With only a few days notice from the Canadian government, we asked you to sign-up to be heard at the upcoming federal government review panel on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline that would send oil tankers through the last intact habitat of the spirit bear.
And what a resounding response of support.
More than 4000 people – of all ages and from all corners of the globe – registered within 48 hours to give the spirit bear a voice at the decision making table. That’s a record-shattering seven times the number of people who have ever registered to be heard at previous review panels, making this outpouring of support the largest in Canadian history.
1. For those who registered to be heard, we will be in contact to help ensure your voice is indeed heard by the Canadian government at the upcoming review panel meetings that will go a long way toward deciding the fate of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.
2. For those who were unable to register – and for those who did register – we are urging you to make your voice heard in a more traditional sense: Write BC Premier Clark and Canadian Prime Minister Harper and tell them why this pipeline route needs to be altered to save the spirit bear.
A Balanced Alternative
With the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to the USA having been at least temporarily shelved, increased pressure will be placed on decision makers to fast-track plans to build the Northern Gateway pipeline to the BC coast in order to find consumers for Alberta’s oil.
The Keystone pipeline was heralded as a “no-brainer”, but failed to receive approval for one critical reason: the proposed route was ecologically dangerous and the public made sure decision makers knew that the plan was simply unacceptable.
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal is fraught with considerably more risk to the environment than Keystone given plans to send oil tankers through treacherous waters in and around the highly endangered spirit bear’s last intact habitat. It will also likely garner considerably more opposition than Keystone considering already most British Columbians and almost every First Nation band along the proposed route oppose the pipeline.
However, like Keystone, a viable and reasonable alternative is available to Enbridge and decision makers.
A different route for Northern Gateway – in this case utilizing existing infrastructure and the polluted, less dangerous Port of Vancouver – would allow for oil exports, job creation, economic certainty without threatening the globally important spirit bear and the future of an area labelled by National Geographic as the last wild place in North America.
If the builders of the Keystone pipeline had simply heeded the public’s concern for their planned route, it is almost a certainty that the majority of the opposition would have melted away and the project would have been allowed to move forward.
Our challenge is to make sure Canadian decision makers and Enbridge executives are clear: the current plan for Northern Gateway won’t work and the reasonable alternative on the table must become the focus to ensure a repeat of the Keystone affair doesn’t occur in BC, for the sake of the economy and the future of the spirit bear.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD TODAY.