Joint Review Panel Community Hearings in Smithers
May 9, 2012
We held a noon-hour rally in support of the 130 people giving oral statements over the next five days. The rally started with songs from the local Raging Grannies, followed by short speeches from the Wet’suwet’en, Town of Smithers, MLA Doug Donaldson, and a high school delegation. There was also a presentation from the Wet’suwet’en to the Smithers Mayor acknowledging that we are working on this issue together. The crowd was a mix of all ages with a good contingent of both elementary and high school students with signs they had made. Following the rally we marched to the hearing venue and observed the start of the hearings.
During an entire week oral statements, the large meeting room was filled with observers. Those, who could not be in the room, listened via live web-cast. The oral presentations were thoughtful, moving, and at times funny. The presenters were overwhelmingly and passionately opposed to a pipeline coming through the region. A quote from one of the presenters sums it up:
“The reasons for this opposition have been eloquently and repeatedly stated through these hearings, and will, if this process is not hijacked, continue to be expressed by scientists, business people, farmers, educators, working people, mothers, fathers, grandparents, in short, Canadian citizens hoping that this review is a fair process and that good sense, good evidence and the true value of this land, these communities and, most importantly, these waters, rivers, lakes and ocean will prevail.”
– Richard Jenne
Follow this link for Friends of Wild Salmon’s film excerpts from the community hearings:http://friendsofwildsalmon.ca/pipeline_blog/smithers_jrp_community_hearings_film
Follow this link to the JRP website for full transcripts: http://gatewaypanel.review-examen.gc.ca/clf-nsi/prtcptngprcss/hrng-eng.html