B.C. activists look to direct democracy law to block Kinder Morgan pipeline

Dogwood Initiative gathers signatures to try to trigger a province-wide referendum, similar to 2010 B.C. effort to get rid of HST.

Activists are vowing to use B.C.’s direct democracy law to try to block the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion from being built.

The Dogwood Initiative is gathering support to prepare for Premier Christy Clark’s likely approval of the $6.8-billion project, after the Trudeau government gave the green light on Tuesday.

Clark said Wednesday all but two of the five conditions to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline have been met, so she is “very close” to giving her support. Those two conditions are ensuring the federal government’s new Ocean Protection Plan will provide world-class marine spill prevention and response, and that B.C. gets its “fair share” of the project benefits and jobs. The province is also still waiting on the outcome of its environmental assessment.

With that remaining work expected to be completed by this spring, the Dogwood Initiative is hosting events on Saturday to recruit volunteers who will canvass their neighbourhoods for enough support to trigger a province-wide referendum on the pipeline.

“If politicians and Big Oil think they can push reckless tanker projects through our province despite First Nations and public opposition, we’ll launch a citizens’ initiative. British Columbians deserve a vote,” its website reads.

A unique process in B.C. called the Citizens’ Initiative allows a registered voter to propose a new provincial law or changes to an existing law. The voter must collect signatures from 10 per cent of the registered voters in each of B.C.’s electoral districts in a short time period. The matter then goes to the legislature, and one of the possible outcomes from that is a province-wide referendum.

“If Clark cuts a deal that betrays the majority of voters in B.C., we have the power to put this to a vote – just like when Gordon Campbell misled citizens about the HST,” the website reads.

A Citizens Initiative petition against the harmonized sales tax led by Bill Vander Zalm got enough signatures to pass and that led then-Premier Campbell to put the issue to a provincial referendum, where the HST was defeated.

Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion project would result in a seven-fold increase in tankers running through Vancouver harbour, carrying much more diluted bitumen than in the past.

Environmental groups and First Nations voiced their outage at the Trudeau cabinet’s approval of Kinder Morgan earlier this week. Some of his own MPs in the Vancouver area said they were disappointed in the decision.

– with files from Jeff Nagel

Just Posted

Justice to decide court’s jurisdiction over Indigenous man

Alex Louie, also known as Senklip, is standing trial over 9 charges related to alleged gun smuggling

Penticton pilots new mobile parking payment app

Eliminating the need to carry change for parking meters

Hospital expansion will increase access to MRI scans

Profiling the people working together to keep the wheels moving at Penticton Regional Hospital

EDITORIAL: The effects of high housing costs

For those who live in the Okanagan, the cost of housing is a significant obstacle

Contenders to perform at Okanagan venues

This year, musicians Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard will be joined by Blu and Kelly Hopkins

Rally condemns violence, promotes healing

Discovery of human remains and disappearances of women have created tension in the rural community

Province grants $784,000 for Okanagan projects

Rural Dividend grants support Okanagan community projects

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek RCMP search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

Driver trapped for 16 hours after car flips

Member of Anarchist Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in Osoyoos made discovery while out for walk

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Most Read