Enbridge pipeline opposition grows in Maple Ridge

Letter-writing campaign begins, workshop offered at library in Maple Ridge

The Raging Grannies lead the Congaline Not Pipeline.

The Raging Grannies lead the Congaline Not Pipeline.

Maple Ridge resident Bob Goos wants his fellow citizens to have their voices heard as the federal Ministry of Environment’s joint review panel considers the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

Goos and the Fraser Valley Pipeline Watch Group are organizing a letter-writing campaign and will be providing assistance at the Maple Ridge Public Library on Thursday, Aug. 23, (6:30 p.m.) to those interested in writing the panel.

“This is intended to enable people to exercise their democratic rights,” said Goos.

Despite the geographic distance between Maple Ridge and the proposed pipeline, Goos believes there would be environmental, economic and social impacts to this community.

Increased tanker traffic on the North Coast could result in a potentially devastating oil spill, and B.C. taxpayers would be on the hook for clean up costs.

“It’s not a matter of if a spill will occur, it’s when,” said Goos.

Goos say jobs in fishing and tourism will be at risk should a spill occur.

“In my mind, the trade-off isn’t worth it,” he said.

“There’s not enough of a benefit for Canada and B.C.”

“We’re hoping to encourage everyone to write their own letters in their own words, it’s more effective than a form letter,” Goos said.

“If someone wanted to show up and write in favour of the project, they would be welcome too.”

• To raise awareness about the Enbridge pipeline, the local  chapter of the Fraser Valley Pipeline Watch Group has also organized an online campaign called Conga Line, Not Pipeline: congalinenotpipeline@gmail.com

More than 70 people have taken part by recording themselves doing the conga and posting the videos online.

• The letter-writing meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 23, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Alouette Room of the Maple Ridge Public Library.