First Nations plan Edmonton protest Wednesday against proposed Enbridge pipeline

 By Elise Stolte, May 2, 2012

EDMONTON – A First Nations “freedom train” protesting the planned pipeline through B.C. will stop Wednesday in Edmonton, as demonstrators march to the beat of 40 drums from the Alberta legislature to the Enbridge offices on Jasper Avenue.

The group of 60 First Nations representatives are travelling from B.C. to Toronto in time for the Enbridge shareholders’ meeting, stopping in Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg to hold rallies and build alliances with like-minded supporters.

“It’s not just a First Nations issue,” said Geraldine Thomas Flurer, co-ordinator for the Yinka Dene Alliance, which covers 25 per cent of the proposed pipeline route through the B.C. interior.

It’s an issue of clean water, she said. “We know it’s a guarantee. Wherever you have oil pipelines, there is going to be a leak. It’s going to get into the water.

“Enbridge takes very little responsibility for the cleanup. If you knew that your tax dollars were going to clear up their mess, I don’t think Canadians would agree to that.”

Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Edmonton to Kitimat, B.C., is currently in the midst of a federal regulatory review. If approved, it would cross about 1,000 waterways and is bitterly opposed by B.C.’s First Nations and environmentalists. Opponents fear Ottawa’s recently proposed changes to the Fisheries Act will lessen oversight and make projects such as Northern Gateway easier to approve.

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