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

Body found near Port Edward identified as missing man

David Kim went missing April 7 between Prince Rupert and Terrace

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Pool opening further delayed

A deficiency in the tile works has setback its completion, city says

Terrace fire ban now includes Ferry Island

The ban will be in place until further notice

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Most Read