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Council of Canadians supports Salish Sea Summer Gathering today

The Council of Canadians has made a modest contribution – making it a “community friend” – to the Salish Sea Summer Gathering that takes place today (Sunday, August 10) from noon to 8:30 p.m. local time at Cates Park/Whey-ah-Wichen in North Vancouver.

It will feature various speakers, 20 musical acts on three stages, a traditional canoe ceremony, Coast Salish drummers, artisans and children’s programs.

The event is being organized by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust to raise awareness about the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. The Texas-based company wants to expand the 1,150-kilometre Edmonton-to-Vancouver tar sands pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000 bpd. Its expansion plans even include adding another 240,000 bpd to that proposal, bringing it to 1.13 million bpd, even larger than the Energy East pipeline. This export pipeline would mean an additional 400 oil tankers in the waters of the West Coast.

From the park where the gathering will take place you can see the Kinder Morgan terminal and the waters where those oil tankers would be if the expansion were to go ahead.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Maureen Thomas says, “Our community is united in standing up to protect Burrard Inlet and the waters surrounding Vancouver, and to stand in solidarity with all impacted communities in the tar sands and along the pipeline and tanker routes. A serious oil spill anywhere would devastate already-stressed land and water environments diminishing the quality of life we all enjoy today.”

The traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation occupied a vast area. It consists of Mt. Garibaldi in the north, Coquitlam Lake in the east, Howe Sound to the west, and the Fraser River in the south. The Salish Sea refers to the coastal waterways between the southwestern tip of British Columbia and the northwestern tip of Washington state. It includes the the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound. The inland waterways of the Salish Sea are partially separated from the Pacific Ocean by Vancouver Island.

This is the third annual Salish Sea Summer Gathering. For more about today’s gathering, please click here.