Back-to-back events on Saturday and Sunday on the Labour Day weekend were held to highlight local opposition to the proposal to increase tanker traffic in the Port of Vancouver. The Gathering of Canoes event on Saturday was organized by Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations. A flotilla of canoes journeyed from Ambleside Park to Cates Park on Burrard Inlet and made a detour to pass in front of the Kinder Morgan Oil Tanker Terminal (see photo gallery and details further below on the jump page). The Salish Sea Festival in Waterfront Park in North Vancouver on Sunday September 2nd was an afternoon of concerts intermingled with speeches. Author Naomi Klein spoke eloquently in her opposition to turning Vancouver into a major port for tar sands oil:
Brigette DePape explained the role of the youth-led PowerShift movement in their goal to build a clean and just future. Over 1,500 young people are anticipated to converge in Ottawa on October 26-29th at the upcoming PowerShift 2012 event. DePape also drew from her experience as a former Senate page and she explained why she is skeptical of governments to solve problems: “I do not believe in politicians to stop these pipelines…but I do believe in you and in all of us to build the future we believe in.”
Ta’Kaiya Blaney was one of many musicians who took part in the festival; she also commented on the Rio Summit before performing Earth Revolution:
Other artists at the festival included The Boom Booms, Phyllis Sinclair, Kia Kadiri, Wayne Lavallee and Maga Bo. Further information on the Save the Salish Sea Festival is available at TankerFreeBC and The Wilderness Committee. The Dogwood Initiative has an online petition with over 100,000 signatures opposing the expansion of crude oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s Coast.
The Protect the Salish Sea Gathering of Canoes event was covered by a number of media outlets including the CBC, Vancouver Sun, 1130 News, The Province, North Shore News and the Vancouver Media Co-op. Of particular significance is the joint declaration signed by the First Nations participants in the canoe journey. The Many People One Canoe declaration calls for the protection of the Salish Sea and for First Nations to work together to stop the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion (see last photo for text of the declaration). Over 300 oil supertankers would traverse Burrard Inlet annually if the plans to expand the pipeline capacity and oil terminal are realized.