For the last six weeks, deep in the B.C. legislature, eight MLAs have been toiling away at trying to set spending limits for municipal parties and their candidates in 2018, as well as third parties. It's been an oddly quiet discussion, given that their recommendations might restore a modicum of faith in local democracy. Might.
To really understand what is going on on Burnaby Mountain over the past weeks and months it should be seen in the context of years of frustration for those of us on Canada's West Coast sick of the attempts by Enbridge and Kinder Morgan trying to push their dangerous pipelines across the mountain and rivers communities we live in.
When I heard about the protest on Burnaby Mountain, I decided to go up and lend support. During my first several visits there were no police in sight. That changed last Thursday when the RCMP moved in to enforce the injunction handed down by the B.C. Supreme Court. We've seen media photos and video of the physical conflicts that have sometimes developed, but those instances have been rare and it's important to keep them in perspective.
The current Burnaby Mountain demonstrations and civil disobedience over Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline expansion has developed into a perfect storm of activism. You have three powerful First Nations; you have location, your local politicians, academics, the young, the old, and David Suzuki and his grandson.
The way tensions between pipeline opponents and Kinder Morgan contractors have escalated during the last week should come as a surprise to no one. The mishandling of the National Energy Board review of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain oil pipeline and tanker proposal has created the conditions for the situation now unfolding on the mountainside.
What do you love about B.C.'s Fraser River, the Gulf Islands, and the Salish Sea? What are your concerns for the future of the Salish Sea region, the health of the B.C. economy and the impacts of climate change? The answers to these personal questions are fundamental to informing decisions about Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain expansion and are at the heart of "Directly Affected," a new documentary film produced by Vancouver filmmaker Zack Embree and Raincoast Conservation Foundation.