Several hundred concerned citizens, First Nations and conservationists gathered recently in Burnaby to speak out against KinderMorgan's plans to pipe 700,000 barrels a day of Tar Sands bitumen to supertankers in Vancouver's harbour. The rally - co-organized by the Council of Canadians, Wilderness Committee, Tanker Free BC, Streams of Justice and StopThePave.org - was held in solidarity with mass protests in the United Sates over another proposed pipeline from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Featuring Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler and 10-year old First Nations singer-songwriter Ta'Kaiya Blaney. (4 min)
Photos and full text at:
The Common Sense Canadian - by Damien Gillis
A leaked report shows the BC government was advised by its own archeologists that the planned South Fraser Perimeter Road would trash 8,000-10,000 year old indigenous burial grounds and artifacts. Now a lawsuit led by First Nations threatens to derail the truck highway over clearly violated heritage laws. But this issue is only one of the many insults of the project - from its severe impacts on the environment, farmland and public health, to sweetheart land deals for pals of the Liberals.
Highway will pave over history: lawsuit
Date: Tuesday Jul. 19, 2011
Opponents are hoping to stop the multi-billion dollar Gateway Project in its tracks with a lawsuit claiming a key part of the transportation project runs through First Nations burial grounds.
The proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road would be an 80 km/hr 4-lane highway running adjacent to the Fraser River from Delta to Surrey, but artifacts and burial sites dating back 10,000 years lie along the banks of the Fraser River.
Lawyer Jay Straith obtained a leaked B.C. government report with a warning from its own archaeologists that say the planned route would disturb First Nations artifacts and grave sites along the river.
"If this was going through a Christian graveyard, a Jewish graveyard, an Islamic graveyard, all hell would be breaking loose. It's going through a First Nations graveyard that goes back thousands of years, and they seem to say, 'It's not an issue.'"Read more
Liberals' heritage assurances fall flat
Surrey Now July 19, 2011
Re: "Historic cannery coming down," the Now, July 12.
In a report to Delta council (April 2, 2007) the B.C. Liberal government said the design of the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) had "been refined to mitigate access impacts to heritage properties." One year later, then minister of transportation Kevin Falcon guaranteed heritage preservation, "I know we've identified some heritage assets - like heritage houses, etc. - where we're going to make sure that they've got appropriate access, etc. We'll continue to do that as we go forward." (Hansard: Ministry of Transportation Estimates, PM Session, April 14, 2008). Within four months that promise was broken.
According to the B.C. Liberal government's own Heritage Impact Study (August 2008), the rationale to destroy the oldest cannery south of the Fraser River was based on a lack of access to it because of the SFPR.
Interesting reasoning: we didn't kill heritage, but only access to it. The government continues to fabricate its ill-thought-out Gateway Project plans with typical B.C. Liberal double-speak.
For a freeway, now with traffic lights along the way, costs have more than tripled. Whole neighbourhoods, environmentally-sensitive foreshores and ravines, bogs, riparian habitat, heritage and archeological protected areas and farmland have been nuked, and for what - a multi-billion dollar piece of concrete that will dump more traffic onto the already bumperto-bumper Delta roads and the Alex Fraser Bridge.
After B.C. Liberal government assurances that they would not sell off BC Rail, that the HST was not even on their radar, the deficit would be "$495 million maximum" and that Delta would continue to have access to its heritage sites, is it no wonder why the people of Delta and B.C. cannot trust the Liberal government.
Guy Gentner, MLA Delta North
© Copyright (c) Surrey Now
These photos taken on Sunday July 17 show the historic Glenrose Cannery, on the Fraser River in North Delta, after one week of demolishion by the Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. This vandalism is part of preparations for building the controversial South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) freeway, part of the Gateway freeway expansion program. The cannery opened in 1896 as a fishers cooperative and was the last working cannery in the Lower Mainland. It is the last remaining cannery on the Delta side of the Fraser River.
"The Glenrose Cannery is an important part of Delta and BC’s history, and should be preserved as such,” said Richelle Giberson, a North Delta resident. “But even more important is the 9000 year old archaeology site on which the Cannery stands. This site is so significant that archaeologists recommended protecting it under the Heritage Conservation Act. Instead, it looks as though the BC government would rather destroy the site to build a new highway for shipping goods to Walmarts across North America.”
In May, Bertha Williams of the Tsawwassen Band, Coast Salish Nation and William Burnstick, of the Cree Sioux First nations, launched a lawsuit to stop construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road through the area which contains many ancient human remains. Williams and Burnstick claim the road will cause irreparable damage to sacred grounds including undisturbed deposits dating back 9,000 years, as well as threatening the salmon First Nations people still depend on.
“This is the destruction of our past and future, and has to be stopped” said Burnstick. “A society that paves over its history and pollutes the planet has no future.”
Find out more, and get involved, at www.StopThePave.org
Historic cannery demolished in North Delta
By Ben Christopher July 12, 2011
A 115 year old fishing cannery is currently being demolished by Port Metro Vancouver.
While Port Metro Vancouver claims the Glenrose Cannery must be taken down due to concerns over safety and looting, some activists and local residents see it as a concession to a major highway construction project.Read more
Heritage sites thought to be buried by blacktop
In the latest chapter of the on-going fight to stop the South Fraser Perimeter Road, opponents of the project are now saying several heritage sites will be destroyed in the process.
Richelle Giberson with Join the Wave Against the Pave says despite an apparent heritage assessment done by the Province, Delta's Glenrose Cannery and the ancient burial ground it sits on will be demolished, "There were others that were affected by the road but they were supposed to save them and I noticed on Delta's website last month that gateway actually had applied for a demolition permit for the cannery, which wasn't supposed to be demolished, because it wasn't in the way of the road."
Giberson says the cannery was first built in 1896, with the First Nations burial grounds dating back thousands of years.
July 11, 2011
Glenrose Cannery demolition draws ire
Rich archeological finds in area
By MICHAEL MUI, 24 HOURS
Lower Mainland residents are fighting an uphill battle to stop the province from demolishing what many consider a heritage and archeological site in Delta.
Glenrose Cannery’s demolition began last week to make way for the South Fraser Perimeter Road. The site sits on an archeological site containing artifacts and human remains dating back 9,000 years.
This comes barely a week after provincial Auditor General John Doyle released a report condemning Victoria’s approach to building the throughway.
“Information currently being provided to the public is not sufficient to ensure accountability,” he said. “The (provincial) Environmental Assessment Office cannot assure British Columbians that mitigation efforts are having the intended effects.”
To date, two civil lawsuits have been filed against the government: one claiming the demolition will disturb ancient burial grounds; the other saying it will destabilize a local bog adjacent to the cannery.
Lawyer Jay Straith is representing William Burnstick and the Burns Bog Conservation Society. He cited a 2006 provincial report that highlighted archeological and environmental concerns, and included information on burial grounds.
Straith said Burnstick, a Cree Sioux member, is suing because the province ignored that report and continued building.
“There are a lot of aboriginal remains in the areas they’re going in,” Straith said.
He added original estimates for developing the Burns Bog area were “woefully” wrong and construction companies will have to dig 30 to 50 per cent deeper to place foundation, threatening to dry out large areas of the bog.
Opponents of the freeway are concerned not only about the loss of the cannery itself but also what impact its demolition might have on an important Coast Salish archaeological site nearby.
The Glenrose Cannery, at 10453 River Rd., was built in 1896. Back then, it was called the Fraser River Industrial Cannery, and was a co-operative partly owned by fishermen before it underwent voluntary liquidation five years later and was reopened as the Glenrose Cannery in 1909.