Chapter activist Gwyn Frayne, on behalf of the Comox Valley chapter of the Council of Canadians, submitted comments on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to the National Energy Board's Joint Review Panel. She writes, "Protecting our environment includes our forest lands, our rivers and our ocean. Putting a pipeline across the first two and tankers across the latter will put the future in jeopardy. The land, water and animals are all at risk if we allow a pipeline to transport oil to tankers. The Council of Canadians Comox Valley Chapter supports the First Nations which are trying to safeguard their traditional territories. They are trying to save their lands and their livelihoods and they have put themselves on the line for their principles. In the process they are teaching all of us how democracy could work."
Frayne also notes, "We are appalled that the federal Minister of Natural Resources Oliver has said that 'environmental and other radical groups are trying to undermine Canada’s economy.' He even calls us 'unpatriotic!' We prefer to keep a Canada that listens to its citizens, safeguards the lands and waters and maintains some democratic principles—as well as promoting sustainable jobs. We strongly urge that Enbridge NOT be allowed to build the oil pipeline." The Joint Review Panel will be in Courtenay on March 30-31 and April 2-3. Additionally, this past Monday, Postmedia newspapers across the country reported, "Barbara Barclay is 73, lives in a historic home on the bank of the St. Lawrence River in Montreal, and donates money to the Council of Canadians, a social justice group. ...Barclay, who has never been west of Niagara Falls, said she is concerned about potential for spills, damage to land that belongs to the First Nations, and what appears to be the prime minister's wish to speed approval of the controversial project that would carry Alberta bitumen to tankers off the West Coast. ...She does not expect to appear before the joint review panel, despite signing up to make a public statement. 'I just hope that enough Canadians have the wit to speak up so that we don't have more potential risks.'" For Council of Canadians blogs in opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22northern+gateway%22.