Friday, 27 July 2012

North Vancouver Eco/Social Justice Report

A new era has developed with the establishment of the North Vancouver Regional Council (all 5 Anglican Churches and Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran) – and a group with representatives from all these units has coalesced under the heading – Eco/Social Justice, and our first project has been to focus on the issue of Pipelines and Tankers.

Working together, the group put on a Public Discussion session on 11 July on Pipelines and Tankers and their impact on BC’s pristine wilderness and coast.  The speakers were Ben West, Communications Coordinator & Healthy Communities Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee (formerly known as the Western Wilderness Committee), Rafe Mair, former politician, talk show host and activist, and Reuben George, from the Tsleil Waututh First Nation.  The Rev. Laurel Dykstra, the Deanery’s new part-time curate, did an outstanding job facilitating what turned out to be a fairly contentious meeting. North Vancouver session was designed to build on the BC Bishops’ statement about the need for fairness in the review process for the Northern Gateway project, and on the motion passed by the May 2012 Synod of our Diocese opposing the Northern Gateway project.

Over 80 people attended this Public Discussion on a hot and lovely July evening.  Presentations focused on the significant risks and problems with the projects, and they were followed by spirited question and answer sessions with views on both sides being expressed.

As the session wrapped up, discussions focused on what individuals can do, and what kind of follow up sessions are being planned including:

  • Showing of the film “On the Line” by Frank Wolf – his 2010 journey by bike, on foot, raft and kayak from the Alberta Tar Sands along the route of the proposed pipeline to the tanker terminal at Kitimat.
  • A session with Economist Robyn Allan who has written commentary about the failure of the governments to act in the best interests of the province and the country.
  • Planning is starting for these sessions and information will be circulated.  Stay tuned.

Ben West with Audience

Ben West

Reuben George and Ben West

Laurel Dykstra, Event Facilitator and Regional Curate

Ben West and His Presentation

Rafe Mair

Reuben George - Tsleil0Waututh Nation

MP John Weston - West Vancouver Sea-to-sky

Eco/Social Justice group

Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles, Laurel Dykstra, Darlene Clarke, Chris Trendell, Penny Connell, Christine Rowe, Joanne Graham, Lynne McNaughton, Elizabeth Mathers, Gail Berger, Phil Sunderland, Marion Edwards, Alison Watt, Lynne Graham, Beth Graham, Jim Berger, Liz Young
With fabulous support before, during and after the event from:
Stephen Muir, Sean Faivre-Duboz, Tom Rowe, Peggy Trendell-Jensen among others.

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