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NEWS: Belperio, Grewal, John raise concerns about Gateway pipeline

The Vancouver Observer reports today that, “Members from the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace and Whistler Watch demonstrated in front of the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside where (Enbridge, the developers of the Northern Gateway pipeline) were hosting a cocktail reception during the Union of BC Municipalities Annual General Meeting.”

“The proposed 5.5 billion dollar Gateway Pipeline would funnel (through a 1200 kilometre pipeline) 520,000 barrels of oil (a day) from (the tar sands north of) Edmonton to Kitimat, B.C., where they would be loaded onto supertankers bound for Asia.”

“The project just doesn’t make any sense to Pina Belperio, founder of Whistler Watch, a local watchdog group. …’It is a BC wide issue. It is probably one of the biggest issues that will face us in the coming years,’ said Belperio. ‘Enbridge has an atrocious record in the US. We would be piping crude oil, which is destructive to begin with. It just doesn’t make sense. Economically, environmentally. I don’t want tankers in our waters or crude,’ Belperio, who represents BC and the Yukon at the national level of the Council of Canadians, said.”

“The Enbridge pipeline would be a violation of First Nations sovereignty rights, said Harjap Grewal, regional organizer for the Council of Canadians, one of the protest groups on Tuesday. ‘Indigenous communities have clearly said that they don’t want these projects. It’s their sovereign right to say that. Particularly in the case of communities that aren’t treatied, that haven’t ceded their land to the Province, it’s a major issue.’ Grewal said that the project would have a serious impact on the indigenous way of life.”

“‘When we look at this particular situation we think, how can this be good for the people that live in those indigenous territories, where the proposed pipeline is going to go?’ said Gary John, former chief of the Stl’atl’imc nation (and Council of Canadians Board member) who sang a traditional piece at the protest. ‘Once we raise more awareness about this, people won’t take it lightly.'”

The full article is at http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/news/2010/09/28/opposing-enbridge-pipeline-outside-cocktail-reception-hosted-enbridge.