Their message is clear, we've seen what's happening today in the Gulf of Mexico and, "if Enbridge brings oil tankers to British Columbia's coast, we will wake up one day to the same kind of disaster on our own shores."
Coastal First Nations officers Art Sterritt and Gerald Amos don't pull any punches in their editorial in today's Vancouver Sun.
...Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline would carry the world's dirtiest oil from the Alberta oilsands to Kitimat on the B.C. coast, to be loaded onto foreign-bound supertankers. Some 225 tankers per year would attempt to navigate the waters where a passenger ferry sank in 2006, and where last year a freighter ran aground.
...Like the Exxon Valdez, the impact of a spill so close to shore would be swift, devastating and would last for generations.
Our people are fishing people. While many Canadians do not know where the food they buy comes from, we still rely on traditional foods such as wild salmon, halibut and shellfish. We thrive despite high unemployment because we have access to these foods. Lose this, and we lose our way of life.
...With Enbridge's tankers lurking in the shadows, the future of the area we pledged to protect hangs in the balance.
Because it threatens the basis of our culture, Coastal First Nations firmly oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. In accordance with traditional laws, we declared a ban on the transport of oilsands crude oil through our territories.
It is a declaration we will defend by whatever means necessary. It is one Enbridge would be wise to abide by.
The Campbell faux-Liberal government is already plunging in popularity thanks to its excessively business-oriented policies. A petition to force Campbell to put his HST (harmonized sales tax) to a referendum is said to already have enough signatures even with two months of canvassing time remaining. This oil tanker venture and Campbell's support for offshore oil exploration and offshore drilling could very easily be the final nails in his political coffin. The sooner he's gone, the better for British Columbians and our province.