B.C. activists look to direct democracy law to block Kinder Morgan pipeline

Dogwood Initiative gathers signatures to try to trigger a province-wide referendum, similar to 2010 B.C. effort to get rid of HST.

Activists are vowing to use B.C.’s direct democracy law to try to block the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion from being built.

The Dogwood Initiative is gathering support to prepare for Premier Christy Clark’s likely approval of the $6.8-billion project, after the Trudeau government gave the green light on Tuesday.

Clark said Wednesday all but two of the five conditions to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline have been met, so she is “very close” to giving her support. Those two conditions are ensuring the federal government’s new Ocean Protection Plan will provide world-class marine spill prevention and response, and that B.C. gets its “fair share” of the project benefits and jobs. The province is also still waiting on the outcome of its environmental assessment.

With that remaining work expected to be completed by this spring, the Dogwood Initiative is hosting events on Saturday to recruit volunteers who will canvass their neighbourhoods for enough support to trigger a province-wide referendum on the pipeline.

“If politicians and Big Oil think they can push reckless tanker projects through our province despite First Nations and public opposition, we’ll launch a citizens’ initiative. British Columbians deserve a vote,” its website reads.

A unique process in B.C. called the Citizens’ Initiative allows a registered voter to propose a new provincial law or changes to an existing law. The voter must collect signatures from 10 per cent of the registered voters in each of B.C.’s electoral districts in a short time period. The matter then goes to the legislature, and one of the possible outcomes from that is a province-wide referendum.

“If Clark cuts a deal that betrays the majority of voters in B.C., we have the power to put this to a vote – just like when Gordon Campbell misled citizens about the HST,” the website reads.

A Citizens Initiative petition against the harmonized sales tax led by Bill Vander Zalm got enough signatures to pass and that led then-Premier Campbell to put the issue to a provincial referendum, where the HST was defeated.

Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion project would result in a seven-fold increase in tankers running through Vancouver harbour, carrying much more diluted bitumen than in the past.

Environmental groups and First Nations voiced their outage at the Trudeau cabinet’s approval of Kinder Morgan earlier this week. Some of his own MPs in the Vancouver area said they were disappointed in the decision.

– with files from Jeff Nagel

Just Posted

Smoke from Ootischenia nothing to worry about

The smoke is coming from the burning of a large slash pile.

Downed power line closes Connors Road

Castlegar fire crews are on site.

Addition to Syringa Provincial Park protects winter wildlife range

35 hectares will be added to the park’s southeast boundary thanks to a private land acquisition

Selkirk College to make pitch for new student housing on campus

$25 million project would see new student housing built in Nelson, Castlegar

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

In a fight against cancer, Victoria man’s only stem cell match was his own donation

More mixed race and Asian stem cell donors needed, says Victoria family

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Most Read