Spill could kill tourism, shellfish, say Parksville protesters

MLA not at his office — he said later he didn’t know about protest beforehand

Local members of Communities to Protect Our Coast

More than 200 people attended an rally in the rain Wednesday in Parksville.

The peaceful gathering was organized by the same coalition that organized a Victoria sit-in Monday and planned rallies in more than 60 B.C. communities. They were rallying against oil tankers on the B.C. Coast.

“More and more people realize this is about our economic future, about keeping jobs for Canadians,” said Myst deVann one of the organizers with Leadnow.ca.

“If we have a major spill like in the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska it will impact our tourism industry, fishing, forestry, that would only leave mining,” she said.

“Our mission is to prevent tankers from moving through the great bear rainforest, which means stopping the pipeline,” she said, adding that while protesting pipelines in general, their group is focusing on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat.

As in other communities, protesters gathered in front of the MLA’s office and linked arms down the block in a symbolic “unbroken wall of opposition across B.C.” organizers said.

But some expressed frustration that Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon was unavailable.

“There’s all kinds of people here, teachers, doctors, it’s not like we were going to throw tomatoes at him,” said protester Thea Stavroff of Cantelon.

“All he had to do is come out and say ‘I hear your concerns.’”

Cantelon later told The NEWS he did hear the concerns and was disappointed he didn’t know about the protest beforehand. He said he was attending  a previously scheduled meeting.

“It’s an important part of democracy, and I support everyone’s right to protest in front of their MLA’s office.”

On the topic of the protest he said, “The premier has been explicit — there will be no compromise on the environment or safety concerns for this project.”

He said he shares the environmental concerns of everybody in the province.

The protests have been supported by a long list of groups including ForestEthics, the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace, several First Nations, celebrities and high-profile figures like David Suzuki and Stephen Lewis.

Local members of co-organizing group Communities to Protect Our Coast submitted a list of questions to Cantelon after the protest.

 

A three-member environmental review panel has until the end of next year to complete its report.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

BC Ferries CEO, president speaks to Parksville and Qualicum Beach chambers

Guest asks about Vancouver Island resident discount fares

Local plant artist featured in national exhibit and in Qualicum Beach

Sherry Mitchell showing in Ottawa and at The Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

B.C. Transit shows off NextRide bus technology

New technology allows for real-time tracking, to be rolled out through early 2019

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

RCMP caution boaters after two kids pass out from carbon monoxide poisoning

Both children were given oxygen and taken to hospital

B.C. invests $115M to create 200 new nurse practitioner jobs

Health Minister says 780,000 B.C. residents don’t have a family doctor

Supreme Court rules social housing residents in B.C. deserve rights too

Tenants trying to stabilize their living situations should not face less legal rights than those paying market rates: Judge

Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

Judge: President Trump can’t block critics on Twitter

The judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics

Most Read