FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A group of 45 members will travel from Vancouver to make the trek up north to participate in the Paddle For The Peace.
The group is called “The rolling justice bus”. The group with people from Vancouver Island and the lower Mainland will leave Vancouver on Thursday, July 7th and travel by bus to Fort St. John.
The group says they are proud to participate in the event.
“The Rolling Justice Bus community is proud to be supporting this celebration of the beautiful Peace Valley and the mighty river that sustains it.”
The RJB is also a part of another group called KAIROS. Also known as Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.It is “a organization concerned that construction of the Site C dam will violate Indigenous peoples’ rights and exacerbate ecological damage caused by previous dams.”
KIROS is calling on the Site C project to be halted and no more permits be issued.
“Accordingly, KAIROS is calling for construction on Site C dam to be suspended; that no more permits be issued for Site C dam until the Indigenous peoples, whose lands and ways of life will be affected, are able to exercise their right to free, prior and informed consent, in keeping with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. KAIROS is also calling for a thorough, arms-length review by the BC Utilities Commission.”
Rolling Justice Bus spokesperson Janet Gray says this bus ride is extremely important, and also explains the meaning behind why it is called the “Awaken The Giant” Tour.
“We’re calling this journey to the Peace River the Awaken the Giant tour because we think that the people of BC haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening in the northern part of our province over the past decade or so. The rapid industrialization of the north- fracking, LNG projects, pipelines, Site C dam construction- all of these initiatives represent a way of thinking about development and resources that disconnect us from the earth and from each other. Aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities are being divided by what government and industry are doing and the rest of BC remains silent. We think this must change. This is not just a local issue. If Site C proceeds, the financial burden it will place on BC Hydro will be shared by everyone. The people of BC are like a sleeping giant. Once awakened- once more of us better appreciate what’s happening in the north and the consequences for the entire province- the giant will rise up and use its strength and clear vision to build a new kind of economy for BC.”