Sign the pledge to stand up for B.C.
I pledge to add my name to a citizen's initiative to give British Columbians more decision-making power over plans to increase crude oil tanker traffic on our coast if Ottawa pushes for approval and Premier Clark does not stand up for B.C. as she promised.
The National Energy Board’s joint review panel (JRP) assessing Enbridge’s oil tanker and pipeline proposal released its much-anticipated report on December 19. During community hearings in 16 locations across B.C., an incredible 1,159 people made articulate and impassioned presentations against Enbridge’s proposal.
By the end of the process only two British Columbians spoke in favour, yet the three-person panel has recommended the federal government approve the proposal if it meets certain conditions.
We’ve known all along that this was going to be a political decision made by Prime Minister Harper and Premier Clark. The panel’s recommendation is not a surprise, but it’s still a sad day for Canadian democracy when more than a thousand regular citizens go out of their way to put opposition on record and are then completely ignored.
The numbers tell us two things: the JRP just wasn’t listening and is not representing the interests of those who stand to lose everything in the event of an oil spill.
Prime Minister Harper's cabinet will ultimately decide whether to accept the recommendation, but they’ve shown little interest in anything other than promoting the oil industry. In fact, by changing the review process rules part way through, spying on participants and gutting environmental regulations, they’ve demonstrated time and again they’re prepared to go to extreme lengths to push an unwanted oil tanker project on an unwilling province.
Fortunately, the province of B.C. has the power to stop this proposal dead in its tracks. Premier Clark said as much just last year:
"If British Columbia doesn’t give its consent to [Enbridge's proposal], there is no way the federal government or anyone else in the country is going to be able to force it through. It just won’t happen."1
Enbridge would need about 60 provincial permits in order to execute their plan – that gives Premier Clark a lot of leverage.
Premier Clark was elected on a platform that included a promise to stand up for B.C. against risky oil tanker projects. So the question is: will Premier Clark stand up for B.C. or will she cave to pressure from Ottawa, Alberta and Big Oil?
That’s where we need your help. If enough British Columbians pledge to sign up their friends, family and neighbours it will be politically disastrous for Premier Clark if she does not stand up for B.C. That’s because together, we’ll have the people power necessary to organize the hundreds of thousands of people across the province required to win a citizen's initiative.
Our plan is simple and unlike other initiative campaigns, we are proposing a two-step process. First, get so big that successfully launching a citizen’s initiative is nearly guaranteed. That requires registering more than 8,400 volunteers to knock on doors and collect pledges in all 85 B.C. ridings.
Together, we would only move on to the second step if Prime Minister Harper’s cabinet approves Enbridge’s proposal and Premier Clark betrays her promise to British Columbians by signing the necessary provincial permits.
Please pledge to put Premier Clark on notice that she must respect the will of British Columbians.
Now is a critical time. Premier Clark needs to make a decision in the next couple of months. If she does not stand up for B.C., but instead ignores the democratic process and cuts a back room deal, we as British Columbians must be ready to stand up for ourselves – she’ll have left us no other recourse.
Our plan is audacious and we’ll need some serious political muscle to pull it off. That means having dedicated people on every street corner, in every coffee shop, at every community event.
If you want British Columbia to be abundant with life and beauty for generations to come, then this is your moment to take ownership over our province’s future.
The path to victory is clear and it starts with building real community power. Forget oil lobbyists, corporate power and bully governments – we can do this together.