Tofino businesses unite for Earth Day

Local shops are offering tours, selling microbrews, “surfing for salmon”, and serving up baked treats to defend the coast from Kinder Morgan.

Shelley Milne stands over a bag of dead seabirds she collected on Chesterman Beach after the Nestucca oil spill of 1989 hit Canadian shores. It was reported that, in the end, 56,000 seabirds died from the spill. (Leigh Hilbert / Submitted Photo)

In celebration of April 22’s Earth Day, six Tofino businesses are raising funds for an initiative called Pull Together.

Jamie’s Whaling Station, Remote Passages Marine Excursions, Clayoquot Wild, Tofino Brewing Co., Pacific Surf Co., and the Common Loaf Bake Shop are all donating a portion of their Earth Day sales to defend the coast from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project.

Pull Together provides financial support to First Nations legal cases involved with stopping Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline.

The same community fundraising strategy was applied to challenge the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, which was officially rejected by the Trudeau government in November.

Clayoquot Action campaigner Bonnie Glambeck said Pull Together is currently raising funds for the Tsleil-Waututh, Coldwater and Squamish First Nations.

“[Tsleil-Waututh] territory is in the Burrard Inlet, which is where the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline refinery is and where the new pipeline expansion and the tankers would come from.”

“The Coldwater band is located up along the Coquihalla sort of near Merritt. These are two Nations that are challenging Kinder Morgan in the courts right now,” said Glambeck.

She told the Westerly that if the pipeline gets built, the oil tanker traffic would increase sevenfold.

“Those tankers will be travelling only 50-km away from Long Beach. That increase in tanker traffic puts the whole West Coast at a very high risk of a major oil spill. That’s why Clayoquot Action is involved with trying to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline,” she said.

Climate change and oil spills are hot-button issues Glambeck feels all West Coasters should pay attention to.

“We really need to take a serious look at how we are going to stop the fossil fuel industry from building more infrastructure. That’s going to be one of the key ways we can help stop climate change.”

“In order to keep the Canadian commitments that were made in Paris, we cannot have anymore fossil fuel infrastructure built or have the industry expand. We need to start contracting and moving towards a green economy. Looking at more green ways of generating energy,” said Glambeck.

She encourages locals to support and promote the businesses that are raising funds for Pull Together. For more detailed information on what each business is contributing, visit: pull-together.ca/tofino-earth-week/.

As a bonus fundraising event for Pull Together and Earth Day celebration, Clayoquot Action is hosting a screening of the movie Planetary at the Clayoquot Community Theatre on Saturday evening. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 at the Common Loaf Bake Shop.