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REPORTING · 19th March 2014
Walter McFarlane
Murray Minchin was at Kitimat City Council on Monday, March 17th to give a presentation on the upcoming Enbridge Plebiscite.

“I’m here tonight because, as you know, Enbridge has really ramped up their advertising campaign and it was a wakeup call for us at Douglas Channel Watch, said Minchin. “Kitimat is the only city in Canada which gets to vote on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal on April 12th. While the Plebiscite is non-binding, the BBC and other international news organizations are coming and Ottawa will be watching as well.”

He expressed they looked carefully at the JRP conditions and then began knocking on doors to find out what people’s opinions are. They found there are five key reasons why supporters of the Northern Gateway project and those on the fence are going to vote no on the Plebiscite.

It will allow temporary foreign workers to build the pipelines in Canada, it will describe Northern Gateway as a raw diluted bitumen export pipeline, it does not mandate upgrading or any other job creating, value added projects, it will allow 1,100’ long oil supertankers onto the coast and that the JRP considered other big spills as ‘localized events’ with ‘temporary effects.’ Justifiable if it happens in BC waters.

Minchin recognized that people who are opposed to the project are opposed for a variety of reasons.

“The world will be watching and Ottawa will also be paying attention. By voting no, you are sending a message to Ottawa that we don’t want temporary foreign workers taking jobs from Canadians, we don’t want thousands of jobs being exported overseas, we don’t want 364 dilbit supertankers a year on BC’s North Coast,” said Minchin.

He said voting no will send a message to Ottawa that they need to rethink their priorities.

Minchin then showed Council several newspapers and told them that third party advertising, according to the BC Elections Act, is capped at $3,167.93 per electoral district for a Provincial Election. He pointed out there are full page coloured ads, each valued at around $8,250, there is a new website up meaning they have spent over $10,000 which is more than they could spend as a third party in a Provincial Election.

“It’s interesting to look at their ad campaign because foreign corporations owned by a communist state are providing money to a Canadian company to purchase advertising in an attempt to influence a democratic vote that will export thousands of jobs, potentially, to that communist state,” said Minchin. “What part of that makes any sense to you?”

He asked Council to cast their minds forward because Enbridge will be running the pipeline for 60-75 years. He asked them to think 75 winter seasons and 150 flood cycles from the day. He asked them to contemplate 20,000 Super Tankers making their way into Kitimat and ask: ‘do they trust Enbridge that much.’

“If you remember a long time ago, years and years and years ago, during my first presentation, I said: ‘All of us are standing on the edge of history here,’” said Minchin.

He asked Mayor Joanne Monaghan and the Councillors which support Enbridge Northern Gateway’s proposal to reconsider their positions and stand with Canadians who are looking further then short term profits, do not want to see resources squandered and jobs exported overseas, while at the same time do not want to see first nations fishers, commercial fishers, tourists and the wilderness at risk.

“We are asking the people of Kitimat to take this seriously, this plebiscite really does matter and we’re asking everyone to come out and vote because of its importance,” said Minchin.

Monaghan wanted to correct one of his statements, she told him she has never said that she supports the project and has always said they will wait and remain neutral until Council sees the results of the Plebiscite. Minchin retracted it and asked for the members of Council who are considering supporting it to reconsider because there is a lot at stake.

Councillor Rob Goffinet stated in a campaign for votes, a lot of money gets spent. He asked if they are going to spend money on the Plebiscite. Minchin told him they committed to simple things like a flyer. However, when supporters realized the playing field was not level, they were given money.
THE EYES OF THE WORLD WILL BE ON KITIMAT
Comment by M. Marlowe on 28th March 2014
When I was a child my parents often took me to the local zoo to observe 'wild' animals. They were all fascinating, but the saddest group of animals were the monkeys who smoked. Yes, monkeys that had become addicted to nicotine by people who gave them cigarettes for their own selfish ends. Of course, the monkeys were a big draw. They wildly shrieked at the sight of visitors bringing their fix and their 'animal trick' brought extra money into the zoo and the community. This is how Enbridge is treating Kitimat. Enbridge is as good as a dope pusher selling a lethal substance for a momentary high to what they believe are smoking monkeys in Enbridge's own zoo. Any so-called benefit of Enbridge's pipeline to Kitimat will be momentary. The long-term effects of Kitimat's addiction will not only destroy the local environment, but will undoubtedly contribute to what is quickly becoming irreversible damage to our planet. Voting against Enbridge's pipeline will set an example for other locales threatened by the greed of big business as well as drive home the message that the people of Kitimat are not smoking monkeys and the town is not Enbridge's zoo.