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COMMENTARY · 21st January 2012
Kelly Marsh
With all the focus lately on the proposed Northern Gateway Project, little is said regarding the danger to our much-loved Kitimat River.

Consider what the Kitimat River is to us:
- The source of our drinking water
- Home of all the local species of spawning salmon
- Feeding grounds for a endless list of wildlife
- A valuable part of recreation for many
- The main feeding tributary into the north end of Douglas Channel including the estuary
- The fish hatchery
- The source of countless tourism dollars every year into our community

I realize what is at risk and ask each and everyone living here to reflect on the future of Kitimat without this healthy resource. A critical resource that wouldn’t return to what we presently know it as anytime soon if the unthinkable were to happen. I’m speaking of a bitumen leak from the proposed Enbridge pipeline that will parallel the Kitimat River all the way to the Douglas Channel.

I recently attended the Joint Review Panel hearings in the Kitamaat Village Recreation Centre and was moved by the solidarity, strength and grace shown by the Haisla Nation; a Nation who has taken a stand against Enbridge and who shoulder the highest risks and has the most to loose. Ironically their future existence mirrors the one of the Kitimat River. I witnessed the Haisla in what I feel must have been one of their proudest moments in saying no to Enbridge and the meddling of Stephen Harper and Joe Oliver in this JRP process.

The Haisla have decided to send a strong signal to Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Project. They are fighting for themselves; they are fighting for their future existence; they are fighting for us all. I can’t in good conscience stand by and let them fight for me without participating in that fight. It’s time to support our Haisla neighbors and unite the two communities with one strong voice.

Contact your politicians whether local, provincial or federal and tell them what you think. They represent you. This is the hot topic in the Northwest currently being debated within Prince Rupert, Kitimat and Smithers Councils. I commend individuals such as Terrace’s Mayor, Mr. Dave Pernarowski, for supporting the Haisla and for speaking up against this project. It takes courage to take a stand.

Kelly Marsh
Keep it up!
Comment by Audrey Faber on 25th January 2012
Hi Kelly,
Beautifully spoken!
Just wanted to let you know we are thinking about you in the Lower Mainland.
I am currently taking a class in Geography entitled "Human Impact on the Environment" and we touch base with the project all the time. It will be studied in detail further into the semester. There also happens to be someone in the class seems who keeps bringing it up as a news topic...
I thoroughly agree with your comment about the grace of the Haisla and in particular Sammy Robinson's statement at the hearing in Kitimaat Village.
We are doing our best here to keep up public awareness for the Enbridge pipeline as well as the protection of the Sacred Headwaters. The Port Moody Ecological Society has kept up with you and continues to keep links on their website.
Take care and keep up the excellent work!
Letters to the pols
Comment by Lance Griffin on 21st January 2012
I am already on it Kelly. Writing letters to the premier, politicians and others like Ezra Lavant, Katheryn Marshal,ethical oil(now that's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one) and others might not seem like much but hopefully the will pay attention to our collective voices.
Comment by al earl on 21st January 2012
the whole fight against Enbridge is to protect all the enviroments considered in the proposed pipeline, I agree the Kitimat River has not been at the forefront of the debate, but all lands surrounding the route of death, are included in the discussions, wheather or not it is specifically named, you can bet your butt it is a real concern for all those opposed,The Kitimat is but one of many, many ecosystems that will be affected by the pipeline
Trust me that all areas are in peril and considered with the same level of respect and regard in the fight against greed and communist dictatorship principles, this fight is about more than one area, its about the rights of all citicens are their choices for freedom and a right to have a say in their home, whats best for them
you are absolutely right, call your representitives or any one that will listen, or even those that wont listen
we will win this fight as brothers and sisters standing together as a family
Comment by Gary on 21st January 2012
I agree with everything you have written and hope others do too! It is time to join with our Haisla neighbours and defend this area as it effects us all. It is sad to hear people say things like,... oh well it is coming anyway whether we like it or not.
Further more it is to bad the hearings in the Kitamaat vilage were " controlled " so to speak. I understand there needs to be order in a meeting but when you don't allow folks to speak openly you are not getting the real story from them. I also don't care to hear the results that so much percent of Kitimat people are for and so many against this project. Did I miss the public vote held on this topic?