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

WATCH: Grand opening of the sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch Library

Community members speak to the namesakes of the newest GVPL addition

B.C. Ferries cancels Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen sailings over propulsion problem

11:00 ferry now good to go, but lines anticipated

WATCH: City approves Wharf, Humboldt Street bike lanes

Changing intersections, creating pedestrian plazas and more on the agenda

Meet the 2018 Tour de Rock team

Retired Spectrum principal among team introduced at Spectrum

Teen Victoria brothers receive award for saving family from house fire

Sam and Finn Parker kept cool when their home started to burn and got three people out

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Boots and Suits lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

WATCH: Grand opening of the sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch Library

Community members speak to the namesakes of the newest GVPL addition

Juno winners MonkeyJunk play Saanich’s V Lounge June 2

Two-time Juno-winning Monkey Junk bring their ‘swamp’ R&B sound to Saanich’s V… Continue reading

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Most Read