First Nations women at Hartley Bay, on the central coast are planning a symbolic blockade of tankers that would use Douglas Channel.

They will stretch a crocheted “chain of hope” more than 3.5 kilometers across the mouth of the bay on Friday to show opposition to the tankers and to oil spills in coastal waters.

Grand Chief Stewart Philip who heads up the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs says high profile supporters of the project, who have added their support to an advertisement promoting the pipeline, are ignoring those who will suffer “when” not “if” something goes wrong.

“You don’t see those same interest investing in social issues or social programs with respect to pipeline ruptures or tanker spills along the coast that would absolutely obliterate and represent a catastrophic damage to businesses in mainstream tourism and commercial fishing,” Philips said.   

Meantime, the Dogwood Initiative, a B.C. non-profit organization is working on a provincial referendum, hoping it will lead to something similar to the 2011 vote that led to the demise of B.C.’s 12 per cent Harmonized Sales Tax.

Tomorrow is the deadline for the Harper government to approve or reject the proposed 731 mile twin pipeline, about 55 per cent of it projected to run through B.C.

In this area the route, as currently proposed, would be south of Grande Prairie and Tumbler Ridge, with cross-border connection points at Fox Creek and Bear Lake.