Letters to the editor
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”.
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