CONTRIBUTION · 11th June 2010
Friends of Wild Salmon
Not everyone was cheering when Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel received his honourary degree today from the University of Alberta.
Over a dozen concerned Albertans and British Columbians gathered outside the convocation ceremony in Edmonton to raise awareness of Mr. Daniel's controversial plan to bring oil supertankers to British Columbian¹s pristine North Coast.
"People need to know that Enbridge is threatening our communities, future generations and the environment with the risk of a major oil spill," said Greg Brown with the B.C. group Friends of Wild Salmon. "Behind Enbridge's PR spin, Pat Daniel is pushing forward with a very dangerous project against the wishes of the majority of British Columbians."
Wearing Pat Daniel masks, the group handed out leaflets to convocation attendees and held a large banner stating, "We say no to Enbridge oil." A mock honourary degree was on display, to be presented to Mr. Daniel upon his arrival at the venue.
"In light the Gulf oil spill, you would think this man would reflect on the current state of our environment. If we don't end our obsession with oil, history will be repeating itself all over again," said Edmonton resident Pam Chohan.
The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline would carry an estimated 525,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat on the B.C. coast, where it would be loaded on supertankers for export.
Virtually every coastal First Nation in B.C. is opposed to the Enbridge project. A Mustel Group poll last month showed 80 percent of British Columbians support a ban on crude oil tankers on B.C.'s North Coast.
"Coastal First Nations remain committed to doing what it takes to stop this threat from Enbridge," said Gerald Amos, a councilor with the Haisla First Nation.
"It's ironic the University is giving Mr. Daniel a doctorate of laws, given that his oil tanker plan may well be challenged in the courts," added Amos.
Many of the graduates and family members entering the convocation ceremony said they supported the protesters and appreciated the information.