Beauty and the beast

Even the cosmetics industry is taking up the campaign against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipelines plan.

Even the cosmetics industry is taking up the campaign against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipelines plan.

An international company called Lush, which makes and sells handmade bath and body products, in messages printed on its sales receipts, urges customers to oppose Northern Gateway.

And this spring it gave customers at its 45 Canadian stores the chance to cast a vote for or against the $5.5 billion plan to pump Alberta crude to Kitimat for export overseas.

“Based on feedback from the shops throughout the campaign and our initial findings, we can confirm that the majority of in-store votes were against the Enbridge pipeline proposal,” said Lush’s Brandi Halls, who is directing the anti-Northern Gateway pipeline campaign in Canada.

“We strongly believe that Canadians should have a say in their energy future and that each and every one of us should be making the final decision on projects like Enbridge,” said Halls.

“By turning our shops into polling stations, we gave everyday Canadians a voice on the issue of tankers on B.C.’s coast.

“In so doing, people will also be reminded that next time there’s an election, they have the option to vote for candidates who will stand up for our coast.”

“We are a large B.C. based business with resources and the responsibility to make a difference so yes, we do believe that we can and are having an impact on this issue.”

The ‘no’ votes went to the  Dogwood Initiative to add to its No Tankers petition that asks the government to protect the B.C. coast from oil tanker traffic.

Lush also printed a page in its summer issues of its catalogue urging people to vote against Enbridge.

The page explained who Enbridge is, gave details on the pipeline project and included a quote from Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel saying no one could promise that there would never be an oil pipeline accident. It also included, in red letters, “What’s at stake? The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project would put your water, culture, economy, land, ecosystem at risk.”

The store also noted its campaign partner Dogwood Initiative, which works to protect rivers and coastline in B.C. from oil pipelines and tankers, as stated on its home page.

As of last week, Dogwood Initiative official Eric Swanson said the petition had 137,253 signatures, mostly from B.C. residents.

The petition is being sent to the federal government in batches of about 50,000 each time, he added.

“We think the provincial government can make the right move and make these projects go away so we can focus on better projects,” said Swanson, adding that a number of people equals political power.

“For the provincial government, they need evidence of a political win in it for them.”

The Dogwood Initiative is being as political as it can without being partisan, he added.

“I think it’s a big opportunity for both provincial NDP and provincial Liberals to strengthen their position and a stronger position I suspect will bring more votes,” he said, adding the Enbridge pipeline issue is set to become a decisive election issue in 2013.

“I’m confident if the provincial government decided to stop [the pipeline] they could,” he said.