Custom Search
Top Stories
Go to Site Index See "Top Stories" main page
REPORTING · 13th April 2014
Walter McFarlane
The votes were counted and there was a clear split. Just under 60% of the people of Kitimat who came out to cast their vote had said ‘No’ in the Plebiscite. Outside of the Mall, at Centennial Park, members of the Haisla First Nations, members of Douglas Channel Watch and many others had gathered for the results and it did not take long for a celebration to break out of drumming, passing cars honking horns of support and much more.

“I think that this whole exercise has been one of community building in the Northwest. I don’t think it’s limited, as a lady said to me, the eyes of the world are trained on Kitimat the last few days, the last few weeks. I think that is exactly what has happened. The Community of the Northwest has come together again and the town of Kitimat rejected the project that is not good for our economy, in the sense that it endangers everything that we have worked for as a people here in Kitamaat for 10,000 years,” said Gerald Amos.

He stated corporations had to do a much better job to get the social license and will not be able to run over small communities. He hoped the message would get through to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Member of Parliament, Nathan Cullen had been in Kitimat and Kitamaat for most of the day. He was also present at the celebration. “Despite all the money that Enbridge poured into this, despite worries about the rules themselves, people spoke strongly, rejected Enbridge and rejected this approach to making decisions. We need to do things better in BC,” said Cullen.

He said while Kitimat was probably the most industrial towns in BC, it still chose to refuse the project because the risks are far too high.

Cullen expressed the government had 60 days to make a decision and should listen to the concerns of BC. He said that if Harper presses ahead with this project, it will become an election issue in 2015 and it could spell the end of Harper’s term in office.

“They’ve bullied us, they’ve called us names, they’ve called us enemies of Canada. It’s not a way for any government to treat it’s people and they are reacting,” said Cullen.

The celebration had been put together at the last minute. Amos attributed the turnout to people who were engaged in community affairs and wanted to be heard.

He also announced he had received a call from Art Sterritt, Director of Coastal First Nations passing on best wishes to the Douglas Channel Watch.

Murray Minchin from the Douglas Channel Watch got up to say thank you. “Like all the people of Douglas Channel Watch and all the people that volunteered with us and supported us, from technically around the world, are all standing shoulder to shoulder with the Haisla and all the other First Nations.”

He told those who had gathered the events of the evening were a lot to take in. “We are definitely standing side by side in this struggle against Enbridge or anyone who would like to bring diluted Bitumen down this valley,” said Minchin.

We asked Amos what he felt the number would have been if Kitamaat Village had been included in the polls. He replied: “The vote out of the village would have been 100% against. There is no question about that. You can tack on another 400-500 voters to that ‘no’ number.
Thank You's in Return
Comment by Murray Minchin on 15th April 2014
Thank you Corinne for those kind words, but I must point out that Douglas Channel Watch is a leaderless organization which listens to all its members input, and makes decisions by consensus.

We are a group of local citizens who's passion for the Douglas Channel and all its watersheds will not allow us to back down from any corporation intent on risking irrevocable multi generational harm to this area, no matter how unlevel the playing field may be.

The real story of that beautiful April 12th spring evening is in Walter's article. The Kitlope Dancers invited us to wait for the vote count with them and together we celebrated the plebiscite victory, but more importantly, we celebrated a knowing that more people love this place as we do, than want to place it at risk it for money.

I am still processing the profoundly deep experience of the "Thank You" song the Kitlope Dancers, drummers, and other Haisla people present shared with us that evening. It may be a while before we can truly understand how much that experience changed us, which will then guide us on how to humbly thank you for it.

The "Say NO! to Enbridge" plebiscite campaign was a success only because of the love people have for the Kitimat Valley, the Douglas Channel, and for the natural riches of the north coast of BC; it was their enthusiastic support that fueled Douglas Channel Watch for the past month.

A thank you goes to you as well, Corinne...your willingness to listen and consider our presentations to Council was noticed, and greatly appreciated.

Murray


Corine Scott
Comment by trin7 on 14th April 2014
I want to thank you for your kind words and great message. Murray and DCW worked endlessly during the whole plebiscite issue and it's nice to hear that you appreciate the way Murray and DCW conduct themselves. I didn't think there was any hidden agenda at all. My hope is that the voice of the majority of people will be represented and the Kitimat Council takes a strong stand against Enbridge Monday night. Once again, thank you!
Didn't know...
Comment by Lynda Rocha on 13th April 2014
Had no idea you were leaving politics Mrs. Scott but it doesn't change my comment. You know what they say ' once a politician....'. Looks like we have an opening at the table then...can't wait to see who steps forward. Good luck with all your endeavors and enjoy you family time.
Not Campaigning
Comment by Corinne Scott on 13th April 2014
It's interesting that some people can not accept a true heartfelt statement without assuming there has to be an ulterior motive.

I have already made it known to my colleagues, supporters and local media that I am retiring from Kitimat Council this fall to enjoy a personal life with my family and friends. So NO I am not campaigning for votes!
And so it begins...
Comment by Lynda Rocha on 13th April 2014
Campaigning at its best by a local councilor.

You've got to love local politics.
Congratulations Murray!
Comment by Corinne Scott on 13th April 2014
I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Murray Minchin and the individuals of Douglas Channel Watch for their successful campaign.

We have heard their presentations to Council for more than two years. They have shown that individuals CAN make a difference when they believe in something strongly and take the time and effort to do the research and become knowledgeable on a subject.

Under Murray's leadership, they ran an excellent campaign with integrity, honesty and respect. Murray didn't stoop to mud-slinging, denigrating individuals, or writing nasty letters. He maintained his dignity, used his power of persuasion and shared the knowledge he obtained in his research.

I hold him in the highest regard for the work, time and effort he spent on this issue, and that he and Douglas Channel Watch can be proud of their success.