankers is just too great. — Environmentalist Tzeporah Berman

Responses to "Mass Pipeline Protest Planned for BC Legislature "

  1. Anonymous says:

    A Chinese pipeline on United States of American Indian soil is ridiculous. The Indians don't want destruction on there lands. Who gives anyone the right to still in this date in time allow anyone to be strong armed into slavery and against there will, to conform to a foreign countries destructive business plan that's longevity will be short lived once the pipeline is complete. The only thing that will be left behind is dead plant, animals, oil spills and a bunch of people out of a job. The only people that will gain from this will be the oil company and perhaps the higher Indian council. What is wrong with the pipeline that is already there. How is it that a company could be allowed to do as it wishes to the land and a people in which they do not own and have no rights to dictate, take over or control. It is obvious that the tribes have spoken. Please submit your comments of anger and disgust. Peace, Love, Balance and to Protect. ~Meggs~

  2. Eagle08 says:

    Dear brothers and sisters,
    please STOP abusing Mother Earth
    there are already other possibilities, energy that isn't harming Mother Earth or anyone else ♥
    this is public known, so start open your heart too and make it available for ALL
    this will be for the Benefit of ALL = including yourself(s)

    this is my ♥ wish, Eagle08

  3. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, It seems only the extreme makes an impression. :(

  4. Anonymous says:

    China, You dont have the right to do this, its not your land, you will kill all flora and fauna, go home and stay at home china and destroy your own land.
    It is time China to protect earth not to kill , I hope you will make a wise right decission, because someday your children will ask you what have you done with Mother Earth

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    i know what oil does for my truck,or car....But what does it do for the earth! be wise to what you buy and speak up for the truth to be spoken and heard.

  7. Tania Houkamau says:

    Oil exploration had also become problematic in our country also. I am Maori and I am from New Zealand the same thing was happening just of our coast of New Zealand our people protested and got out and managed to stop the exploration of oil for now we also continue to fight the same fight we also consider our culture to be caretakers of our land, sea, air and wildlife I will share with my facebook community Kia kaha - Be Strong.

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  9. Unknown says:

    PEOPLE don't seem to remember that OKA First Nation incident that my own BIO-FATHER was involved with. The PIPELINE is the same story and will not be allowed without a fight and this may be the ONE that will UNITE ALL OUR NATIONS. The OKA incident was a high end golf course with HIGHER END HOUSING on the golf course. The PROBLEM of why this became a NATIONAL STORY is the LAND WAS A FIRST NATION RESERVATION that the GOVERNMENT had forced the CANADIAN MILITARY to remove the entire FIRST NATION. Yes this is TRUE CANADIAN HISTORY and YOUR LEGISLATIVE GOVERNMENT at its finest. Once again like the INDIAN AGENTS of our past did the Government issue the ORDER for REMOVAL AND KILLING of FIRST NATIONS FOR the OKA GOLF COURSE and HOUSING DEVELOPMENT for GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. Look at the initial development LAND TITLES and house sales it was to your ELECTED GOVERNMENT officials who bought these properties.

    This thing called CURRENCY was the downfall of our First Nation society. WE FIRST NATIONS bartered items of importance and religious rites for currency or trade for trade. THERE was no CURRENCY in our history and our land was BEAUTIFUL, untouched, unpolluted, free roaming herds of all herded animals, abundance of medicines and OUR NATION'S love and devotion to keeping MOTHER EARTH PURE and FREE from abuse. NOW look at where we are... I cant wait for the NEW BIRTH of our SACRED MOTHER EARTH where the MEAK WILL AGAIN INHERIT HER SOUL & BODY to PROTECT AGAIN.. And all those who harm her will suffer their same consequences that they place upon our SACRED MOTHER EARTH. I am a First Nation Cree woman of Canada and I OPPOSE this PIPELINE being placed on First Nation lands but I don't oppose it being built ELSEWHERE maybe in the regular citizens backyards of society.

  10. From NWT Premier McLeod’s speaking notes to the Canada China Business Council Premiers’ Panel in Beijing about investment opportunities in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
    "...The Mackenzie River offers another source of potential energy and another investment opportunity for China. The Mackenzie has some of the best undeveloped hydroelectric resources in North America. And there are seven smaller rivers with hydro potential in our territory.
    That is clean energy that would supply a hungry market to the south of us. It would be a long-term investment with significant upfront capital costs. Fifty to one hundred or more years of low operating and maintenance costs will provide an excellent return on investment...."

    So.. I am wrong or is Premier McLeod asking the Chinese for help in damming the NWT's Mackenzie & other rivers to generate hydro electricity?

    This with the same folks who have a plan designed to ‘solve the nomadic problem’ by forcing Indigenous people into settlements

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