Citizens stand up for what they love at BC Legislature opening ceremony
by Concerned citizens and First Nations’ representatives
February 14, 2017
Environmental groups and First Nations leaders rally for sustainable future
VICTORIA – Concerned citizens and First Nations’ representatives demonstrated at the BC legislature today, before the opening of the final legislative session before the election.
Demonstrators are demanding the provincial government stand up for BC by stepping away from environmentally destructive projects like the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the Site C dam, fracking and LNG exports, and continued old-growth logging.
“This province is not a playground for giant corporations to exploit and pollute,” said Torrance Coste, Wilderness Committee Vancouver Island Campaigner.
“The BC government seems to have forgotten that and with an election around the corner we’re here to remind them.”
Speakers addressed the crowd in a short rally, and then undertook a creative Valentines-themed action to show their love for a healthy coastline, Indigenous rights, a safe climate and a sustainable economy.
“British Columbians want an economy that operates within nature’s limits, providing good green jobs today and tomorrow,” said Galen Armstrong, Peace Valley Campaigner for Sierra Club BC.
“Instead of doubling down on fossil fuels, we need to shift to low carbon power sources; instead of old-growth logging, we need sustainable harvesting of second growth; and instead of producing expensive, unneeded power, we need to defend farmland that will become increasingly vital as climate impacts increase.”
Meaningful respect for Indigenous rights and title is a central demand for demonstrators. Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip Nation — one of dozens of Nations opposed to Kinder Morgan — spoke at the rally.
Rally organizers charge that BC elected officials are not doing enough to stand up for a future where renewable energy and healthy ecosystems are prioritized, instead letting corporations set a course that locks us into dangerous climate change, ecological disaster and boom-bust resource cycles.
“People across BC are tired of governments that serve the corporate elite and leave the rest of us with inflated hydro rates, polluted waterways and the looming threat of a catastrophic oil spill," said Charles Campbell, Provincial Organizer for Dogwood Initiative.
"The heart is being cut out of our province and our future and we're determined to put it back."
The rally and demonstration was organized by Amnesty International, Council of Canadians, Dogwood BC, Friends of Carmanah-Walbran, Greenpeace, Kairos Victoria, Poets for the Peace, RAVEN, Rolling Justice Bus, Sierra Club BC, Social Coast, Social Environmental Alliance, Transition Sooke and the Wilderness Committee.
These organizations will continue to push provincial leaders to stand up for BC’s environment and good green jobs in the lead-up to the election in May.
For more information, please contact:
Torrance Coste | Vancouver Island Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
Galen Armstrong | Peace Valley Campaigner, Sierra Club BC
Charles Campbell | Provincial Organizer, Dogwood Initiative