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Canadian Environmentalists Plan Mass Mobilization Against Tar Sands Pipeline

- Common Dreams staff

Enbridge Inc. is proposing the pipeline to run from the oil sands to Kitimat, B.C. (CBC)Environmental activists in Canada have announced plans for a mass sit in at the British Columbia legislature to protest the proposed tar sands pipeline. Greenpeace Canada has claimed that the organizers' goal is to create the "biggest act of civil disobedience" on the tarsands issue in Canada to date.

The action is backed by over 80 community, union, business and First Nation leaders, including Stephen Lewis, David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, Naomi Klein, Tom Goldtooth, David Coles, Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, John O’Connor, and Tony Clarke. You can view the full list at defendourcoast.ca.

The action, organized under the title Defend Our Coast, seeks to highlight the B.C. and Federal government's compliance with the oil industry, which is gutting environmental protection laws and has canceled more than 3,000 safety assessments of industrial projects such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

The pipeline is slated to cut through sensitive environmental areas and First Nations' lands, stretching from Alberta's oilsands region to Kitimat, a port on the northern B.C. coast.

"Together we must tell the B.C. and Federal government that the protection of the west coast is not up for discussion and Canada’s coast is not for sale!" states the campaign.

“We’re meeting in Victoria to show that you can’t gut Canada’s environmental legislation and try to put a price tag on the B.C. coast without a public response,” said Maude Barlow, Chair person for the Council of Canadians. “Canada’s iconic coast is far too valuable to risk on tar sands pipelines and tankers and we pledge to defend it.”

Mouth of Lockhart/Gordon Creek (Photo: Greenpeace / Phil Aikman)