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Osoyoos a 'Gateway' to protest

Around 45 people gathered at MLA John Slater's office in Osoyoos on Wednesday to protest the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Among the diverse crowd were teens, mothers pushing babies in strollers and seniors all opposed to risks they believe are posed by tar sands, pipelines and tankers.

"I live off the grid, so I know there are alternatives to oil consumption, and I just believe this is not good for British Columbians," said  organizer Erika Tafel.

The Defend our Coast Day of Action brought out protesters in more than 60 communities in BC including Penticton, Kelowna, Kamloops and Shuswap. Recent polling data by Stratcom shows a majority of people in the province  are opposed to the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines.

The group in Osoyoos listened to informational speeches and carried signs that read "defend our coast," and "no tankers on BC coast."

At one point they were joined by Slater, who was non-committal according to Tafel.

"Everything was in good spirits, but we told him we had done our homework and he should have done his," she said."I believe he listened to us."

Slater could not be reached for comment later in the day.

The protesters also delivered a large postcard with signatures to the MLA's office, in the hope he would hang it there and be reminded of the thoughts of his constituents.

Participant Celia Newman said it was important to get the message across to Slater, because others in attendance are already on board with the cause.

"With a group like that you are preaching to the converted, so I hope we convinced him," she said.

Newman drove down from Oliver to the rally because saving the environment has long been a cause close to her heart.

I've been an environmentalist since I was 12, and I am convinced a pipeline would be a threat to all of the land it crosses and the seashore as well," she said.

Click the following links to view other protest stoories in the Okanagan:

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