The Pandemic and the Pipeline

Coastal Gas Link’s ongoing construction is putting entire communities at risk! 

(see the article here about COVID-19 and the Keystone XL pipeline contruction.)

Please sign and share this petition to shut down man camps throughout the province that are endangering entire northern communities with the spread of COVID-19

Respectindigenoushealthactionnetwork

While people are warned to remain at home and take precautions due to COVID 19, the oil and gas industry is continuing work along pipeline routes, and industry is pushing forward with mega-projects across Canada.

Workers on these projects are living in man camps by the hundreds in tight quarters, sharing meals and housing, and are unable to quarantine, increasing the risk posed to both communities and workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected at least 590,000 people and claimed tens of thousands of lives — and yet politicians and fossil fuel CEOs are continuing to put thousands of workers, and people in the northern and rural communities they are working in, at severe risk for oil and gas profits.

We say no more. This is atrocious. Canada needs to respect Indigenous health. 

Use your voice now and rise up in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, communities in Fort St John impacted by Site C construction, and Tiny House Warriors along the Trans Mountain pipeline route, as well as all communities impacted by man camps on their territories. Sign the letter demanding that Canadian politicians and companies stop this immense risk to public health.

The Tiny House Warriors in Secwepmec territories are calling for an end to construction and man camps by TransMountain.

And the Union of BC Indian Chiefs sent an open letter demanding that “immediate action be taken to compel BC Hydro to halt all construction at Site C Dam due to the risk COVID-19 now poses to vulnerable workers and nearby Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in northeast B.C.”

Join these powerful warriors and add to the pressure. Call for a halt to all construction in Wet’suwet’en territories, in Secwepmec territories, and at the Site C Dam immediately, in order to protect vulnerable communities and workers immediately.

Tell Justin Trudeau, Adrian Dix and John Horgan to stop all construction on Coastal GasLink, Site C, and Trans Mountain now!


OPEN LETTER: Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project Must be Halted Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Honourable John Horgan
Premier of Executive Council

Honourable Adrian Dix
Minster of Health

OPEN LETTER: Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project Must be Halted Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Hajdu, Premier Horgan, and Minister Dix,

We urge you to act swiftly to protect the public’s health from the heightened risks of COVID-19 transmission posed by ongoing construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. Most vulnerable to the spread will be frontline healthcare workers, project workers, and local Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities forced to shoulder the consequences for any disregard for health and safety.

Directed by Resolution 2019-07, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs has called on Canada and B.C. to honour Wet’suwet’en Title and Rights that have never been extinguished and are confirmed by the S.C.C. in Delgamuukw. Under the standards enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, legislated in BC and affirmed by Canada, free, prior, and informed consent of proper Title and Rights holders impacted must be achieved before any approval of any project affecting their land, territories, and other resources.

The risks posed by continued work on the Coastal GasLink project are ones that were not consented to, and ones that leaders and officials raised warnings about in advance of the project’s approval. Although B.C. is in a State of Emergency, Coastal GasLink days ago announced the successful completion of their winter construction. The B.C. Government has enabled this with overbroad classifications of “essential services” that allow the work to continue. In 2014, while project applications were under review, Northern Health officials flagged that the region’s primary care resources for resident populations were at capacity, and they had concerns about the pressure that project workers could put on the healthcare system.

At time of writing, Northern Health region has the fewest confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province. As Coastal GasLink continues their spring work, the “critical activities” they are undertaking include pipe delivery and stockpiling, in addition to site preparation and maintenance. With the urgency to move materials comes the associated movement of people and spillover risks to every person and community they interact with delivering supplies to the project. Corporate exceptionalism cannot become a pandemic response strategy for the Governments of B.C. and Canada.

B.C. and Canadian health officials have urged the public to stay home. The expansion of economic enterprises cannot be considered essential when it directly endangers the health and wellbeing of every one of us. The threat is too great to Northern communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, whose access to healthcare and necessary resources for containing COVID-19 are already limited. We urge you to tell Coastal GasLink to stay home.

On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip       
President

Chief Don Tom 
Vice-President                

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson
Secretary-Treasurer                   

Download PDF


ARTICLES TO SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR NETWORKS

The Pipeline and the Pandemic: “It’s the biggest risk we’ve got right now”  -The Tyee

Former Chief Medical Officer Urges BC to shut down Industrial Work Camps During Corona Virus Pandemic    -The Narwal


UBCIC Open Letter to halt Coastal Gas Link construction

Onward!
-Unist’ot’en Solidarity Brigade

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This entry was posted in Indigenous, Uncategorized, Unist'ot'en, Wet’suwet’en. Bookmark the permalink.

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