A big THANK YOU!

Ecojustice is looking forward to the challenges — like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project — the new year has in store, but first I wanted to say thank you to everyone who made 2011 one of our best years ever.

Our year-end online fundraising drive was a big success, thanks to your support. We asked you to help us raise $28,000 for our work to protect the killer whales — and we were overwhelmed by your  positive response.

During the month of December, you helped us raise $65,250. Even more exciting is the fact that we received contributions from many first-time donors! This news is incredibly encouraging and motivates us to continue battling to protect the environment all Canadians rely on. Thank you.

Setting the record straight

With public hearings into Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project scheduled to start this week, the oil industry has changed tactics from arguing about the need for the project to attempting to discredit Canadian environmental groups, including Ecojustice.

What is the Northern Gateway pipeline? It’s a 1,150 kilometre pipeline that will pump some of the w rld’s dirtiest oil — a tar-like goo called bitumen — from Alberta’s tar sands to British Columbia’s north coast where waiting tankers will transport the “black gold” to Asia.

The pipeline would put hundreds of salmon-bearing rivers, lakes and streams located along its route at risk. Furthermore, the project would result in oil tanker traffic along the B.C. coast, increasing the chances of a serious oil spill, like Alaska’s disastrous Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. A spill of similar scope would devastate our ecosystems, like the pristine, fragile marine habitat we have worked so hard to protect for B.C.’s endangered killer whales.

Why are we being attacked?

One theme seems to be that since Ecojustice accepts donations from outside Canada, and because we’ve used such funding to protect the environment from the negative impacts of industrial activity, we’re being controlled by foreign interests.

The facts

Ecojustice is a professional organization. Our lawyers choose cases based on four strategic priorities: fighting global warming, protecting clean water, conserving natural spaces, and promoting healthy communities. Funders don’t determine our legal and scientific priorities.

About 90 per cent of our funding comes from Canadians, but we welcome, and continue to welcome, support from any individual or group that chooses to align with our organizational goal of using the law to restore and protect the environment.

Why the Northern Gateway project?

Recent attacks have attempted to characterize our role as legal counsel for other environmental groups in the Northern Gateway pipeline hearings as proof that we work against Canadian interests.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Ecojustice fights for all Canadians and the healthy environment we need to survive. This means having fresh water to drink, clean air to breathe, and thriving lands to live on. To suggest otherwise is an insult to the Canadians who work at Ecojustice and the thousands of Canadian citizens, like you, who support our work.

Our reason for participating in the Northern Gateway pipeline hearings is simple: We believe that the Northern Gateway pipeline is unsustainable, unsafe and unnecessary.

It might create jobs in the short-term or temporarily boost our economy, but it will also increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, feed the world’s addiction to fossil fuels and further fuel unsustainable tar sands development.

Thanks to your support, we enter 2012 with the confidence and resources to fight this battle and many others that need a strong voice for the environment — and Canadians.