rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Why I will be in Victoria on October 22 to 'Defend Our Coast'

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

On October 22nd I will be in Victoria to join the many others who, like me, envision a different future than that which the Harper government has set out. We see a world with clean rivers and streams for fishing and drinking, clean air we can breathe, and land protected from industrial clearcuts in the name of pipelines and fossil fuels. We envision a world with lively, sustainable, and healthy communities that we can protect, free from corporate influence.

First Nations communities along the pipeline routes, along B.C.'s coast, and in the tar sands have been taking action and showing leadership to protect their communities and coastlines. But no matter how loudly they say "no" their message is falling on deaf ears. That's how we know it's time to act.

Last year in Ottawa, I was arrested on Parliament Hill along with hundreds of others speaking out against tar sands and pipeline projects that would threaten both people and the planet. The energy was inspiring and phenomenal. No matter how afraid or nervous we all may have been, we were supportive of each other and we took action together. This year, we are showing that we are not going away. We are showing that there is a critical mass willing to do what it takes to stop these pipelines.

And we know we may be in it for a while. The fight against the Keystone XL has been a long one -- from petitions and phone-in actions to getting arrested at the White House, the world has watched as public opposition gains force. Now we are watching the brave activists in Texas who have been locking themselves to machinery and climbing trees to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. They are stopping this pipeline at the point of destruction.

Here in B.C., members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation have already built a cabin in the direct route of two pipeline proposals, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and the Pacific Trails Pipeline.

I am truly inspired by these acts, and they make me hopeful for a better future. I have four grandchildren whom I love more than life itself and want to grow up in a safe and healthy world. I am doing this for them and for the next generations. I want a future where they can drink the water and they can breathe the air. I want a future without subsidies and tax breaks for oil and gas companies and polluters. I want a future in which public funds are going into education and health care. But creating this future can’t start tomorrow. Creating this future has already begun, and we need to keep going.

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline would transport over one million barrels per day through B.C. This would have devastating effects if either of them goes through -- which of course they won't.

Additionally, the day after we take action on October 22nd, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) will be attending a constitutional hearing about a Shell Tar Sands Mining expansion proposal that would severely impact their community. The ACFN says that neither the company nor the government has respected their treaty rights. We cannot accept that theses powers consider themselves above the law when their actions undermine communities’ sovereignty and well-being.

I am grateful to be joining all the brave people who will be in Victoria on October 22nd to collectively take action against the tar sands and pipelines and to stand up for environmental justice. I will not be risking arrest this time, but the experience of being arrested last year still resonates with me.

As some are prepared to risk arrest on October 22nd, we will be there to support them. Demonstrating that we can take care of each other, cultivate community, and stand in solidarity for environmental justice is merely one more way for us to counter the negligent behaviours of corporations and governments and show that there is a better way forward.

Not only are we showing our people power to say what we do not want, we are coming together to show what we do want. We want people from all ages and all walks of life to come together and recognize that we will not back down.

And we will win.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.