Surreal Enbridge political campaign underway to sway Kitimat to “vote yes” to oil pipeline
With a deeply unpopular $6.5 billion Northern Gateway project at risk, Enbridge is betting heavily on ads and a door-to-door corporate campaign to sway residents in a small northern coastal B.C. community to “vote yes” for its oil sands pipeline project.
“It’s mind boggling how they’re pouring so much into [the Enbridge campaign]… trying to influence a plebiscite here in little Kitimat on the north coast of B.C.,” said Murray Minchin of Douglas Channel Watch.
The pipeline would terminate in this community, gushing half a million barrels of Alberta bitumen per day, onto 220 super tankers per year bound for Asia.
The company’s blue and white “vote yes” political signs are up, local TV and radio and newspaper ads have been bought, and doors are being knocked on by corporate canvassers.
“It’s very much feels like a municipal election and everybody has the right to do what they want to promote their cause,” said Kitimat’s Mayor Joanne Monaghan on Monday.
But surreal though it may seem, there are no political parties in this electoral race. On one side, there’s Enbridge, financed by oil sands developers and Chinese-state oil giants Sinopec and Nexen. And on the other side, there’s thinly-budgeted-volunteer groups, meeting in living rooms to strategize and make road signs.
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