Monaghan slams Douglas Channel Watch for “disrespectful” demonstration as striking teachers picket Christy Clark


Updates with reason teachers moved picket site

Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan has slammed Douglas Channel Watch for a “disrespectful” demonstration held during the ceremony that saw the transfer of land from the province of BC to the Haisla Nation. BC Premier Christy Clark came to Kitimat for the event.

There were two groups of protesters across Haisla Boulevard from the transfer ceremony. While some were from Douglas Channel Watch, the vast majority were striking teachers.

Teachers picket line
Striking Kitimat teachers line Haisla Boulevard in a protest picket against the visit of BC Premier Christy Clark. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)

In an e-mail from Monaghan to District staff and  to Margaret Ouwehand, who handles e-mail traffic for the environmental group, obtained by Northwest Coast Energy News, Monaghan wrote about the protest:

This was not respectful to the Haisla. This was one of the greatest moments in the government between the Hasila and DOK and all we could hear were blaring horns.  How disrepectful and a shame on our community. It would have been so much more cultured if that could have waited for an hour until the ceremony was concluded.

In the original notice of the protest  sent to Northwest Coast Energy News and Douglas Channel Watch subscribers on Monday, Ouwehand wrote:

It is important to remain respectful of the Haisla event and to indicate our support their position regarding Enbridge

At the beginning of her remarks at the ceremony, Monaghan also said, “First I would just like to apologize for some of the noise in the background and the disrepectfulness of what’s happening at this great, great celebration, we’re having with the Haisla people today.”

It was clear for reporters who went across Haisla Boulevard to cover the demonstration  that teachers, who began a full-scale strike on Tuesday, far outnumbered the handful of Douglas Channel Watch demonstraters in front of the “Downtown Kitimat” sign. It was mostly the teachers who lined Haisla Boulevard and waved signs, encouraging passing traffic to honk in support. Most teachers continued to protest while some members of Douglas Channel Watch left the protest to attend the ceremony that marked the return of the old hospital lands to the Haisla Nation.

Joanne Monaghan
Mayor Joanne Monaghan speaks at the land transfer ceremony. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)

UPDATE: District sprinklers disrupted teacher demonstration

As Northwest Coast Energy News reported Monday, as did the Douglas Channel Watch call for a demonstration, striking teachers had originally planned to rally at Centennial Park.

Reports on social media say the teachers changed their plans and moved the picket to Haisla Boulevard after the District turned on the sprinklers in the park.

The active sprinklers in the park  were clearly visible from the hospital site as the teachers lined the street and many passing vehicles honked.


As Gateway decision nears, RCMP, District of Kitimat in long term planning for potential protests

At least three rallies are planned for Kitimat on Tuesday, June 17, as BC Premier Christy Clark is scheduled to arrive to announce a new agreement with the Haisla Nation and, a few hours later, the Harper government will announce its decision on approving the Northern Gateway project.

The Harper government is expected to approve the highly controversial pipeline, terminal and tanker project and once that happens, it is  likely that Kitimat will be the focus of protests against (and perhaps for) Northern Gateway.

District Council was told Monday,  June 16, that the RCMP and District staff have had meetings to come up with contingency plans if large numbers of protesters come to Kitimat in the future.

S/Sgt. Phil Harrison
RCMP Staff Sergeant Phil Harrison briefs District of Kitimat Council on plans for future protests in Kitimat, June 16, 2014. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)

Answering a question from Councillor Phil Germuth,  Staff Sergeant Phil Harrison, Kitimat detachment commander told Council that RCMP had met with Kitimat deputy chief administrative officer Warren Waycheshen  to discuss  the groups they were aware  of that might be protesting in Kitimat.

“It’s actually hard to plan for some of them, we don’t know how large they’re going to be,  “Harrison told Councl,  “There are all sorts of different factors that go into coming up with an operational plan for any kind of a demonstration

“We’ve talked about where we may be able to hold demonstrations, how we are going to do accommodate the people, what are we going to do for sanitation,
what we are going to do for garbage collection. all that kind of stuff,” the staff sergeant said.

“Until we get more information regarding what kind of demonstration it’s going to be, it’s hard to plan for. We do encourage any leaders of any organization that’s going to be demonstrating to come and chat with us.

:Demonstrations are fully legal in Canada. We have no problems with those.  Our concern is when it comes to the safety of the public and so, therefore, if there isanything we can do to help to mitigate any kind of problems that might arise if the safety of the public, we’d like to know that before hand.”

Waycheshen said it was up to Council to set policy but noted that the staff has been working on long term plans, saying. ‘We do a lot of pre-planning and then just wait to see if it comes or not.”

Waycheshen  said that while the RCMP and District staff have  studied the more obvious locations,   “as the RCMP point out, there are certain times when people won’t congregate where you want them to, so we have to work around their locations.’

“We’ve looked at the need for water, porta-potties, meals and stuff,” Waycheshen said. “It’s always tough until you know the numbers When they come in, are they going to be self sufficient or not?

“We’ve talked to our suppliers to make them aware that this could be happening at short notice, so they’re aware of it,

“We’ve done as much as we can And almost like the emergency plan, we’ve talked to the emergency planning group for the District. There might be a point where we  activate the EOC [Emergency Operations Centre] plan, not to treat it as an emergency but to give you a lot more flexibility to react in a quick way.”

“Some of the suppliers say we should be able to get you this and that,  but we will have to know at the time.

“It’s really contingent on when they’re coming in. Our purchasing department has been really good about contacting people, this is the potential of what we could

It all starts on Tuesday when Premier Clark is scheduled to arrive at the old hospital site to announce the agreement with the Haisla.

