Comox Expecting Large Crowds Tomorrow for Anti-Tanker Rally

Opponents of the Enbridge pipeline are gathering at the NEB Joint Panel hearings at the Comox Rec Centre on March 31. The No Pipeline No Tankers Rally will begin sharply at 1 pm behind the Comox Rec Centre at 1885 Noel Ave. People are coming from all over Vancouver Island and from the Sunshine Coast. Organizers are encouraging folks to ride their bikes or carpool, to come early with their blue scarves and to bring an umbrella-coastal BC weather being what it is.

Many locals from here in Powell River are making the journey to Comox most are going over on the 8:10 AM ferry out of Powell River and hoping to meet up to share rides and ideas once they get on the ferry. Plus The Wilderness Committee is organizing rides to the rally from the ferry terminal once it has arrived.

Certainly the focus of the media and the protests will have been sharpened by yesterday's federal budget which has retro-actively changed the ground rules for the environmental hearings process. It seems totally outrageous that the rules governing the hearings on such an important decision can be changed in mid-stream to grease the wheels for the oil industry backers of the Harperites. But...ain't democracy wonderful eh!

As the new ground rules haven't been laid out in any detail, other than to say there is now a two year time limit, it's hard to know what will ultimately happen. First Nations groups are 99.9% opposed to the pipeline and Canadian courts have ruled there is a duty to consult with First Nations whenever a project has an impact on traditional territory and Indigenous culture, but a lot of uncertainty remains over what constitutes proper consultation. So it appears, as the Harperites seem determined to push through the pipeline that benefits their financial backers no matter how much long-term destruction it causes to the environment, this will end up in the Supreme Court of Canada sooner or later.