Pipeline protestors 'knock the vote' after hearings
CTV British Columbia
Published Saturday, February 2, 2013 8:20PM PST
A grassroots protest group are “knocking the vote” to earn signatures of people who support their fight against a proposed pipeline expansion.
Environmentalists and volunteers from the Dogwood Initiative went door-to-door Saturday to raise awareness and opposition to Enbridge’s $5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline proposal one day after federal hearings for the project ended in Vancouver.
"We're putting pressure on all political parties to come out in opposition against plans to expand pipelines and tankers by going knocking on doors and talking to key voters in a swing riding," said Jolan Bailey, an outreach coordinator for ForestEthics Advocacy.
Volunteers hit the pavement in the Vancouver-Fairview area, a BC Liberal-held riding that the Dogwood Initiative hopes will be the first of dozens across the province it will campaign in.
For volunteer Anton Gross, it was the first time ever getting involved in a political protest.
“For me, it’s worth going to these lengths to try to protect the coast because it’s too risky,” he said.
Wililam Narvey, a Vancouver-Fairview resident, said he didn’t mind volunteers showing up on his doorstep with a petition.
“I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “I think in a democracy, the more we can actively take part, and feel like we have an impact on crucial issues to the future of our country."
A petition to stop pipeline expansion put forth by the Dogwood Initiative already has 150,000 signatures. Organizers say they want to get more signatures prior to the provincial election in spring.
The Northern Gateway pipeline would deliver diluted bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to a tanker port in Kitimat, B.C.
A federal joint review panel was established to assess the environmental impact of the project. Hearings have been held in Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Edmonton.
While environmentalists have been critical of the pipeline proposal, oil industry analysts and various trade unions say that Northern Gateway would create much-needed jobs and increase Canada’s oil export revenues.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Peter Grainger