Photo: The Council of Canadians joined the 1,000+ person march against the Northern Gateway pipeline in Vancouver this past weekend. Photo by Benjamin West.
The Harper government must make a decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline by Tuesday June 17. There is speculation that since the cabinet will meet on Thursday June 12 that it will make its decision then and likely announce approval of the pipeline on Friday June 13.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs says, “There is very, very little support for the oil pipelines in British Columbia. First Nations have said no, and in the event that the government of Canada continues to attempt to ram this forward, we’ll move into the courtrooms. There will be several protracted lawsuits … [and] I can absolutely foresee people moving on to the land in the event that the oil companies attempt to do preparatory work in terms of site preparation.”
The Globe and Mail reports, “Asked whether he meant protesters would block bulldozers, he replied: ‘Absolutely. There is no question about that.'”
The Council of Canadians is opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline and stands with the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. We also stand with the Unist’ot’en action camp, which has built permanent structures on its territory to effectively block the only route of the pipeline through mountain ranges. At the invitation of the Yinka Dene Alliance last December, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow joined with other allies in signing a Solidarity Accord to the Save the Fraser Declaration. That declaration, signed by more than 130 First Nations in British Columbia, bans pipelines and tankers from their territories.
At the signing, Barlow stated, “I am honoured to sign this historic document as it is crucially important that community and civil society stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in their resistance to these pipelines. We recognize and respect First Nations’ decisions to ban tar sands pipelines and tankers from their territories and we offer our support and solidarity in upholding the Save the Fraser Declaration.”