Pipeline hearings in Comox will have protestors outside

The National Energy Board will conduct hearings for Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal March 30 and 31 in Comox.

The National Energy Board will conduct hearings for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal March 30 and 31 at the Comox Community Centre.The Comox Valley chapters of the Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club have organized a rally on the Saturday dubbed Our Coast, Our Decision — No Tankers, No Pipeline. Attendees are asked to bring banners and to wear a blue scarf in opposition to the multi-billion dollar twin pipeline system proposed to run from Bruderheim, Alta. near Edmonton to a new marine terminal in Kitimat. Enbridge proposes to ship an average of 525,000 barrels of oil per day to Kitimat. “Although the pipeline doesn’t cross this community and although the tanker route is not supposed to come in our waters, the consequences of an oil break in a pipeline or an oil tanker leak are huge for every citizen of the province of British Columbia,” protest co-ordinator Barb Biley said. “We consider it our problem as much as anyone else in the province.”The rally will run from about 1 to 2 p.m. Protesters from Victoria, Quadra Island and other communities are expected to attend.An estimated 2,000 protesters attended a demonstration last month in Prince Rupert. “Every place that the hearings have been held there have been different types of expressions of opposition to both the pipeline and the process,” Biley said. “There are many, many levels on which this is a huge problem, not least of which is that we’re shipping our resources out of our country and not developing manufacturing in our country.”She also notes environmental, economic and social issues. Subject to regulatory approval, construction of the pipeline is proposed to extend from mid-2014 to the latter part of 2017. Consultation with the public and First Nations continues through 2017. Biley said the consultation process is “not what any serious person would call consultation.” After the rally, the crowd will move to École Robb Road Elementary for further activities. For more information, check www.facebook.com/events/365883920095408/ or call 250-335-0850.For information about car pools and buses from outside the Valley, contact Marie at 250-335-0850 or visit www.bit.ly/comoxorbust.reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Comox Valley Record