NEWS RELEASE · 13th April 2014
MP Nathan Cullen
The people of Kitimat turned out in large numbers to reject the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in a plebiscite vote. Almost 60% voted no to the pipeline despite a relentless and costly campaign by Enbridge to convince them otherwise.
“This was one of the most powerful grassroots movements I have ever witnessed in my political career. It has brought our communities even closer together in the Kitimat Valley,” said Cullen. “With this vote Kitimat now joins the vast majority of Northwest communities that have formerly expressed their opposition to the pipeline and supertankers on the North Coast.”
Enbridge and its supporters in the Harper government were unlikely to find more favourable circumstances for such a vote, and the resounding result is a clear refusal by the people of Northwestern B.C. to grant the company the social license it so desperately needs.
Not only is Kitimat one of the most pro-development, industry-based towns in BC, the rules that guided this vote excluded the local Haisla First Nation in Kitamaat village, while allowing hundreds of temporary workers from outside the region a say in the region's future.
"And, there were no spending limits in this David and Goliath struggle," added Cullen.
Local residents spent hundreds of hours volunteering and going door to door.
"Enbridge spent untold thousands of dollars blanketing the entire north with ads and flying in promoters from Alberta to argue their case," the MP noted.
Despite these conditions the people of Kitimat have spoken, sending a strong signal to the Conservative government in Ottawa. "Even those who stand to gain from what few jobs might come from this bitumen pipeline scheme are not willing to risk our coast, watersheds and communities," said Cullen.
“The implications for the 2015 federal election are clear,” said Cullen. “Ram through your oil megaprojects against the interests of British Columbians and you will pay at the polls.”