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REPORTING · 24th August 2010
Merv Ritchie
Unconfirmed details have surfaced today of an impending invasion force of Canadian Military Personnel and equipment just prior to the protest gathering in Kitimat regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel Hearing in that community.

We have been informed ships will arrive this coming weekend in Prince Rupert and Kitimat. Military helicopters will arrive as will armoured personnel carriers and a contingent of troops. A training exercise will take place in the Terrace area at the Rod and Gun Club Range in Thornhill. The compound will be closed to the public. The Canadian Rangers will be taking part in this exercise in a capacity such as to learn how to interact and engage with the Canadian Military.

Various groups opposed to the construction of the two pipelines are planning a large demonstration in Kitimat on the Tuesday following this military exercise. A twin demonstration will be held at the same time in downtown Vancouver.

Various right wing Government Ministers (Federal Conservatives and Provincial Liberals) have recently toured the area. The Federal Conservatives have appointed a new representative, Clay Harmon, for their party in the region even though no election has been called. Harmon, who currently works in a financial capacity for the Kitsumkalum Band told us he has been instructed by the Federal Conservative Party to begin door knocking and to display his name on a sign (in Conservative colour and style) on the side of his vehicle.

John Baird, Bill Bennett, Stockwell Day, Jay Hill, Ben Stewart, John Rustad, and finally the Minister of State for Transportation Rob Merrifield have all been in the region in the past 6 weeks. Many of these Ministers of the Crown are associated with the Asia Pacific Trade Corridor, Energy Mines and Resources, and International Trade. It would appear on the face of things the Federal and Provincial Governments are very concerned with the region and its potential. Appointing a new representative for the region prior to any talk of an election is also interesting. The Federal Government through the provincially appointed Northern Development Trust Initiative (NDI) is also encouraging acceptance of a new Federal Prison for Terrace area even though crime statistics continue to fall. It is all seemingly very draconian and is raising many eyebrows as to the need and the intention.

The Canadian Rangers have recently been elevated to ‘Reservist Status’ and this new exercise seems to coincide nicely with all the concerns raised by the good citizens of the area and the planned protests.

Be prepared to see many helicopters above the skies around the Sacred Circle regions this weekend. The exercises will be land air and sea based. The reports we have received indicate the troops will be leaving on Monday. The protest rally in Kitimat at the Riverlodge Recreation Complex will begin at 9:00 am on Tuesday August 31st.