To Steven Harper - Pipeline

To: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper

Re: Northern Gateway Pipeline

It is my understanding that you are just days away from authorizing the construction of the Northern Gateway pipeline project. 

For close to three years now I have focused my efforts on trying to persuade you and your cabinet ministers put a stop to this project.

I wish to make an 11th hour plea for you to consider the long term consequences of your actions and ask that you give thought to what a large scale diluted bitumen spill would mean to the aquatic ecosystem and the residents of coastal British Columbia.

I can tell you what it would mean.  Based on the Exxon Valdez experience we should expect no less and perhaps significantly more than the following:

  • Thousands and thousands of kilometres of contaminated coastline 
  • 900 dead Bald eagles 
  • 300+ dead harbour seals 
  • 29 Orca (disappeared and assumed dead). One of the two pods has never recovered 
  • 2,800 dead sea otters 
  • 250,000 dead sea birds (including 1,000 Harlequin ducks) 
  • a dead or lost fishery for salmon, herring, crab, shrimp, prawns, black cod, halibut 
  • a loss of tens of thousands of jobs to commercial fisherman, fish farms, and others who earn a livelihood from the sea
  • A loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the tourism industry

Statistically the risk of a spill may be low (though most who have traveled down Douglas Channel would argue this fact).  The consequences of a spill however cannot be argued.  It would be catastrophic. 

I urge that you abandon the reckless and irresponsible promotion of this project and to take the responsible, prudent, and conservative measure of saying “no”.


Michael Jones 

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