Kitimat-Stikine Regional District votes to oppose Enbridge Northern Gateway

Map Regional District Kitimat Stikine
Map showing the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine (RDKS)

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine voted on Sept. 14, 2012, to oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Eight of the twelve Regional District Directors of Kitimat Stikine voted to both to oppose the Northern Gateway project and to support resolutions of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) on the pipeline.

Telegraph Creek director David Brocklebank, who originally proposed the motion, was supported by Dease Lake alternate director Joey Waite, Terrace municipal directors Dave Pernarowski (mayor) and Bruce Bidgood (councillor), Nass director (and regional district chair) Harry Nyce, Hazelton village mayor Alice Maitland, the Hazeltons and  Kispiox/Kitwanga director Linda Pierre and Diana Penner (who was sitting in for the director Doug McLeod) for the rural area around Terrace and Kitimat.

Brocklebank had proposed the motion at the August meeting. It was tabled to allow for the directors who represent the various regions and municipalities time for consultation.
Voting against were Kitimat municipal director Corinne Scott, New Hazelton mayor Gail Lowry, Thornhill’s Ted Ramsey and Stewart municipal director Billie Ann Belcher.

Scott said she was voting against the motion, continuing the Kitimat council’s position that it remain neutral until the report of the Northern Gateway Joint Review panel. Ramsey also said Thornhill wanted to also remain neutral.

Other directors pointed to what they called the politicization of the Joint Review and how they believed it had been influenced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

While the District of Kitimat remains neutral, the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District, Prince Rupert, Terrace and Smithers have all voted to oppose the Northern Gateway.

Fishing report site calls on anglers to boycott towns, including Kitimat, that don’t stand against Enbridge

The Pacific Northwest Fishing Reports website is calling on anglers to boycott all communities, including Kitimat that haven’t taken an official stand opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

The site run by someone called “Old Jake” covers DFO Region 6 and Region 7a “in an effort to give sport fishing enthusiasts more options when it comes to our wonderful sport.”

Its about page says:

What makes this website unique is that it is not run by professional fishing guides or anyone who profits directly from fishing, we are local sports fishing enthusiasts here simply because we love the sport. Why is this important to you? Because we don’t have to make a sale on our fishing reports.

The boycott notice was first posted by “Old Jake” on March 31, but only came to wider attention in the past weekend when the link was widely circulated among the angling and guiding community  and by environmentalists on social media in northwest BC, some of it in reaction to the oil spill in Sundre, Alberta.

In the post, “Old Jake” says in the introduction:

[T]he deck is really stacked against our pristine lakes and rivers.

Support our boycott on all business in communities which are not willing to protect our environment in hopes of getting a financial handout from Enbridge. Let us send a clear message to communities who don’t respect our environment enough to protect it.

Please do not boycott small fishing businesses that reside outside of any community boundary, because they are as much a victim of those who support oil for greed.

The letter says, in part:

Greetings fellow sport fishing enthusiasts, I am writing this to all of you, all over the world because we desperately need your help on two major fronts, both could permanently extinguish fishing as we know it for our generation and that of our children’s and possibly much longer.

The first and foremost problem is the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project which the Prime Minister of Canada appears to be declaring a project that will go ahead regardless of the National Energy Board Hearings.

The second is Fish Farming, and its unregulated ability to hide scientific facts, its attacks on free speech and attempts to silence those who dare to speak out against them.

First Nations have done their part, they stood up and spoke, all against Enbridge and Alberta’s need to cash in on the horrific oil sands that are killing the Athabasca River, and sending this toxic mess into the Arctic Ocean….

Here is where we have a problem, the cities, towns and villages appear to want it both ways, they want your tourist dollar, and they also any dirty Oil Dollar they can get as well.

We need you; the people of the world to write to the majors of each community and ask them why tourists could come to a community that won’t protect its natural resources. Why should tourists come and spend their money if the leaders of these communities don’t take a stand in protecting our lakes and rivers from the worst threat ever in the history of British Columbia.

Ask these majors (sic probably means mayors) how many people will come to visit if we end up with a mess like they did on the Kalamazoo River.


Here is the list, where the author equates opposing Enbridge with supporting the environment

Prince Rupert – Supports our Environment (Visit this great community)
Terrace – Supports our Environment (Visit this great community)
Kitimat – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Kitwanga – Supports our Environment (Visit this great community)
Hazelton – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Kispiox – Supports our Environment (Visit this great community)
Moricetown – Supports our Environment (Visit this great community)
Smithers – Supports our Environment (Visit this great community)
Telkwa – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Houston – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Granisle – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Burns Lake – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Fraser Lake – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Vanderhoof – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)
Prince George – Does not support our environment. (Boycott)

Gitxsan lift Hazelton blockade to allow forensic audit of treaty office, repeat there is no deal with Enbridge on pipeline

A news release issued late this afternoon, June 11, 2012, by the Gitxsan Unity Movement says the group has lifted the blockade of the boarded up treaty office in Hazelton.

