Valley Organizing Targets Passed In Time For National Day Of Action On Climate
(Cowichan Valley; May 10, 2014) The local citizens group One Cowichan has signed up 233 people and created 16 neighbourhood teams ready to wage a HST-style citizens’ initiative to deny Enbridge provincial permits for its proposed bitumen pipeline from the tar sands to the BC coast.
This milestone has been reached in time for today’s national day of action on climate change, with gatherings taking place across the country, including one in Cowichan Station.
“Ten weeks ago we set a target of signing up 200 people, and Cowichan residents have answered the call,” said Matt Price with One Cowichan. “These are committed, compassionate citizens who care about impacts on our marine environment, on climate change, on Canada's long-term economy, on First Nations rights, and on their children and grandchildren's quality of life. Many Cowichan residents believe we need to stop building pipelines and choose clean energy instead, and they are mobilizing to do just that.”
The federal decision on Enbridge is expected before the end of June. If the federal government approves the pipeline, there will still be dozens of provincial permits needed to construct it. That permitting process could be subject to BC’s unique initiative and recall legislation that allows citizens to write and propose laws. Groups like the Victoria-based Dogwood Initiative have been organizing in ridings across BC to lay the foundation for a possible citizens’ initiative, and One Cowichan has agreed to take on the two local ridings.
If an initiative happens, citizens will have 90 days to collect at least 10% of registered voters’ signatures in each provincial riding. “That’s about 4,000 signatures per riding,” said Price. “But to be safe we’ve set a target of 6,000 per riding, which is why hundreds of volunteers will be needed – to hit that target in the time period. We’re ready.”
For more information call Matt Price at 250-709-0171
The Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Coast event will take place 1-4pm on May 10 at the HUB in Cowichan Station. At 2pm people will form into a giant word that will be photographed and sent to Enbridge. Then, Masimba Marimba will play, because nobody wants to join the army of the glum.
The event has purchased a community carbon credit from the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Coop (CBDC), a community owned and operated organization dedicated to the production and use of local biofuels as a means of promoting environmental sustainability and stimulating the local economy. CB-DC provides a high-quality product for its approximately 170 consumers by recycling waste cooking oil from restaurants on Vancouver Island. This waste cooking oil is recycled and turned into biodiesel at the Bing’s Creek facility and distributed through a card-lock pump. More information about CB-DC can be found at www.smellbetter.org.