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

Langley rollover crash slows traffic on 200 Street in Willoughby

Crews called to Monday afternoon collision involving two cars

Township mayor Jack Froese talks short- and long-term goals for third term

Tree bylaw, pot sales among topics that will need attention in coming months

Used election signs could serve as emergency shelters, candidate says

Langley council hopeful wants to build one-person foul weather shelters for homeless

Four-vehicle collision shuts down section of Highway 10 in Cloverdale

One driver transported to hospital with what looked to be non-life threatening injuries

Langley player to compete in first NCAA basketball tournament in Canada

Former Brookswood star Louise Forsyth to play in Vancouver Showcase

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

Vancouver mayoral hopefuly admits defeat, congratulates winner Kennedy Stewart

Ken Sim of the Non-Partisan Association apologized for the time it took to acknowledge Stewart won

Mental fitness questioned of man charged in Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Peter Kampos told his lawyer ‘his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs’ at Surrey Pre-trial

Fraser Valley mom stuck in Africa over adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran have been waiting four weeks to bring son home

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

Most Read