Photo by Torrance Coste.
The Council of Canadians Mid Island chapter took part in Walk 4 the Salish Sea! activities on May 25. The chapter has posted on Facebook, “The rally at Mile ‘0’ and the Thursday trek and the potluck were amazing.”
The outreach for this noted, “From May 25th-28th, we will march from Songhees territory in Victoria to the Kinder Morgan terminal on Tsleil-Waututh territory in Burnaby to show our support for and solidarity with the 22 municipalities, 59 First Nations and hundreds of thousands of British Columbians who oppose the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion. …A major objective of the walk is to generate public awareness and direct financial support for Indigenous-led initiates to stop construction of the Kinder Morgan TMX. Proceeds from fundraising will go to indigenous legal defense, UBCIC Coast Protectors and Frontline Indigenous Resistance Initiatives to resist the Kinder Morgan Expansion.”
The itinerary notes:
Day 1 Thursday May 25th
Mile “0” (Lekwungen territory) to Island View Beach, up the Lochside trail ( access Ardesier St, off Douglas).
Walking distance: 23 km, ~6 hours.
The walk concludes on Sunday with a symbolic blockade of the gates of the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby and a Fossil Fuel Freedom Fest at Westridge Park. Among the numerous speakers there will be Chief Lee Spahan, Coldwater First Nation.
Metro News has reported, “The First Nation raised its concerns about the proximity of the Trans Mountain route to its aquifer, upon which 90 per cent of the nearly 800 residents depend for drinking water.”
On November 28, 2016, federal officials responded, “Coldwater could be significantly impacted from a pipeline spill as the community relies primarily on an aquifer crossed by the project for its drinking water. Coldwater members also rely on cultural foods for subsistence and are at greater risk for adverse effects from an oil spill.”
Despite this admission, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his approval of the pipeline the next day.
The First Nation has now filed a judicial review challenge to the Trudeau government’s decision to approve the pipeline.
Metro News adds, “If the pipeline expansion proceeds as planned this autumn, [Chief] Spahan hinted that the battle over water could potentially take on similarities to the water standoff at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.” He says, “This is about our drinking water; it is our Standing Rock. It’ll be up to my membership how they decide … but we’re going to do whatever it takes to protect our drinking water.”
The Walk 4 the Salish Sea! was endorsed by Victoria Council of Canadians and numerous other organizations.
For more about the walk, please click here.