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REPORTING · 29th May 2014
Walter McFarlane
The world has been watching Kitimat over the last couple of months. On Monday, May 26th, Murray Minchin got up to ask Council if Kitimat was ready for Enbridge, Northern Gateway protestors.

“As you know, the Federal Government will soon be deciding whether or not to approve Enbridge’s Northern Gateway duel pipeline and supertanker port proposal,” said Minchin. “20,000 people have already pledged to stand shoulder to shoulder […] against Enbridge. Those numbers will surely grow if Prime Minister Harper approves this project and Premier Clark rubber stamps the projects permits.”

He asked if the District of Kitimat had given any thought towards managing protestors who will come to Kitimat if the project is pushed through. He said Kitimat’s Green Spaces, fields, forests and river could accommodate thousands of tents. He wanted to know what they would do and who would pay for this.

Minchin explained that North Coast residents are beginning to prepare. The North Coast Civil Liberties Association held workshops so protestors would know what rights they have, the legal principals of protest and how to deal with government officials and RCMP in the context of lawful protest.

“We are all waiting to see how Prime Minister Harper will dictate his conservative members of Parliament to vote, as he will probably not allow them a free vote on Northern Gateway. Citizens, who oppose this project have begun to prepare by educating themselves. What has the District of Kitimat done to prepare for the 1000s of protestors who will be coming to Kitimat to exercise their legal right to freely express their opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Proposal,” said Minchin.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan asked how long Minchin expected the protestors to stay in Kitimat. Minchin replied he did not know. Minchin expressed Douglas Channel Watch is in no way a part of the leadership of this. He explained that during the Plebiscite, he was doing 7 interviews a day from all over the world. He saw stories as far away as Bangladesh and Taipei.

He expressed that protests may not start at the point of the announcement.

Councillor Phil Germuth asked Minchin to keep Council informed as to when protestors might arrive. Minchin reminded him Douglas Channel Watch are not in a leadership role in this. He expressed they have followed all of the rules since the beginning, taking out permits for rallies and being respectful.

However, it will not be groups which are coming, but individuals. This is why he raised the point to Council.
Protestors
Comment by CEM on 8th June 2014
It maybe freedom speech, but I'm sick and tired of the whole situation.