I would like to express my gratitude to the community members, Burke Mountain Naturalists and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation for bringing the What's at Stake event to our community. The sold out event left me feeling both inspired and emotional.
The first film, Reflections, conveys the expedition of 50 amazing B.C. artists to the location of Enbridge's proposed tanker route on the B.C. coast. Each exquisite art piece served as a reminder about how precious and irreplaceable our coast line is. The woman sitting beside me was moved to tears, and while I don't normally like to see others cry, I felt relief knowing that I was sitting beside someone who cares as deeply as I do about the beauty of our coast and the need to protect it.
So just what is at stake? Too much for me to write in this letter, so I will focus on the wildlife.
The truth is that the way policies are written in Canada, nobody actually has to clean up the wildlife that have been affected by an oil spill. Although some companies have provided money for oiled wildlife response, they are not regulated to do so and I think the public would be disgusted to learn how often wildlife are left to die with no care after an oil spill.
Even with care, the stress alone on an oiled animal is so high, it can lead to death. Not to mention the countless number of wildlife, particularly waterfowl, that are too hard to catch and end up dying of hypothermia because their oiled feathers are no longer waterproof.
As if crude oil wasn't bad enough, bitumen, which is being increasingly transported through the pipelines, actually burns the skin and so a much higher degree of skill, care and expense is involved in wildlife rehabilitation.
With already more than 75 spills recorded with the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline alone, what do we expect will happen when they nearly triple the amount of oil already being transported through yet another pipeline? I believe that there is no amount of profit that is worth the risk of destroying such an already valuable region.
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