REPORTING · 28th November 2013
Saturday, November 16th was a day of action across the country with over 130 rallies taking place across the country. In Kitimat, an Enbridge rally took place at Mount Elizabeth Secondary School in the Large Gym.
Several Speakers were scheduled. Gerald Amos spoke first. He expressed he was not there as an elected official, but he was speaking for the majority of the Haisla people concerning Enbridge.
“The overwhelming sound that you hear constantly in our community as well as in this community of Kitimat is ‘no.’ The risks are simply too great. As you can see, our people are not attempting to stop development, that has never been the case. We’ve been accused of it from time to time but that has never been the case,” said Amos.
He stated it is hard to tell if one is ‘barking up the wrong tree’ on this issue because there are people who are saying it is going to come anyway and the industry is too powerful to fight. He expected the JRP will come back to the government with a number of conditions which the government will attempt to take care of.
He said the people who care about the future of the future generations will put their words to action. He listed a number of different groups of people with different views who are willing to do this, but feared there would not be enough.
“I think it’s incumbent upon us as individuals to begin to reach out within our families,” said Amos. “I have no doubt that when the real thing happens, we’ll be out numbered. […] At the end of the day, it’s the wrong emotion which is going to carry the campaign.”
Kelly Marsh was the next speaker. He presented several numbers which he has presented in the past. It was a calculation which he, in conjunction with the late Math Teacher Brian Hashimoto came up with, based on Enbridge’s own figures. The calculation has been verified by Dr. Shane Rowlands, Assistant Director of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Thompson River’s University.
Marsh stated while Enbridge has estimated the probability of a spill of any particular size is 70.9%. However, Marsh, Hashimoto and Rollans, using the same data used by Enbridge, found the chances of a large pipeline spill are 41%. There is an 82% chance of a medium or large pipeline spill during the 50 years of the project.
Including the marine traffic the chances of a spill is 87%. However, the data to calculate the risk of a small spill was not supplied. However, if it was, the risks would be higher. However, Rollans predicted there is a 60% chance of having two medium or large spills over the lifetime of the pipeline, a 33% chance of three spills and a 15% chance of four spills.
“This is quite the contrast to Enbridge’s newspaper and commercials that you’ve seen in the newspapers recently. This isn’t the environmentally responsible Enbridge, the caring Enbridge, the we can do it safely Enbridge. I’m telling you here and now that what Enbridge is telling us is simply not true. It can’t be done safely. What they are saying and the data they provide doesn’t match up. It’s not even close,” said Marsh.
He wanted to judge Enbridge by their actions and not by their words. He thanked Douglas Channel Watch for submitting Rollans report as evidence. He stated the numbers he has presented are correct. Enbridge has not challenged the numbers or cross examined Rollans.
Marsh stated when the numbers were put by Enbridge. Their response was they only have to be 100% sure they make the best pipeline they can. It doesn’t tell them there is going to be a spill.
“I don’t think there is anything they can do to mitigate against these risks other than don’t build it at all,” said Marsh.
Patricia Lange stated she loved the outdoors. “I became involved with the fight against Enbridge when I realized that so few people have ever been able to get out onto the Douglas Channel and appreciate it’s magnificence,” said Lange. “I’m willing to do anything to keep our BC Coast pristine.”
She quoted the Bible, ‘The Heaven’s declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the words of his hands.’ She stated to her, the Douglas Channel declares this glory. She expressed she is radicle in her belief that her joy comes from a higher power and she wants her future generations to experience God out there as well.
She stated the irony of her conviction, having lived in a town founded by an aluminium smelter which may not have been created today by today’s standards. She states everyone consumes energy but people need to learn from the past.
Lange pointed out the First Nations have been living in the harsh marine environment for years.
“I believe that no safety plan, no matter how good intentioned in theory, could prevent a catastrophic oil spill. I also believe that the JRP Process is flawed, and not because it’s looking at a little narrow scientific question or the technical information, but the assumption behind that equals ‘more energy production equals more jobs and more money’ and that sort of cost benefit analysis math monopoly is the answer,” said Lange.
She asked the question: “Does progress require more energy and more economic growth? Is economic growth an infallible source of happiness? Finally, what is the value to Canadians of pristine wilderness and forests. I say it is priceless and no short term profit should steal our BC away.”
In addition, several letters were read showing support to the rally. When all was said and done, a photo of those who were assembled was taken and those who wished to stay marched down Kingfisher and back to the school.
Comment by Davood Hersh on 2nd December 2013
BC is with Kitimat to kill the Enbridge Line