Enbridge ordered out of Old Massett

  • Mar. 16, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Enbridge officials were asked to leave the Old Massett Village Community Hall on Sunday by village councillors and others. Old Massett Chief Councillor John T. Jones said a miscommunication occurred and when councillors found out Enbridge officials were at the hall around 4 pm on March 13, they politely asked them to leave. A youth basketball practice was underway at the time. He said Old Massett did not invite Enbridge to the community, although he did recall the company asking to meet with his council. A quorum of councillors decided they did not wish to meet with them, he said.The Calgary-based company wants to build a pipeline between Alberta and Kitimat that would allow tar sands oil to be shipped out to China and other countries. The plan has met with opposition on Haida Gwaii because it would lead to hundreds of crude oil-carrying supertankers travelling through north coast waters. “Old Massett Village Council is not in support of Enbridge. I’ll be clear about that,” he said. The Enbridge officials offered to pay the $300 rent for the hall for the day and to pay for catering they had ordered from the Culinary Arts program. “We said, ‘no.’ We did not want to take any Enbridge money,” said Mr. Jones. The officials were also presented with a poster size picture of community leaders in front of a huge “We Say No to Enbridge” sign. The picture was taken in Kitimaat last year. Enbridge spokesperson Michele Perret said six or seven Enbridge officials came to the islands, including a biologist, engineer and others, to answer questions. She said their original plans had to be changed at the last minute and instead they held two meetings in Masset at two private facilities, Pearl’s Restaurant and Englehard’s Oceanview Lodge. Information about the meetings was dropped into community members’ mailboxes. Several members of the public say they did not receive these notices and called to let the Observer know that Enbridge was holding secret meetings on the islands. Three Enbridge officials met with Queen Charlotte council at 2 pm on March 14 in their chambers. Mayor Carol Kulesha said they were given a copy of the village’s resolution opposing the shipment of tar sands oil by pipeline across the northwest. She said the officials presented information and left some materials. Councillors Gladys Noddin, Kris Olsen and Greg Martin attended the meeting, along with chief administrative officer Bill Beamish and student Staas Guujaaw. Mayor Kulesha said the plans were made at too late a date to inform more members of the public.

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