The Sierra Club speaks out:
Just a few hours ago, the federal Joint Review Panel on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tankers project released their report, recommending that the federal government approve the project with 209 conditions.
The federal government and Enbridge seem determined to spoil the holidays – and many more holidays to come – for BC families. But take heart: this is far from over.
Today’s announcement does not mean that Enbridge has been approved. The decision is now before the federal Cabinet, and before any project approval they need First Nations approval and social license from British Columbians. They have neither.
The Panel’s recommendation is a disappointment, but not a surprise. At all turns, the credibility of the process was undermined by the federal government, as they changed the rules, dismissed any consideration of global warming impacts, unlawfully delayed critical information on endangered humpback whales, and – the day before the hearings began – announced support for the project and began name-calling all those concerned citizens who chose to speak up against it.
For those of you who spoke to the Panel or wrote a letter of comment: thank you. Your words made a difference. Both inside and outside of the Joint Review Panel process, your voice, energy, and organizing have made it clear that the people of BC have not given permission for this project.
Our task now is to make sure the Prime Minister respects the people of B.C. and First Nation laws, and doesn’t try to force these pipelines and tankers on unwilling communities.
Sierra Club BC will continue to mobilize and strengthen grassroots opposition to keep oil tankers out of the Great Bear Rainforest, pipelines out of salmon rivers, and carbon pollution out of our climate. We are going to court in the New Year to defend endangered species along the pipeline and tankers route.
We are standing with First Nations against Enbridge. Sierra Club BC signed the Solidarity Accord for the Save the Fraser Declaration, upholding indigenous laws that prohibit tar sands crude from First Nations’ lands and waters. And, as we oppose dangerous pipeline and tankers proposals we are working to build a low-carbon future: we are implementing forestry solutions in the Great Bear Rainforest, and promoting green jobs. In the spirit of the holiday season, there are two important actions you can take at this time.
- Pledge to stand with the Yinka Dene Alliance and 130 First Nations opposing the pipeline
- Send a letter of solidarity to northern B.C. communities and First Nations along the Enbridge route; thank them for their leadership and let them know you stand with them.
Together we will stop Enbridge, of that I am both hopeful and determined. Nobody ever said this was going to be easy. In the New Year, we will be calling on you to contact your elected representatives, submit letters to your community newspapers, and help fundraise for First Nations legal fees. Together we will chart a new course away from oil companies, towards a future that supports BC families and the lands and waters we all depend on. In speaking up for salmon, communities and a liveable climate we are up against big forces and there is always more to be done. Yet it is essential that we take time to support and appreciate one another, to savour the wild places and draw courage from the strength and resilience of this beautiful province we call home.
Best wishes for the holidays, I look forward to standing strong with you in the coming year,
Caitlyn Vernon Campaigns Director Sierra Club BC
About Sierra Club BC Sierra Club BC‘s mission is to protect B.C.’s wilderness and wildlife, especially in light of global warming.