Our View: Why seek arrest, pipeline protesters?

On Monday, thousands of people braved the cold fall air to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

On Monday, thousands of people braved the cold fall air to protest and hear union activists, politicians, environmentalists and First Nations leaders slam the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

It’s great to see people exercising their democratic rights with peaceful protest and assembly on public space, in this case the Legislature lawn. Today, a protest is scheduled outside B.C. Liberal MLA Ida Chong’s office in Saanich.

It’s less gratifying to read that at least 1,000 people have signed up for civil disobedience training. Some groups announced they would seek to be arrested during the rally.

“Defend our Coast” protesters filling local jail cells as a means to protest a pipeline in the north seems misguided at best.

Passive resistance against police for trespassing or more active resistance through shoving or fighting makes for good evening TV news, but it does little to advance the debate about protecting B.C.’s coast and the North from oil leaks and spills.

By Monday afternoon, Victoria police weren’t willing to arrest people engaging in blocking traffic or setting up signs on the Leg lawn, and overall the rally was peaceful, respectful and well attended.

Protesters want to send a message to Ottawa and the provincial government, but the B.C. Liberals aren’t exactly laying out the red carpet for Enbridge. The province has acknowledged that people have legitimate concerns about the safety of heavy oil pipelines.

After recent public hearings in Prince George, the government slammed Enbridge for not providing practical solutions to the environmental risks, and noted the company lacks a spill response plan, among other systemic problems.

The protesting public and the government aren’t exactly speaking the same language on pipelines, but the gap isn’t huge.

On all fronts – with government, First Nations, the public – Enbridge faces a monumental battle to build its pipeline.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

A decision to terminate the CVEDS contract aligns with the CVRD board and municipal partners’ interests to pursue economic and community development initiatives at a more local level. File photo of CVRD office in Courtenay
Comox Valley Regional District board votes to terminate CVEDS contract

The Comox Valley Regional District board has decided to provide the Comox… Continue reading

Island Health has announced a COVID-19 outbreak at Glacier View Lodge, a long-term care facility in the Comox Valley. File photo.
Island Health declares a COVID outbreak at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a long-term care facility in… Continue reading

The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) are offering two new spring break camps, open to children ages eight to 13. Photo supplied
Village and Cumberland Community Forest Society co-hosting spring break camps

Submitted The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS)… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read