Pipeline hearings a right for residents

Every one on the coast has some kind of connection to the sea

Last week, I applied to participate in the National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline. However, I do not know whether the NEB will accept my application.

The board has announced they will only accept submissions on this proposal from British Columbians who are “directly affected” by the project and tankers or have “relevant expertise.”

Having grown up on the West Coast, I take issue with that assertion.

Harvesting from the ocean is a vital part of my culture as a coastal person. I was taught how to catch crabs and collect shellfish as a child. My family still enjoys crabs caught off Sidney, clams from the Gulf Islands and fish caught right off Clover Point in Victoria.

Sharing these experiences with my six-year-old son is very important to me. If there is an oil spill, all coastal residents stand to lose our ability to safely engage in these activities. Oil tankers on our delicate and unpredictable coast threaten salmon-bearing rivers and the wildlife and communities that depend on them, and will directly affect my family and I.

I believe in the right of every concerned British Columbian to participate in this decision-making process.

Anna Kemp