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Haida Gwaii Municipalities Unanimous in Opposition to Tankers PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Monday, 28 June 2010 23:48

Haida Gwaii Municipalities Unanimous in Opposition to Tankers

Port Clements adds voice to growing call for ban on coastal tanker traffic

Today Port Clements will join all other Haida Gwaii municipalities and sign a declaration calling for a ban on coastal tanker traffic.The decision by Port Clements’ council to add its voice to growing calls for a ban means that all of Haida Gwaii--including the Haida Nation as well as the municipalities of Masset, Old Masset, Skidegate, Sandspit, and Queen Charlotte – is united in opposition to coastal tanker traffic.

Haida Gwaii Municipalities Unanimous in Opposition to Tankers

Port Clements adds voice to growing call for ban on coastal tanker traffic

Today Port Clements will join all other Haida Gwaii municipalities and sign a declaration calling for a ban on coastal tanker traffic.The decision by Port Clements’ council to add its voice to growing calls for a ban means that all of Haida Gwaii--including the Haida Nation as well as the municipalities of Masset, Old Masset, Skidegate, Sandspit, and Queen Charlotte – is united in opposition to coastal tanker traffic.

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Victoria, BC Jun 24, 2010

Today Port Clements will join all other Haida Gwaii municipalities and sign a declaration calling for a ban on coastal tanker traffic.

The decision by Port Clements’ council to add its voice to growing calls for a ban means that all of Haida Gwaii--including the Haida Nation as well as the municipalities of Masset, Old Masset, Skidegate, Sandspit, and Queen Charlotte -- is united in opposition to coastal tanker traffic.

“Everyone has their eye on what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico, and nobody in B.C. wants to risk an accident like this happening along our fragile and treacherous coast,” said Sierra Club BC Executive Director George Heyman. “The communities that stand to be most impacted are uniting in unwavering opposition to the threat of oil spills.”

Sierra Haida Gwaii and other organizations have been working together as the Enbridge Awareness Group to draw attention to the proposed 1,170 km ‘Northern Gateway’ pipeline that will flow more than half a million barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta’s tar sands to the Great Bear Rainforest area. From Kitimat, super-tankers would transport the oil out to sea through the same rough and narrow passages where the much smaller Queen of the North ferry sank in 2006.

“In communities where so many livelihoods depend on shellfish aquaculture, fishing and tourism, protecting our coast is a priority on everybody’s mind,” said Sierra Haida Gwaii chair Jacques Morin.  “It has been heartening to see community after community join together in solidarity to protect our coast and livelihoods.”

“The solidarity on Haida Gwaii reinforces the Coastal First Nations’ declaration last March to keep oil tankers out of their ancestral territories,” said Caitlyn Vernon, Sierra Club BC Coastal Programs Campaigner. “The momentum is growing. First Nations and non-Aboriginal communities are standing together in opposition to tankers and in support of sustainable livelihoods that depend on healthy coastal ecosystems.”

Sierra Club BC is concerned about the serious threats tanker traffic would pose to the adjacent Great Bear Rainforest. Though it has been a model for land conservation, the rainforest is heavily dependent on the health of the water that surrounds and runs through it.

“An oil spill in the coastal waters off the Great Bear Rainforest would have a devastating and potentially irreparable impact on this globally-significant ecosystem,” said Heyman.

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Contact:

George Heyman, Executive Director, Sierra Club BC: (604) 312-6595

Caitlyn Vernon, Coastal Programs Campaigner, Sierra Club BC: (250) 896-3500

Jacques Morin, chair, Sierra Haida Gwaii: (250) 559-8798

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