Douglas Channel Watch says it plans to rally at the “Downtown Kitimat” sign across the street from the hospital site at 10:45.   Kitimat’s teachers who will officially be on strike on Tuesday, plan their own rally at Centennial Park at the same time.

The Harper government will announce its decision on the Northern Gateway shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern Time,  after the market close in the east, 1 p.m, Pacific  Time.

Shortly after the government announcement, Douglas Channel Watch will then hold a second rally in Centennial Park.







Defend our coast rally in Kitimat

Protest rally
Protesters march down Kingfisher Ave, during the Defend Our Coast Rally in Kitimat, Nov. 16, 2013. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)

About 250 people took part in the Defend Our Coast Rally at Mount Elizabeth Secondary School, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. The Kitimat protest was part of what organizers said were 130 rallies across Canada to protest environmentally threatening energy developments including the Alberta bitumen sands and various pipeline projects under the labels of Defend Our Climate or Defend Our Coast.


Gerald Amos
Gerald Amos addresses the rally. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)
Kelly Marsh
Kelly Marsh speaks about his studies that show small or mid-level pipeline breaches are inevitable. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)
Family at the rally. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)
Patricia Lange
Patricia Lange addresses the rally. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)
Protesters join arms
Protesters join arms, a feature of every one of the rallies across Canada. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)
Protest march
The protest march on Kingfisher. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)
Protest march
The protest march. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)

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.”

Obama press secretary questioned on anti oil sands demonstrations

Energy Environment links

U.S. president Barack Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, was asked about the continuing demonstrations  in Washington against the Alberta oil sands and the Keystone XL pipeline proposal during a “gaggle” (an informal news conference) aboard Air Force One en route to Minnesota today.

The White House released this transcript of the brief exchange:

Q Also, anything on these protests outside the White House on this
pipeline? Has the President decided against TransCanada’s permit for the
pipeline? It’s the tar sands pipeline. There have been a lot of arrests
outside the White House about it.

MR. CARNEY: I don’t have anything new on that. I believe the State
Department has — that’s under the purview of the State Department
presently, but I don’t have anything new on that.

Q Is the President aware of the protests?

MR. CARNEY: I haven’t talked to him about it.

Protestors have been demonstrating in a restricted area near the White House and are inviting arrest as part of an ongoing effort to stop the Keystone XL bitumen pipeline from Alberta to Texas. The latest celebrity to take part in the protests was actress Darryl Hannah, who was arrested today, as reported by The Guardian.

The State Department did give its approval to the Keystone XL pipeline on  Aug 26, saying, as reported in The Guardian.

The State Department said the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline would not cause significant damage to the environment.

The State Department in its report said the project – which would pipe more than 700,000 barrels a day of tar sands crude to Texas refineries – would not increase greenhouse gas emissions. It also downplayed the risks of an accident from piping highly corrosive tar sands crude across prime American farmland.

Campaigners accused the State Department of consistently overlooking the potential risks of the pipeline.

The largest anti-pipeline demonstration is expected on Sept. 2, when First Nations leaders are expected to join the protests in front of the White House.

‘Native land claims scare the hell out of investors’: energy expert : The Hook

The Hook (Tyhee blog)

‘Native land claims scare the hell out of investors’: energy expert

Fierce First Nations opposition could very well topple Enbridge’s west coast pipeline proposal, a Washington-based energy expert argues.

“Native land claims scare the hell out of investors,” Robert Johnson told an Alberta energy conference, according to an Edmonton Journal report. “My level of confidence [in the project] has gone down quite a bit, unfortunately.”

Johnson belongs to senior management at Eurasia Group, which claims to be the “world’s leading global political risk research and consulting firm.”

Time to settle First Nations land claims: Financial Post

Diane Francis, columnist, Financial Post

Time to settle First Nations land claims

The time has come for Canada and the provinces to make timely and responsible resource development the country’s number one national interest. This represents a policy priority that has never existed but is absolutely essential today to protect Canadian living standards and rights.

To date, Canada has behaved like a patchwork quilt of special interests and various levels of government whose leaders have bobbed and weaved but never devised a just or swift means of settling, or rejecting, land claims by First Nations…..

This week, the opening shot of what could be a monumental battle was fired when First Nations representatives from British Columbia came to warn Big Oil in Calgary that they would obstruct any linkage to Asia via pipelines, and presumably, rail lines, through their territory. If joined by others, and this is a given, their obstructionism for gain, or ideology, will financially damage landlocked Alberta, the prairies, the North and therefore the living standards of all Canadians.

Frankly, I don’t blame First Nations for obstructing development because they face a politicized and dysfunctional court system that never settles, never seems to reject new claims, never deals with any expeditiously and never imposes a deadline on requests.

Editor’s note: Read the quote from Financial Post business columnist Diane Francis carefully. In the key paragraph quoted here, she mentions the economy of Alberta, the prairies and the North. Somehow she neglected to mention the economy of the British Columbia, and the impact of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, for good or ill on BC. A conservative columnist, Francis, seems to assume that First Nations are against the pipeline simply for gain or “ideology,” and that settling Land Claims will lead to the construction of the pipeline,

Rally against Enbridge Northern Gateway Project draws hundreds in Prince Rupert: Northern View

From Northern View, Prince Rupert

Rally against Enbridge Northern Gateway Project draws hundreds in Prince Rupert

Amidst the laughter, unity, and spirit of a rally against the
Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project, held in Prince Rupert
Thursday evening, there was one word that reverberated again and again
from participants. That word was no.

Organizer of the rally Jenn Rice said governments may come and go, but people on the North Coast are here to stay.