Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kaia's making a difference

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours on a highway overpass with an amazing young woman who single-handedly organized a demonstration against a big oil pipeline and oil tankers on our British Columbia coast.  Kaia is sixteen and conceived a plan to put up banners protesting the Northern Gateway Pipleline on three pedestrian overpasses to catch the attention of car traffic on Victoria's main highway. 

She, like many others in British Columbia, is opposed to the proposed pipeline to ship crude oil sands bitumen from Alberta to a port on our north coast, where it will then be shipped by supertanker to Asia.  If this goes through hundreds of tankers would be traversing the dangerous and enclosed waterways of our coast to carry oil to China.

But unlike most of us, Kaia is doing something about it.  She created three huge banners using sheets sewn together and black duct tape for the letters, then set them up on the pedestrian overpasses and organized rotating shifts of people to stand beside the banners and wave at cars going by.  

The banner on the first overpass said:   NO PIPELINE.  
This was followed by :NO OIL TANKERS.  
And the last one, where Harry and I were posted said:  STOP ENBRIDGE.  

When we got there at 1:45, Kaia had been on the overpass since 10:00 in the morning and she was still smiling and waving and giving the "thumbs up" sign to the many cars that waved back at us or honked their horns in support.  

It seems that a lot of people are concerned that British Columbia may have oil piped across the province and shipped on tankers on our beautiful pristine coast.  The danger of an oil spill cannot be ignored. We've seen what happened in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.  I think the sacrificing of our coastlines and marine life for oil has gone too far.  

We have to stop it and find other ways to create employment and transportation.  And I'm so glad to see that there are young people like Kaia and her friends who will put in the effort to show that they are opposed to the building of the pipeline. I was happy to help out yesterday as I really believe we have to stop this madness.  I will be continuing to protest the pipeline and oil tankers on our coast.   And it was heartening to see the positive reaction from so many travellers that passed beneath us yesterday.

If you want to learn more about the pipeline and the growing opposition to it in British Columbia there are a few links here.


  1. Good for you !
    Some day I feel like a voice in the wilderness when I talk about thing that concern me.

    Keep on protesting and get the word out.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. thumbs up from the Netherlands.

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  4. Good for Kaia. She's right not to trust Enbridge to have your community's best interest at heart. The Enbridge Michigan spill is a testament to that statement. Sadly, most of that was never mentioned at the time because news of it was lost in the BP fiasco, but hopefully it doesn't get overlooked. I cross the Kalamazoo river twice a year and make it a point to think of this disaster that Enbridge NEVER handled well. If you're going to be in this business, safety must be first and foremost.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Rudee, we've been hearing quite a bit about the Kalamazoo spill here in BC. Someone in Canada said they handled the spill like the Keystone Cops! We can't trust this company to do it right. But even if everything went well there's still the issue of pushing our dependence on oil when we need to look at alternatives now.
      Thanks for your note.


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