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Anti-Enbridge Flotilla

Murray Minchin

New Member
Oct 19, 2013
Hi there,

A quick introduction first: For six months in 1991/1992 (with deck compass, paper charts, and a line of sight handheld marine radio) my wife and I sea kayaked from Kitimat to Vancouver, then Prince Rupert to Kitimat. The Kitimat to Bella Bella leg was from late October to mid December. Sadly, accumulated war wounds and being t-boned in a Honda Civic by a full sized pickup truck has reined in our paddling adventures, so we now have a boat.

We live in Kitimat, which is Ground Zero for Enbridge's dual pipeline and supertanker port proposal. A group of local citizens formed Douglas Channel Watch, and we became Intervenors in the Joint Review Panel hearing process. Harper changed the rules in Bill C-38 which stripped the JRP of its power to deny the proposal, and now the Panel can only make a recommendation to Parliament in December 2013. Harper will make the final decision in January 2014.

Sometime in mid November there is going to be a whole series of protests in many cities against Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal, Harper's handling of the Tar Sands, fracking for natural gas, etc.

Here in Kitimat we'll be having a protest rally somewhere in town, but we're also thinking about a flotilla of boats and kayaks to "blockade" the proposed tank farm location. Our intention is to send a clear, concise message to Harper that there is a snowballs chance in hell Enbridge will ever lay one length of pipe in the Kitimat Valley, or 1,100 foot supertankers zigzag their way through two confined Z turns just to approach Douglas Channel.

Want to make your mark on history? Want to help protect your and our wild north coast of BC for our children and for our childrens children?

I'll update this as dates are firmed up. Thanks for reading this,

Thanks for this update. We had around 35 go from Alert Bay and Sointula to Port Hardy for the JRP hearings. Time is running out for ordinary people to work with First Nations to stop this along with further tar sands expansion.
There's lots of opposition, also to Kinder Morgan's plans. Harder in smaller communities somewhat further from the route, but still part of a province that will be affected and citizens of a country that has lost many of its democratic rights and freedoms. There's always Facebook, as a place to organize, I guess.
Glad Kitimat is mobilizing.
Hi Nancy,

Looks like November 16th will be the day, so far. Just thought the word might get passed around the paddling community if I dropped in here, and you never know, some people actually might want to see how amazing it is up here in the late fall :) (We've seen Humpback Whales the last 5 times we've gone boating, and saw 8 feeding together only 7 miles from town the other day.)

Did you know Enbridge increased the capacity of their storage tanks to 1.3 billion litres? Not a great idea on a low ridge a hundred metres above Douglas Channel, and close to a 50 km earthquake fault line they accidentally discovered in Douglas Channel last year while doing a modern survey of the bottom for navigational hazards...
Well...the idea didn't get enough traction up here...too many boats have their winter covers on or are winterized by now. You could go to Science World on November 16th, or if traveling up north you could come to our event. Help keep north coast BC bitumen free!



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    Nov 16 rally poster .jpg
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I'm happy to see that Kitimat (and paddlers) are mobilizing!!

I was out in English Bay the other day, and in typical winter fashion, the water was smooth and rolling. There were hundreds and hundreds of surf skoters enjoying the the tidal eddy line. Quite something really. Everything seemed so fragile amongst the existing 15 tankers and freighters in the bay. BTW - already this year I've seen up to 17 ships, wheras before 2013, I'd only seen a max of 13 spewing bunker oil exhaust. Blech! I realize that some ships make sense, at this time, but the thought of a pile of Kinder Morgan loaded tankers flowing through here makes me think that each paddle might be my last. And the last of seeing those incredible waterfoul for a long time to come. And then to think of northern gateway just gets my hackles up. grrr.

If you don't believe that our survival is tied to the land and water, then stay home and let Glenn Beck sooth your soul. But if you do understand that this is true, there's likely no stopping you..

I'll be in solidarity with you folks at Science World on the 16th!

Living Oceans Society in Sointula has organized an event (land based, so far) for this Saturday. So, a small contribution. Alert Bay will either have an event, or many will come here, haven't heard.

Would have been great to organize an on water event, especially with the fishing boats support. There are several kayaks and some canoes around, not to mention rowboats. As for the fish boats, there are several licences for Area 8 here.

Glad to see more going on elsewhere. Vancouver is where most of the media attention will be, Kitimat will, I hope be noticed.

Really concerned about all the federal legislative changes and investor protection arrangements, and provincially, the little premierly get together/sell out. Even BC's Water Act, perhaps changed now to accommodate instead of protect?

Like where you live, Murray, lots of activity in Blackfish Sound and Johnstone Strait, with humpbacks singing, Northern Resident Orca, the A-1's seen, and a local bay reported full of porpoises only a couple of weeks ago. Great kayaking opportunities here, not just as part of a tourism industry either.

Last summer a small tidal project was stopped by local action, especially the whale research group in Johnstone Strait. The developer did not know that the project was right in the research area. Probably welcome elsewhere, just not in a sensitive location. Small victories. But Big Oil gets everything is asks for, and then quite a lot more.