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CONTRIBUTION · 31st March 2014
Liz Thorn
I have been thinking hard about why the result of our plebiscite is so important to Enbridge and have arrived at some conclusions that I would like to share with my fellow citizens of Kitimat.

A plebiscite is just an opinion poll, binding on no one, least of all the Federal Government which will have the final say on whether Enbridge goes through or not. So that means our little vote is simply about appearances. Does Enbridge appear to have the town’s support or not? If the vote goes in their favour they can plaster it all over the millions of dollars worth of advertising they are already buying daily across the country. If not, not. They can ignore it – it’s just an opinion poll.

But a funny thing is happening on the way to voting booth. Douglass Channel Watch (our local group of foreign funded, fringe radicals and enemies of Canada (according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper) who have worked themselves to the point of exhaustion opposing Enbridge after work and on weekends) got busy putting up signs, knocking on doors, writing letters, and lo and behold the plebiscite became big news!

The British Broadcasting Corporation phoned them to ask what was going on. So did our own CBC. And messages of support came pouring in from all over the world, some even sent money!

I think what is happening here is that Enbridge has never been told no before. Big Oil as a whole, has never been told no, not by governments, certainly not by local citizens. And now, for the first time, anywhere in the world, they are being told no. The world is watching and we’re setting a precedent.

Big Oil is accustomed to deciding what they want to do in air-conditioned offices far from where the turmoil is, and then doing exactly what they want to do, exactly the way they want to do it. It’s how they’ve always done business, everywhere. They throw large sums of money at the locals and think that it buys them a social licence to do as much environmental damage as they deem cost effective or out of their hands.

But they’re being told no now in a big way by people who are unpaid volunteers who believe that there’s more future in clean water and healthy communities than in all the high risk bitumen in the Alberta tar sands. Like spoiled children they just can’t stand to be told no.

On April 12th, vote NO. It’ll be good for them and us.


Elizabeth Thorne (DCW member since March 30, 2014)