FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Tofino – Since becoming Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has vacationed in Tofino for the past three summers. West-coasters are disappointed and upset with Trudeau for approving and spending billions of taxpayer dollars to buy the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline. The pipeline would increase oil tanker traffic on the west coast 700% and result in Canada failing global climate change reduction commitments.
“Trudeau talks about reconciliation and working together, yet he is trying to force a pipeline across unceded Indigenous territories,” said Deputy Chief Terry Dorward of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, within whose traditional territory Tofino resides and Trudeau was previously banned from. “Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations stand in solidarity with Indigenous Nations and their supporters against this tar sands pipeline and tanker expansion. An oil spill would cause catastrophic devastation to the coastal ecosystems which we are all apart of.”
Trudeau’s Trans Mountain pipeline still has no consent from entire Indigenous Nations, major municipalities including Vancouver, Burnaby, and Victoria, and the Government of British Columbia. With no treaties and no purchase of the unceded territories from the Indigenous Nations within B.C., Canada has no legal jurisdiction under International Law, including the Royal Proclamation, to approve or permit the pipeline.
“Trudeau is betraying the west coast. It really shows how arrogant and dysfunctional Justin’s thinking is that he is here vacationing in the very place his toxic agenda will destroy,” said Jeh Custerra, Campaigner for Friends of Clayoquot Sound who previously confronted Trudeau in Tofino. “From endangered orcas, rising seas, and drying salmon streams to dead ducks in toxic tailings ponds, forest fires, and cancerous contamination of lakes and rivers downstream of the tar sands, it’s up to us to change these realities. Unlike Trudeau, future generations won’t be able to take a vacation from the climate crisis and the corrupting influence of big oil.”
Will George, Tsleil Waututh Leader of the Kwekwecnewtxw Watch House on Burnaby Mountain, has traveled to Tofino to deliver a message to Trudeau.
“Trudeau needs to understand that ‘No’ means ‘No’! From establishing action camps to hanging off bridges, we will do whatever it takes to stop this dirty pipeline,” emphasized Will George, who suspended from the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in Vancouver earlier in July. “Now is a critical time, so I encourage everyone to join the movement to protect what the land, water, and climate. Bring your skill set and your family and friends.”
The “Protect What You Love Beach Rally: No Means No Crudeau” is taking place on Cox Bay in Tofino within unceded Tla-o-qui-aht territory. Everyone is invited to meet on the north side of the public beach just outside Trudeau’s taxpayer funded vacation rental at Pacific Sands on Tuesday, July 31 at 12pm.
Will George, Kwekwecnewtxw Watch House, Tsleil Waututh Leader: 604-506-8761
Terry Dorward, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, Deputy Chief: 250-725-3736
Jeh Custerra, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Campaigner: 250-725-4218 / 306-361-7855