New legislation proposed by the federal government will ban large oil tankers from stopping or unloading in Haida Gwaii or northern B.C. waters. (File photo/Black Press)

GoFundMe launched to fight oil-tanker moratorium

Chiefs Council says the oil-tanker ban harms Indigenous economic opportunity in northwest B.C.

Leaders representing 30 First Nations communities from Alberta to northwest B.C. have launched a GoFundMe campaign to fundraise for a legal challenge to a proposed oil-tanker ban on Canada’s northwest coast.

In a statement released on Jan. 24, the Chiefs Council claimed the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act — otherwise known as Bill C-48 — was promoted mostly through the lobbying efforts of foreign environmental NGOs, and that its economic impact will ultimately harm the First Nations communities the council represents.

READ MORE: Liberals introduce oil-tanker ban for north coast and Haida Gwaii

“What this tanker ban does is cut off all our opportunities revenue-wise,” said Gary Alexcee, vice-chair for the Chiefs Council.

The GoFundMe campaign would help cover the legal costs of fighting the bill, which passed second reading in October, 2017. The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act bans oil tankers that are carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude oil, or persistent oil, from stopping or unloading at ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s North Coast. To date, the fund has raised $15,006.

“Those communities are so impoverished that there is no other way for them to fight other than through this GoFundMe campaign,” Alexcee said.

The Chiefs Council supports Eagle Spirit Pipeline, a pipeline that would bring oil from Alberta to the northern West Coast. Alexcee said the tanker ban would be an obstacle to the pipeline, and prevent First Nations communities from receiving the revenue from the project. He added that the federal government enacted the ban without consulting key First Nations communities who would be impacted by it.

“[Federal Minister of Transport] Marc Garneau…never came to Lax Kw’alaams, never came to the Nass Valley,” Alexcee said. “We’ve reached out to Kitkatla and Metlakatla and they never saw the minister or their people in their community.”

In an interview with the Northern View on November, 2017, Garneau said he has spoken with Coastal First Nations, Metlakatla, Haida, Lax Kw’alaams, Haisla, Nisga’a as well as stake holders in the shipping industry and environmental groups during a series of consulations along the coast.

READ MORE: Minister of Transport hold consultations on Prince Rupert on the moratorium on crude-oil tankers

“There was not a unanimous consensus,” he said. “There are a range of opinions but we feel what we are doing represents the majority.”



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Okanagan Great Ogogogo Bathtub Race beats fundraising goal

Total money raised from the race series is $124,500

VIDEO: Rain doesn’t stop Penticton Terry Fox Run

Around 200 people showed up to raise money for cancer research Sunday

1955 Vees reign again at Classics hockey tourney in Penticton

The 1955 World Championship Vees took home the Moog Cup at minor hockey tournament

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

Coming Home: Penticton fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

VIDEO: Rain doesn’t stop Penticton Terry Fox Run

Around 200 people showed up to raise money for cancer research Sunday

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Athlete of the Week: William Buttar

Though he is little, William Buttar is fierce as he makes his introduction into the sporting world

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

Urban Agriculture: Food forestry rooted in thinking of the ecosystem

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read