TORONTO, May 6 /CNW/ - The environmental risk of a pipeline from
Alberta's tar sands to BC's north coast is too high. That's the message
members of three BC First Nations took to Enbridge Inc.'s Annual General
Meeting today in downtown Toronto.
Outside the Meridian King Edward Hotel, three First Nations delegates in
traditional regalia demonstrated their unity against Enbridge's proposed
Northern Gateway Project with a "mixing of the waters" ceremony, in which they
each poured water from their home rivers into a vessel.
"Our title and rights to our traditional territories have never been
relinquished," said Alphonse Gagnon, a Wet'suwet'en hereditary chief. "We will
do whatever it takes to defend our lands and waters against this threat from
"Enbridge's plan will bring oil spills to our coast and to our inland
salmon rivers," said Gagnon. "The fish, the animals, and our way of life will
all be destroyed - likely forever. We are here today to tell Enbridge we will
never allow this to occur."
Enbridge is proposing two 1,170-kilometre pipelines from Alberta to
Kitimat, BC, carrying tar sands oil and condensate, a petroleum product used
to thin bitumen. At Kitimat, the oil would be loaded on tankers bound for
"Oil spills are a certainty - it's just a matter of time. Even with
current technology there is too much room for human error, and our ability to
clean up spills is nowhere near adequate." said Gerald Amos of the Haisla
First Nation. "The Exxon Valdez taught us it's a risk we should not be taking
The delegates secured proxy passes to attend the Enbridge AGM, where they
asked questions of Enbridge's executive and board of directors.
"Consultation as it stands now only means more court cases and conflict,"
said Tara Marsden of the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation. "We ask Enbridge to
adopt a policy requiring First Nations consent, to respect the fact that these
lands have never been surrendered to the Crown."
ForestEthics and Dogwood Initiative, two environmental organizations also
working to stop the Enbridge pipeline, joined the First Nations delegation in
Toronto. The pipeline would allow a massive expansion of the tar sands, adding
the equivalent global warming pollution of 1.6 million new cars on the road.
Digital photos available on request
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
members of the media/
For further information:
For further information: Gillian McEachern, ForestEthics, (416)
938-6032; Eric Swanson, Dogwood Initiative, (250) 858-9990; Tara Marsden,
Nadleh Whut'en First Nation, (250) 614-3317