|The rare Spirit Bear of the Great Bear Rainforest|
|Some of the thousands of Douglas Sound islands|
[Co-written by Mr. and Mrs. Homercat] As a proud Canadian and British Columbian who has always treasured the way both our federal and provincial governments have always stood up for our environment, I heard about the northern gateway pipeline project first with disbelief, then growing horror as more and more details were made public. Just the fact that the route of this pipeline is planned to march straight through the Great Bear Rainforest that is sacred First Nations' land, protected as a Conservancy, the second largest intact coastal rainforest left on the planet and home to multitudes of bears including the rare White Spirit Bear and scores of other wildlife are all reasons enough to make this unpalatable. Add to that the hundreds of endangered blue, fin, right, sei and killer whales that inhabit the Great Bear Sea as well as important and critical ocean habitats for those whales makes the thought of oil tankers attempting to navigate these waters troubling in the extreme. Waters that include Hecate Strait, a waterway that Environment Canada says is known as one of the four most treacherous bodies of water in the world. In the winter months, waves can reach up to eight metres, here and in the Queen Charlotte Basin. Waves over 30 metres high have been recorded. Yet under the proposed plan for a pipeline in this region, oil tankers – as long as the Empire State Building is high – are expected to navigate these waters and transport toxic crude oil across the Pacific Ocean. The waters of this troubling issue have only recently been muddied further by the new campaign Enbridge is running by deliberately removing 1,000 km² of islands off of a route safety video and map to make the oil tanker route look much less treacherous than it actually is. All of this is more than enough for me to give a resounding NO to this project, and that's without even taking into account the utterly horrendous record that Enbridge has in regard to oil spills. Using data from Enbridge's own reports, the Polaris Institute calculated that 804 spills occurred on Enbridge pipelines between 1999 and 2010. These spills released approximately 168,645 barrels (26,812.4 m3) of crude oil into the environment. If all of these reasons to say NO weren't enough, add into this mix the very real threat of a megathrust earthquake occurring in this area due to the Cascadia subduction zone situated from mid Vancouver Island to northern California. Every seismologist in the world has said that a megathrust earthquake occurring is not a matter of if, but only a matter of when. The thought of a multiple fracture to an already questionable oil pipeline in this area is the stuff of nightmares. This project should not be considered for any reason ... the topic of money that Christy Clark has recently raised is even further from the point and a non-issue. There is not enough money in the world that would make me a supporter in this project. In addition, the mention of the few jobs that will be generated in the building of this pipeline don’t come even close to replacing or measuring up to the already existing 2,200 long term jobs created by tourism and marine tourism in this region … generating $104.3 million in revenues. There is no amount of money that would make me look at this project favourably, and I think most British Columbians feel exactly the same way. The saner choice in all of this mess is to build a refinery in Alberta in close proximity to the tar sands, then ship by existing pipelines to customers. This route would create far more jobs and be an extremely larger revenue source than shipping our oil overseas for development and then buying it back at an inflated price.
For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield