EDITORIAL: Protest raises doubts

Approximately 3,000 people were in Victoria Monday for the Defend Our Coast protest – a far cry from what organizers anticipated ...

If the number of people sitting on the steps of B.C.’s legislature or pounding signs into the lawn in protest of oil tankers on our coast and pipelines crossing the province is any indication, one has to ask just how many British Columbians are actually against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project?

Approximately 3,000 people were in Victoria Monday for the Defend Our Coast protest – a far cry from what organizers anticipated to be the largest act of civil disobedience on the oil sands issue in Canada.

Disobedience included staking a 235-metre black banner (the length of a super tanker) across the legislature’s lawn. While protesters were prepared to go to jail for the cause, Victoria Police simply watched the banner – and the event – unfurl.

If the media coverage and politicking by B.C. Premier Christy Clark and NDP leader Adrian Dix is to be believed, opposition to the oil issue has blanketed the province, with tens of thousands of residents fearing for the pristine coastline and super natural forests and valleys.

If so, where were all these opponents when the chance to voice an opinion and hopefully make a difference presented itself?

Could it be a good number of residents see the project as a good thing for the province? Do they see jobs for B.C. residents? Or tax dollars generated to pay for the services needed in Canada?

Or perhaps the majority considers the projects a done deal and all the posturing is nothing more than a bunch of rhetoric – and that the oil will flow because the powers-that-be want it and to hell with the desires of the people and the future of the environment.

Or even worse, they don’t care. It wouldn’t be the first time apathy raised its ugly head in British Columbia.