Boundary residents added their voice to Defend Our Coast rally last week

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
October 30th, 2012

Boundary residents were among the thousands of voices raised province-wide in protest of the proposed pipeline, Wednesday, Oct 24.

About 5,000 people in 70 locations across the province, staged protests in front of their MLAs offices to show their opposition to the proposed expansion of tar sands pipelines across our province to waiting oil tankers on our coast. Demonstrators linked arms to symbolize BC’s “unbroken wall of opposition” and to demand that MLA’s commit to banning oil tanker expansion.

About 40 people from 14 years-old to senior-aged gathered in front of Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater’s constituency office in Osoyoos that day including Erika Tafel of Rock Creek.

“When asked about his position on the pipeline, (John) Slater deferred, making a statement saying he didn’t have enough information to take an informed stance,” said Tafel in an email to the Boundary Sentinel when reflecting on how the protest went.

 “The mood of the crowd was calm and the crowd joked that they had done their homework on the potential risk to BC and they wonder why Mr. Slater hadn’t. The crowd also delivered a poster-sized postcard to Mr. Slater with the views of those present on it to help remind him in the coming weeks what the Boundary-Similkameen thinks of pipelines and tankers off the coast of BC.”

Christina Lake resident stands alone for what she believes

Rosemary Phillips is so strongly against the proposed pipeline and the recent negotiations with China under the Canada’s Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPA) that she was willing to stand alone at the intersection of Highway 3 and Santa Rosa Road in Christina Lake to wave her hand and placards at those passing by.

“By standing here it gets people off guard by waving at them and looking them in the eyes,” said Phillips, while waving enthusiastically at the vehicles going by. “If one person takes action from this then I have accomplished something.”

With her placards lining the side of the road and the one waving in her hand, Phillips got both supportive honks and threatening shouts from the vehicles passing her during her two hour protest, Wednesday, Oct. 24.

She said protesting alone is harder because you lack the energy from other like-minded protestors.  

“It’s a different feeling,” she said.

However, that didn’t put her off from taking a stand. To prove her point, she also refused to drive to her protest location. Instead she walked to conserve burning fuel, the same oil product that would be traveling down the pipeline, should the deal go through.

When asked if she felt protesting works, Phillips adamantly says yes.

About 30 years ago she was involved in a protest against rezoning in her then Ontario community. The protest changed the decision of local politicians and saved the community’s unique character.

For more information about the Defend Our Coast movement visit www.defendourcoast.ca

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