Today wasn’t just another rainy Monday. Ecojustice staffers from our Vancouver office joined hundreds of concerned Canadians today to rally against mega-pipeline projects that — if approved — will introduce high volumes of tanker traffic along British Columbia’s pristine west coast.

A welcome change from sitting behind desks, we were privileged to stand in solidarity with the hundreds of people who came out to stand up against pipeline projects and tanker traffic in B.C. Bill McKibben (350.org), Ta’Kaiya Blainey (Sliammon First Nation) and Art Sterritt (Coastal First Nations) were among the many featured speakers.

Close to our hearts is the beautiful wilderness that surrounds us, but closer still is our esteemed friend and long-time environmentalist, Doug Chapman, whose legacy inspired our presence at today’s rally.

Doug is one of Canada’s original environmental crusaders, and a recent appointee to Ecojustice’s honourary board of directors, which includes Canadian icons like Dr. David Suzuki and author Margaret Atwood.

Doug — who worked at Ecojustice in its early years — was the first Canadian prosecutor to convince a court to impose a jail sentence on the owner of a corporation that broke environmental laws (George Crowe of Blackbird Holdings, 1990). He was also was responsible for the largest fine ever levied against a Canadian municipality for an environmental crime.

The result of Doug’s tireless work, which spans several decades, is a legacy that compels greater accountability on the part of government and industry. He is a role model who is an inspiration to both grizzled and budding defenders of the environment. Though Doug could not be with us today in person, we know he was with us in spirit.

At today’s rally, a simple yet resounding theme emerged – no.

No more oilsands expansion, no tankers and no pipelines.

We have been busy preparing to represent our clients at joint review panel hearings on the Northern Gateway pipeline, but I’m glad we had the chance today to get out and connect with other concerned Canadians and send a clear message: Tanker traffic on our coast is unsafe, unsustainable and unnecessary.

Today, and always: “Doug says NO to tankers and so do WE!”

By Hilary Miller