By Cameron Orr, The Northern Sentinel, Kitimat, B.C.
Douglas Channel Watch will be hailing a victory after residents in Kitimat voted “No” in the community’s plebiscite.
The vote fulfills Kitimat Council’s promise to gauge community support for the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project.
Unofficial results show ‘Yes’ with 1,278 votes and ‘No’ with 1,793. The No vote wins with 58.4 per cent of ballots, Yes vote trails with 41.6 per cent. 3,071 votes were cast.
Councillors had at an earlier time committed to gauging support on the project as soon as the Joint Review Panel concluded their process and issued their report on the project.
The Joint Review Panel subsequently concluded in favour of Northern Gateway’s construction, save for 209 conditions that must be met.
It has been a fierce fight for public opinion. Signs have sprung up on roadsides and people’s lawns, either encouraging people to vote “no to Enbridge” or “yes to Kitimat.”
Both sides of the question launched websites, and began large advertising campaigns in local media.
For Douglas Channel Watch, a win meant sending a message to the federal government that such a project is not welcome in the Northwest.
For Enbridge, proving public support would have been a coup as the company seeks the general public’s favour in constructing their diluted bitumen pipeline from Alberta.