A new group on Gabriola, Save Our Shores (SOS), is gearing up this summer for an all-out campaign to stop tankers carrying bitumen from the Alberta tar sands from spilling oil and bitumen on our coast.
Tanker tape protests, flash mobs, and letter writing campaigns are some of the things the group is doing this summer to raise awareness and protest oil spill and tanker issues.
Both the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipeline proposals will bring bitumen and crude oil to our coast. From there it will travel in supertankers to Chinese and US markets.
The risk of an oil spill is huge. If these proposals go through, it is not a question of if there will be an oil spill but when, according to SOS.
The group says our Coast Guard is ill-equipped to handle a major oil spill, especially after recent closures of Coast Guard Stations. The damage to the Georgia Strait ecosystem from an oil spill will have disastrous effects on our economy and quality of life, says SOS. A major oil spill will cause widespread unemployment in fishing and tourism, amongst other shoreline industries, they say.
Look for the Save Our Shores group at the Folklife Village Centre, where you can sign the Dogwood “No Tankers” petition or write a note to either corporate or political decision-makers. SOS will also be present at the Nanaimo Bath Tub Races on July 22 where they will stage an on-the-water tanker protest as well as having an on-shore presence.
SOS is planning to launch a web site soon showing other events and activities taking place this summer. To find out more about Save Our Shores, attend the next meeting of SOS at the Commons on July 28, 4 pm.