Kitimat group launches anti-Enbridge petition/referendum

Danny Nunes
Danny Nunes at the District of Kitimat Council meeting, March 5, 2012. (Robin Rowland/Northwest Coast Energy News)

Danny Nunes, a candidate for mayor of Kitimat in the fall election, together with a group of volunteers, is launching a petition/referendum opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

Nunes was a gadfly candidate for Kitimat mayor in the fall election, gaining 85 votes. He is  a Kitimat and Terrace based video producer and comedian, also known as Matt Mask.

Nunes pointed to a vote by Kitimat council on January 17, 2012, not to hold any council vote or referendum on the Enbridge project until after the Joint Review Panel has reported, sometime in  2013. In the meantime, Prince Rupert, Terrace and Smithers councils and the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District have all had votes opposing the Northern Gateway project.

“If they won’t hold a referendum, I will,” Nunes told Northwest Coast Energy News, referring to the District of Kitimat council.

He plans an old style paper petition, getting signatures by going to events or door to door, making sure that as many signatures as possible can match the voters’ list in the last municipal election. Matching with the voters’ list is one reason why Nunes says he is not going to use an online petition site.

Once he has signatures from all those Kitimat residents who oppose the Northern Gateway project– “we’ll know if the town is opposed or just a small minority” — he plans to present the petition to District of Kitimat Council, probably sometime in April.




Smithers council votes to oppose Northern Gateway, fourth council within a month

Smithers has become the third northwestern British Columbia municipal council to vote against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, joining Prince Rupert and Terrace. Earlier, one regional district, Skeena Queen Charlotte, also voted against the controversial pipeline and tanker project.

The vote in Smithers was 5-1.

Smithers Councillor Phil Brienesse, in a statement posted on his Facebook page,  said

I brought forth a new motion to oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway project. The motion passed 5-1 after careful and considerable debate by council. My decision was based in part on new information that came out from recent decisions made in Terrace, SQCRD, and Prince Rupert that made it clear that local governments had the right and are clearly permitted to provide information to the Joint Review Panel. Since the previous motion was tabled with the reasoning being that it was felt we should not be influencing the JRP it seemed appropriate to bring forth a new motion at this time taking into consideration that we made the decision based on the information currently available.


Brienesse was quoted by CFJW on Tuesday night: “I hope this really brings our community together and in particular what it does, is it brings the north together so now we have Smithers, Terrace, Prince Rupert, and the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District all opposing Enbridge, in their own unique ways that makes sense to their community,” said Brienesse, adding “we have  a united North, so I am very positive about this.”

CFJW said the only vote against the motion was from Councillor Charlie Northrup, who noted not all councillors were present for last night’s meeting — and he wanted to table it until everyone was there.

Enbridge spokesman Paul Stanway, speaking on CBC Radio, repeated what he said to Northern View after the Prince Rupert vote, that it was better for all communities to wait until the Joint Review Panel had finished the hearings and then make a decision based on all the evidence.

Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District votes to oppose Gateway

The Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District has voted to formally oppose the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

The vote on Saturday followed a similar vote by Terrace on Feb. 13.

While Terrace chose to adopt the same resolution against the pipeline and coastal tanker traffic adopted last summer by the Union of BC Municipalities, the SQCRD was more careful, because the resolution had to be seen as not affected the other business for the port of Prince Rupert, especially the lucrative container traffic.

The resolution read.

Therefore, be it resolved that the SQCRD be opposed to any expansion of bulk crude oil tanker traffic as well as bitumen export in Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound in British Columbia.

In the preamble to the resolution the regional district says it believes that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline will “result in increased crude oil tanker traffic and risk of accidental oil spills in northern coastal waters in British Columbia.

So far, Kitimat, the proposed port, has voted not to take a decision until after the report of the Northern Gateway Joint Review panel.

“This is another powerful statement that elected local governments in Northern British Columbia are opposed to the Enbridge Gateway oil tanker and pipeline project,” said city councillor, Jennifer Rice to the Northern View.

“Any effort to ram this project through will be a direct attack on our First Nations, the fishing industry and other coastal economies. We encourage development, but the risks are too great with this particular proposal.”