The self-proclaimed “geezer gang

Kootenay to Kitimat caravan hits the road

Caravan will deliver a proclamation of solidarity with the people on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline route.

The Kootenay to Kitimat Caravan set off on its 1,600 kilometre drive to northern BC on Monday to show opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

With stops in cities along the way — including Castlegar, Grand Forks, Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George and Williams Lake — the four men travelling in the caravan are collecting signatures on a proclamation of solidarity with people who live on the proposed pipeline route.

Already hundreds have signed the proclamation in Nelson and made donations to support the caravan trip.

“There were many people who couldn’t come to Kitimat with us but wanted to help anyway they could,” said caravan organizer Keith Wiley.

He jokingly refers to his fellow caravaners as the “geezer gang,” four grey haired men in matching t-shirts bearing the message, “No pipeline. No tankers. No problem.”

At the official send-off for the caravan in Nelson, about 30 people gathered at City Hall to wish them well, including local politicians from all levels of government.

Among them was Nelson councillor Candace Batycki who last week brought forward a successful motion for council to officially oppose the pipeline and support the caravan on behalf of residents.

“I’m proud to live in a city that understands the importance to standing up to support other municipal governments and First Nations governments,” Batycki said.

“Enbridge might have the millions and millions of dollars to buy a bunch of slick TV adds, but we have the power of the people and the love of the land and the love of the sea, and love beats greed every time.”

NDP Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko said the caravan will find lots of support throughout BC.

“It’s not just radicals that oppose this pipeline, it’s people from all political stripes,” he said, recalling the presentations he heard when he attended the joint review panel hearing for the pipeline. “I’ve seen everyone from grandmothers to young people giving emotional presentations against the project.”

He said there’s not much he can do federally to stop the project, with the Conservative majority government in favour of the pipeline. But he suggested the province could stop it from coming into BC.

Nelson-Creston NDP MLA Michelle Mungall agreed.

“We [NDP MLAs] are going to do whatever it takes to stop the pipeline. If it means standing at the Alberta border and saying ‘you’re not crossing,’ we’re prepared to do that,” she said.

More likely the NDP would fight the pipeline in court. Mungall said her party is already planning legal action if the pipeline is approved.

But Wiley and the rest of the caravan hope it won’t come to that. He hopes with enough opposition, the proposal will be denied.

“I think the massive opposition to this Enbridge project is a turning point,” Wiley said. “It is when Canadians say, ‘no, we don’t want more big industrial fossil fuel projects … we want a new healthy path and economy that serves life and nature, not profit and consumerism.”

For updates from the Kootenay to Kitimat Caravan, search Facebook for “Kootenays for a Pipeline-Free BC.”

Just Posted

Kootenay Lake’s first marine waste pump-out opens

Sewage facility is located at the Prestige marina

1919: Nelson doctor drowns in Kootenay Lake saving child

And other news from a century ago in the Nelson Daily News

Lily Taylor, Levi Taylor win medals at Ogopogo Open

The local weightlifters were among seven Nelson athletes competing at the event

CHECK THIS OUT: Read B.C.! A roundup of books about our fair province

The Nelson Library’s Anne DeGrace gives us a B.C. Day book list

Nelson Leafs trade goalie Hunter Young to Rockies

Nelson will have an all-new duo between the pipes next season

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read