As decision time approaches, most of us know the government of Canada to enable the flow of more diluted bitumen through the most populated region of British Columbia. The cost, in terms of the Liberal party’s political future in this province, could be great. A recent Insights West poll found that 64% of the people who voted for them in the last election oppose the pipeline. One of their own MP’s made the public appeal, “I ask you to listen to the collective wisdom of British Columbians.” Thousands are protesting anticipated approval of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion.
The Canadian and British Columbian governments may wish to ignore perceived treaty violations of the Site C Dam project, but this determined group of people will not let them. Their bus left Ken and Arlene Boon’s farm, in the Peace River Valley, Monday. They want to be present when a Federal judge hears the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations argue that this BC Hydro project infringes on their constitutionally protected rights to hunt, fish and trap the lands that will be submerged. The Treaty 8 Justice for the Peace Caravan will arrive in Montreal Sunday.
British Columbia grows less than half of the fresh produce it needs. Much of what we consume comes from California. The ongoing drought conditions, and a weak loony, have sent vegetable prices spiralling 11.7% this year. Fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables are becoming an occasional luxury for some middle-low income B.C. families. Though this will only worsen worse as global temperatures continue to rise, the government of BC is far more preoccupied with the get-rich promise of mega-energy projects. Once it is completed, Site C will submerge prime agricultural lands.
The province’s Supreme Court granted B.C. Hydro an injunction to remove local farmers and First Nations from 216 hectares they wish to clearcut at Site C. The protestors have been occupying Rocky Mountain Fort Camp, in shifts, since December. They have until midnight to leave.