I’m excited to be heading to the Enbridge AGM in Calgary on May 8 on behalf of West Coast. I’ll be accompanying a diverse group of concerned community members from the BC North Coast and from Alberta, including commercial fishers, farmers, youth and representatives of the Wet’suwet’en Tsayu (Beaver) and Laksilyu (Small Frog) Clans, as well as members of environmental NGOs and organized labour. The message we will deliver to the new CEO Al Monaco and the Enbridge Board is that they need an exit strategy: the Northern Gateway project is not going to be built, and hanging on will generate more liability for shareholders and investors. Click here to read bios of the people in our delegation.
The BC and Alberta delegation to the Enbridge AGM includes:
Kandace is a resident and landowner from Fort St James, BC, which is the oldest established community in British Columbia. Kandace’s rural residential neighbourhood is in the direct line of sight of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, with the proposed local pump station location less than 800 metres from her home. Kandace is a farmer, manager of the local Farmers’ Market, and an active community volunteer. For the past two and a half years, she has been active in the Joint Review Panel as a member of the Fort St James Sustainability Group, which has intervenor status. She recently declined an all-expenses paid invitation from Enbridge to tour of one of their spill sites in the US in order to bring her message to the Enbridge annual shareholders meeting this year.
Don has been the Western Region Administrative Vice-President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union for the past seven years. CEP represents some 35,000 members employed in oil and gas extraction, transportation, refining, and conversion in the petrochemical and plastics sectors, and 120,000 members in total. Prior to his current role, Don worked in a pulp mill in Hinton, Alberta for 23 years, where he served as the President of the CEP mill workers union for 12 years. He has also owned restaurants in Hinton and Jasper.
Luanne is a longtime north coast resident, commercial fisher, T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation Energy Campaigner, Marine Director of Prince Rupert Environmental Society and their Save our Skeena Salmon campaigns and editor of The Salmon Recipes. She has a passion for high quality seafood and the coastal ecology and smallscale fishing culture that produces it. She will remind Enbridge shareholders that the amount of wild capture fish and shellfish produced in BC, just in the area the size of the Valdez spill, is a significant portion of the world supply. Her key questions for Enbridge CEO Al Monaco: In the advent of an oil spill, where can humankind find an alternative? How will we replace that supply of fish and shellfish when it is contaminated?
Gerald has been campaigning for the health of northern ecosystems for 30 years. Gerald is currently the Director of Community Relations for the Headwaters Initiative in northwestern BC, as well as a founder and current board member of Friends of Wild Salmon. Gerald has served on the First Nations Summit Executive, as a speaker for the Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, and President of the Coastal First Nations. He was the elected chief of the Haisla First Nation for 12 years.
Trevor is a 20-year old youth from Terrace of both Aboriginal and Asian descent. He is a member of the Small Frog Clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation of northern BC and a public speaker on topics ranging from overcoming addiction and depression to loss of family and cultural reconnection. He is also an award-winning creative writer.
John Ridsdale (Chief Na’Moks)
Chief Na’Moks lives in Tse Kya (Hagwilget) and works in Office of the Wet’suwet’en’s Natural Resources Department in Smithers as Resource Referral Coordinator. He is a member of the Tsayu Clan, House of Tsa K’ex Yex. He carries the Hereditary Chief name of Na’Moks, Chief of the Tsayu (Beaver) Clan, and with it the responsibility to ensure that the land is taken care of in a manner that is consistent with the Wet’suwet’en values and traditions. He also sits on the Wet’suwet’en Unlocking Aboriginal Justice Advisory Board, Child Welfare Advisory Board and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en Executive Committee.
Karen Tam Wu
Karen is the Director of Programs at ForestEthics Advocacy, where she has worked since 2006. As Senior Conservation Campaigner, Karen successfully led the campaign to convince Shell to relinquish its rights to drill for gas in BC’s Sacred Headwaters to victory. As ForestEthics' Forestry Advisor to the Coast Campaign from 2006-2009, Karen’s work with forest companies resulted in FSC-certification of nearly one million hectares of forest in the Great Bear Rainforest. Karen is a Registered Professional Forester in British Columbia.
Brenda is a staff lawyer at West Coast Environmental Law, where she works primarily on West Coast’s pipelines and tankers campaign. One of Canada’s oldest environmental law organizations, West Coast Environmental Law has provided legal support to British Columbians to ensure their voices are heard on important environmental issues and worked to secure strong environmental laws for almost 40 years. Brenda previously practiced Aboriginal law in Vancouver and worked for almost a decade with Indigenous groups from Myanmar advocating on environmental and human rights issues.
Maryam Adrangi has been working with the Council of Canadians since 2009 and is the Climate Justice and Energy Campaigner in Vancouver. For close to 30 years, the Council of Canadians has brought Canadians together to act for social, economic and environmental justice in Canada and around the world. Prior to her work with the Council of Canadians, Maryam worked in Toronto with the Rainforest Action Network and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, engaging young people in issues around climate change such as the oil and gas industry, carbon markets, and international climate negotiations.
Be sure to check back for updates and a first-hand account of confronting Enbridge at their AGM!
By Brenda Belak, Staff Lawyer