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HEU and CUPE-BC members and leaders joined a diverse coalition of approximately 5,000 people in a one-day action in Victoria, BC on October 22 to Defend Our Coast. HEU President Ken Robinson was among the prominent political leadership taking part in the march to the grounds of the British Columbia legislature. The group delivered a clear message to the BC and federal governments that the west coast is not for sale and will not become a transportation corridor for tar sands oil. 

Defend the Coast calls for a full stop to the proposed pipeline through the BC interior and to oil tanker shipping off the shores and through the environmentally sensitive islands off the BC coast. The movement urges all citizens to push to defend the beautiful west coast, respect First Nation rights, steer the Canadian economy away from the toxic greenhouse-gas-polluting tar sands industry, and work to forge a green and sustainable future for all.

The day of action was endorsed by a wide range of high profile Canadians, including Stephen Lewis, David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, Naomi Klein, and Jackie Thomas, the Chief of Saik’uz First Nation.

HEU President Robinson said the day was a success: “It is heartening to see citizens come together from labour groups, environmental organizations, First Nations communities and others to call for a new direction for Canada that rejects Harper’s plan and calls, instead, for a sustainable path that will keep our communities, our coastlines and our country clean and green.”