Cycling stand for the coast

Island group to ride in protest of oil tankers and pipeline in B.C.

Diane Sharp

Diane Sharp

Sheri Farhina says she’s no radical, but she loves the B.C. coast and she feels she has to do something concrete to protect it.

The Parksville resident will be part of a group called Cycle to Protect our Coast (CPOC), which will be biking from Campbell River to Victoria to spread their message about the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project from May 18 to 22.

“When you love something, you stand up for it,” she said. “We met after the hearings in Comox for Enbridge Northern Gateway and we felt very strongly about that. We said, OK, what kind of project are we going to take on?”

Their first idea, to take a bus to Calgary to protest outside the Enbridge headquarters was quickly dismissed in favour of a ride down Vancouver Island, stopping in communities along the way to present their views in opposition to the project.

“We have set up information sessions at each of the stops, Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Duncan, Brentwood Bay and Victoria,” she said.

“We will be at the gazebo in Parksville Community Park at 9 a.m. on May 19 and from there we will cycle to the farmer’s market in Qualicum Beach, where we will have a table. We will all have bright lime green shirts on.”

During their tour, Farinha said supporters will be invited to join the team on what she called ‘pocket cycles’ of a few kilometres each.

The information they will be disseminating, she added, is disturbing, noting that Enbridge and Kinder Morgan have no liability for the costs of a coastal oil spill once a tanker has been loaded, as each tanker is set up as a floating corporation, specifically to reduce the amount a company could be  considered liable for in the event of a spill.

In conjunction with the ride, Captain Brian Falconer, the co-ordinator of marine operations for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, will give a public presentation at 1:30 p.m. on May 19 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

The presentation is free to attend.