Event Galvanizes Opposition to Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline

From the Office of the Wet’suwet’en:

NEWS RELEASE (Moricetown, BC) – Community opposition to the proposed
Enbridge pipeline is growing. Over 200 people from communities along
the pipeline route gathered Saturday in Moricetown, BC to discuss the
impacts of the proposed mega-project.

The 1170-kilometre Enbridge pipeline would carry oil from the Alberta tar sands to a tanker port at Kitimat.

“This
Energy Summit was a reminder that the tar sands affects us all – from
Fort Chipewan to Haida Gwaii and beyond. We can only protect our lands
and waters if we stand together,” said Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief
Alphonse Gagnon.

Nations present included Mikisew Cree (AB),
Kelly Lake Cree (BC), West Moberly (BC), Nadleh Whut’en (BC),
Wet’suwet’en (BC), Kitkatla (BC), Gitga’at (BC), Haida (BC), Nisga’a
(BC), Lake Babine (BC), Alexander (AB) and others. A letter of support
from the Gitxsan was read at the event.

George Poitras traveled to the event
from Fort Chipewan, an Alberta community downstream from the tar sands,
to share the devastating impacts the development has had on his
community. These include a high incidence of rare cancers.

“The
situation downstream from the tar sands is so toxic that one of our
elders told his son not to have children because everything is so
polluted and our people can no longer drink the water or eat the fish,”
said Poitras.

Representatives of coastal First Nations
reiterated their strong opposition to oil tanker traffic in coastal
waters. “The tycoons expect to further spread the tar sands poison,
putting their lavish desires before our lifestyles and our culture,”
said Guujaaw, President of the Council of the Haida Nation. “We depend
on these lands and waters and we will not put the safety and well being
of our territories in their hands.”

MLAs Doug Donaldson (Stikine), Gary Coons (North Coast) and Robin Austin (Skeena) also attended the event. Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) noted the event in the House of Commons on Friday.

Over
500 residents have endorsed a resolution calling for a moratorium on
the transport of tar sands oil and a full public inquiry into the
proposed pipeline. “We stand together in supporting a moratorium on the
transport of tar sands oil through our territories and communities,”
reads the resolution.

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For more information, contact:
 
Alphonse Gagnon, Office of the Wet’suwet’en: 250-847-9673 or 250-877-9673 (cell)
George Poitras, Mikisew Cree First Nation: 780-972-0017
Guujaaw, President, Council of the Haida Nation: 604-313-8250

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