The Kootenay to Kitimat Caravan to stop the pipeline will make its very first stop in Castlegar on Monday, July 16.
The Caravan is a project to highlight widespread opposition to the Enbridge pipeline project.
The Caravaners will be displaying their mock pipeline and leafletting on Columbia Avenue in Castlegar between about 1:45 and 2:15 p.m. on Monday.
“The Caravan is carrying a message from the Kootenays to the First Nations and other communities on the pipeline route to say we support them in stopping the pipeline,” says Keith Wiley who has been working with a small group, Kootenays for a Pipeline-Free B.C.
“We know that many people in Castlegar – as in every B.C. community – are really opposed to this pipeline project and its environmental hazards,” says Wiley.
On Monday, July 9 Nelson City Council voted to oppose the pipeline project and endorse the Caravan as a citizens’ way to show opposition.
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, says “”This type of grassroots action on the pipeline is part of what it will take to turn Canada into an environment nurturing country.”
“I recently spent time in the Terrace Kitimat area and had a chance to see the opposition to Enbridge first-hand,” says Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior.
“I would like to congratulate those involved in the Caravan and thank them for taking this important message of support to northern B.C. communities that are directly in the path of the proposed pipeline.”
British Columbia MP, and NDP Fisheries critic Fin Donnelly says: “British Columbians have been clear, they do not want this risky pipeline. I congratulate the caravan for putting forward strong opposition to the Harper Conservative agenda, and wish them well on their trip.”
The Caravan plans to hold public events in Kelowna, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Prince George, Fort St. James, Smithers, Terrace and Kitimat, and may have events in other centres on the route. The Caravaners will be meeting local mayors, politicians and First Nations leaders.
“We will be posting photos and the progress of the project on Facebook and Twitter as we go, so everyone will have a chance to see who we meet and our activities,” says Wiley.
The proposed Enbridge pipeline would carry unrefined bitumen in a pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta to the port at Kitimat where it is to be loaded on 200 or more tankers a year. A second, return pipeline carries condensate liquids necessary to dilute the bitumen. Many experts say a tanker incident is inevitable and could contaminate much or even all of the B.C. coast.
Many of B.C.s First Nations and concerned citizens fear the pipeline could leak and damage provincial watersheds and salmon habitat. The pipeline is slated to cross hundreds of B.C. waterways, including many tributaries in the Fraser and Skeena water systems.
Submitted by Keith Wiley