Referendum on Enbridge in the works

  • Jun. 20, 2014 3:00 p.m.

A BC organization is spearheading a campaign and collecting signatures in an effort to have people in the province vote for or against the Northern Gateway pipeline, despite the federal decision.The Dogwood Initiative has the support of the Coastal First Nations, Unifor, West Coast Environmental Law, Douglas Channel Watch, and One Cowichan. The groups intend to build democratic resistance to the pipeline using a citizens’ initiative, a tactic that successfully overturned the HST in 2010.”Our provincial government has the power to approve or deny dozens of permits required for pipeline and oil tanker expansion. That choice is up to us, the citizens of British Columbia,” the Victoria-based Dogwood Initiative says.In order for the initiative to qualify, it needs to collect signatures from 10 percent of registered voters in each of BC’s 85 ridings within 90 days. That amounts to 320,000 signatures that can be verified by a chief electoral officer.According to Lyndsey Easton, Dogwood Initiative communications coordinator, it had collected 156,000 signatures as of June 17.Even if there are enough signatures, the bill will have to proceed like any other legislation, with MLAs voting for or against it.It hopes the signatures and hopefully a subsequent referendum will send provincial legislature a clear message of what citizens want (or don’t want) from the Northern Gateway pipeline.

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