Gitxsan Unity says the group took down the blockade, remoiving the plywood and lumber blocking all access to allow an “enforced forensic audit” from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (formerly Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) Special Investigations office. According the release, the Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive, Anne Scotton, from Departmental Audit and Evaluation Branch, arrived at the office, once known as Gitxsan Treaty Society, now called the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs Office, accompanied by two auditors from the Ottawa branch of Deloitte and Touche

Access to the office was negotiated in collaboration with the RCMP over the past two weeks. The release says GTS staff were permitted to enter the building to assist the auditors to locate material related to the forensic audit.

The release says

Scotton advised the auditors will be mirroring (copying) the hard drives of all the computers as well as scanning all the files and paperwork in the offices. They will also attend all the satellite offices and the off site accountants offices in Smithers to ensure they secure all the documentation for their investigations.

The release goes onto say the movement appreciates the help of Aboriginal Affairs and the RCMP “in securing all financial statements and material relative to the operations of the GTS. It will show accountability to the money received in the name of the Gitxsan people.”

it adds:

GUM remains open to and extends an invitation to the GTS Gimlitxwit to meet and settle unresolved issues pertaining to transparency and the return of authority and jurisdiction back to its’ rightful place, the Gitxsan Simgigyet and the Gitxsan Nation.


The release then goes to the heart of the issue  when on Dec. 2, 2011, Elmer Derrick signed an agreement with Enbridge for a stake in the Northern Gateway Pipeline. That agreement was repudiated by Gitxsan leaders the following day and the office blockaded that weekend. While there was a court injunction ordering an end to the blockade, negotiations continued for months for a peaceful end to the dispute.  Last week, on June 5, 2012, when Enbridge claimed it has the support of 60 per cent of First Nations along the route of the controversial pipeline, Enbridge repeated its contention that the agreement signed by Derrick is valid.

However the Gitxsan Unity Movement says:

TAKE NOTICE that the Gitxsan Treaty Society and terminated staff, Gordon Sebastian, Elmer Derrick and Beverley Clifton-Percival, are not authorized representatives of the Gitxsan people. Any act engaged in by this entity or individuals representing themselves as authorized representative is invalid and of no force and effect as against the Gitxsan people. Any Government, entity or individual who engages in negotiation or business transactions with GTS or terminated staff, do so at their own risk

GUM has moved a step closer, but also realizes the real work has just begun. Our goal is to bring harmony between the Gitxsan government and the values, law and will of the Gitxsan.


Gitxsan protestors ordered to end blockade by Sunday

First Nations

Members of the Gitxsan First Nation who are objecting to the deal signed between Enbridge and the Gitxsan Treaty Office have been served an injunction ordering them to end their blockade of the office in Hazelton by Sunday.

CFJW Gitxsan Protesters Vow to Defy Court Injunction

Protesters continue to bar access to the Gitxsan Treaty Society Office in Hazelton — and are vowing to defy a court injunction ordering them away from the office.

They’re furious over last Friday’s announcement by Treaty officer and Hereditary Chief Elmer Derrick, that the Gitxsan had entered into a partnership with Enbridge on the Northern Gateway project.

Hereditary chief Norman Stephens (Guuhadakw) of the Wolf Clan says the announcement was completely improper. “Elmer Derrick had no right to negotiate a deal with Enbridge on behalf of the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs,” said Stephens, adding “he’s employed as a Gitxsan Treaty Society negotiator for treaty, not with industry.”

CFJW Gitxsan Treaty Society hoping cooler heads will prevail

The Gitxsan Treaty Society is fighting back against Gitxsan members opposing a $7 million ownership deal with Enbridge relating to the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project.

A negotiator with the society says they sought a court order against the protesters blocking access to their Hazelton office, so they could return to work and begin to address the concerns of the Gitxsan members denouncing the deal announced last week.

Beverley Clifton Percival says the society’s directors are prepared to talk, but need to be working in order to do so.

“I think they have valid concerns and valid questions and I certainly do want to answer them, but I cannot do that when I’m not allowed into my office or access to any of the papers or anything.”

Vancouver Sun  Enbridge pipeline protesters issued eviction date

Hereditary chief Norman Stephens said the group received the notice on Tuesday…

The opposing leaders and members are now collecting written declarations from other hereditary chiefs supporting their position, Stephens said.

“[Derrick, Sebastian and Percival] are three disgruntled employees that we’ve laid off, and they are the ones who filed for the injunction, so we’ve got letters from people saying they are no longer employed by the Gitxsan hereditary chiefs,” Stephens said.

“They can’t [file] an injunction on a building they don’t own.

“They just don’t recognize that they’ve been fired.”