Would you like an oil pipeline on your front lawn?

Image taken by Charles Menzies

I just wanted to draw attention to the opposition First Nations in British Columbia are mounting against the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

This pipeline would transport oil from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.

The Canadian government and associated corporate interests are pushing the pipeline because it will have “economic benefits”.

There is a huge problem with this.

It will run right through First Nation’s land.

Most of British Columbia is First Nation land.  No treaties have been signed.

The only way for the government to aquire rights to FN land is through treaties.  And under international law only sovereign nations can make treaties.

As a non-Native here are the two analogies I come up with for what is happening:

1. The U.S. puts a pipeline through Canadian territory without consent.  Canadians should accept this because there are “economic benefits.”

2.  A company puts a pipeline on a homeowner’s front lawn without consent. The homeowner should be grateful because there will be “economic benefits”.

The images for this post were taken by my colleague Charles Menzies who was at the recent Prince Rupert demonstration.

Image taken by Charles Menzies


Filed under Daily Disruption

3 responses to “Would you like an oil pipeline on your front lawn?

  1. Rima, what is your guess at the chances that this pipeline will be stopped? It is hard to get a sense of whether this movement has any hook into the decision-making process. No treaties–does that mean no access to the courts? It seems to me that some huge global consequences are resting on the backs of these First Nations folks, with not much help or access to power.

    • Rima

      hi Tina
      I am cautiously optimistic that we will see a movement led by FN with the backing of non – native environmentalists (similar to what happened in BC over logging of FN land during the 1980s). There is a treaty commission in BC charged with negotiating treaties but it is glacially slow. Also the issue is who set up the treaty commission – non-Natives – so is that really fair anyway? So there is quite a lot to say about this! All the best to you.

  2. jack

    fuck the northern gateway project.
    if there is an oil spill we are all gonna be screwed, not to mention the animals too (marine life will be most effected)

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