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General · 26th March 2012
North Island NDP
Come to the rally on March 31 at the Comox Recreation Centre, 855 Noel Avenue, at 1pm.
The National Energy Board Joint Review Panel for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project is holding hearings at the Comox Rec Centre March 30 and 31. People from every corner of Vancouver Island and southern BC are expected to converge at this two day event.

The Comox Valley chapters of the Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club are calling on all concerned British Columbians to stand up for:
• the environment,
• the rights of First Nations through whose lands the pipeline will pass,
• those whose livelihoods and way of life will be irreparably harmed by an oil spill, and
• our democratic right to participate in making the decisions which impact our land and waters, as well as our social and economic environment.

As has been the case at previous sessions in Calgary, Edmonton and northern BC, the vast majority of the people who will address the Panel will be expressing their opposition to the Northern Gateway Project. The Enbridge pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, BC, will facilitate tanker shipments to Asia, and will endanger the Great Bear Rain Forest, hundreds of rivers and streams, and the waters of Douglas Channel and the BC coast.

The danger is very real. The Polaris Institute reported in 2008 that Enbridge’s own data revealed 610 spills from Enbridge pipelines from 1999 to 2008. In July 2010 there was a spill in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan which the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports as “the largest inland oil spill in Midwest history”, of at least 840,000 gallons of oil. The cleanup of that spill is not yet completed.

People are asked to bring their own signs and to wear blue scarves to symbolize the ocean waters that we are bound to protect. Speakers at the rally include local environmental activists as well as representative of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union and the Dogwood Initiative which has spearheaded the No Tankers campaign.

“With both the Harper and Clark governments pushing for less regulation and environmental protection so that mining and other resource extraction projects can be fast-tracked, and doing it without our permission”, said Mike Bell of the Sierra Club, “it’s time to make our voices heard.”

Gwyn Frayne, local spokesperson for the Council of Canadians, called on everyone to “stand against pipelines and tankers, stand up to Big Oil and Gas, stand with indigenous communities, stand up for future generations and ensure that the Northern Gateway Project is defeated.”

Parking will be limited so car pooling is recommended.

The official hearings will be in the Rec Centre on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. The actual start and stop times each day are to be confirmed the week prior.

Local organizers have not been able to get any more specific information from the Joint Review Panel at this time but expect to be able to provide more details the week before the hearings.

Other organizations and individuals locally as well as in other Island communities, Including the Wilderness Committee and Dogwood Initiative are organizing for a large convergence in Comox on March 31.

For information about transportation from outside the Comox Valley: bit.ly/comoxorbust. For more information about the hearings and rally check facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/365883920095408/ or call 250-335-0850.

Want to be part of the bus going from Quadra? Call Carol Anderson at 285-2771 and see if seats are still available.

Comox Rec Centre
Location
1855 Noel Avenue. The rally is at the back of the building, off Robb Road.
Directions As you enter Comox and pass the hospital, turn left on Anderton Road. Robb Road and Noel Avenue are the second and third roads on your right.