NEWS RELEASE · 8th September 2010
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council
“Tar sands pipeline is not worth the risk”
Today, more than 500 people marched through downtown Prince George, BC, in support of First Nations and northern BC residents opposing a tar sands pipeline and tanker port proposed by Enbridge Pipelines Inc.
The proposed pipeline would move up to 525,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands in northern Alberta to tanker port in Kitimat, BC. The project would cross unceded territories claimed by over 20 First Nations. It would also cross 785 watercourses, fragment wildlife habitat and impact fragile salmon fisheries. Enbridge has a long history of pipeline spills and other accidents, including a one million gallon spill of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July—one of the largest spills in U.S. history.
Today’s multi-generational procession began at the Court House and concluded at a rally held outside the Prince George Civic Center where the federally appointed Joint Review Panel listened to issues and concerns about the project. The march follows a 250 strong rally at a similar hearing last week in Kitimat, BC. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) communities want Federal regulators to conduct a community-led review process based on minimal international standards, such as those held in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which would address the full spectrum of impacts to aboriginal rights and the environment related to the proposed project.
“We invite all Indigenous peoples to join the fight against the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project,” said Tribal Chief David Luggi. “Those backing the Enbridge Gateway pipeline should know that as long as CSTC First Nations withhold consent, this project is not viable. We have the legal and moral power to decide what happens in our territories. We have not relinquished our powers to protect our lands for future generations."
Environmental groups such as the Sea to Sands conservation alliance also have concerns regarding the Joint Review Panel lack of scope. “How can the pipeline project be reviewed in isolation of the Tarsands and the oil tankers? If Enbridge is going to build a pipeline without any oil or condensate running through, we would not be in this position. It is the fact that Enbridge proposes to transmit dirty oil from the Tarsands across our beautiful Province to export to Asia and, all the risk that that entails, that we are vehemently opposed to this project” stated Hillary Crowley of the Sea to Sands Conservation Alliance.
Other groups such as the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) have been advocating for change within the finance community to stop the bank roll of unsustainable industries. According to financial data compiled by RAN the Toronto Dominion Bank and Royal Bank of Canada have financed more than $11.8 billion for Enbridge since 2007.