Cover image for youtube video on the Great Bear Rainforest

Spoil this?: Enbridge, oil and the Great Bear Rainforest.

Since the Queen of the North sank on the central coast of BC in March of 2006, people have been nervous.  It was an avoidable accident caused by human error. Remarkably, just two people died. The rest were lucky that the people of Hartley Bay were there to save them.

The ship’s massive hulk is now 1500 feet underwater, still leaking diesel into coastal waters. With that tragedy fresh in people’s mind, the looming threat of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline Project has people on edge.

The proposed pipeline would bring dirty oil from Alberta’s tar sands, to Kittimat where it would be pumped onto large oil tankers that would thread through the archipelago of BC’s Great Bear Rainforest – one of the most spectacular ecosystems anywhere.

Staggeringly, these tankers house two million barrels of oil each, which is ten times the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. The navigational hazards for such colossal ships on this stretch of coast are formidable. Even more frightening when one considers that the Queen of the North and the Exon Valdez both went down while making comparatively easy navigational manoevers.

Accidents will happen. And the consequences of a big spill here have unimaginable consequences for coastal ecosystems and people. That is why First Nations and conservationists are vehemently opposing the Northern Gateway project, even while our government and Enbridge are moving forward with this plan.

If you haven’t visited the central coast (and odds are you haven’t – it isn’t easy to get to), then this 40 minute film will give you a taste of the magic of the place and get you up to speed on these issues.

The stories and images in the film are breathtaking. The threats it revels are real, but the film has a hopeful message. The pipeline has not been built, the Great Bear is still oil free, and we have a chance to keep it that way.


Higher quality viewing available here on the website of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

For more on this story, and some gorgeous photos, check out the July 2011 issue of National Geographic.

4 thoughts on “Spoil this?: Enbridge, oil and the Great Bear Rainforest.”

  1. Heather Sapergia


    FYI. I’m a registered speaker at the Enbridge hearing in Prince George on Jan 18. My intention, in my 10 minutes alloted time, is to speak about the irreversible environmental damage that will occur if the pipeline is allowed to proceed.


  2. This is one of the most amazing videos I have eer seen – and kudos to all those who took the time and made the effort to film it – it is uplifting and amazing to see this part of Canada but heartbreaking to think about what could happen if the pipeline goes through. I will pass this onto all my friends and acquaintances in the hope that they will do the same and that people will rally and bring about that People Power which we know can work if enough commit. Surely we can’t let this happen.

  3. Carl G Couchman

    This cannot be allowed. The diversity of nature must be left unblemished. It is time for the people to unite as one and stop the corporations in there tracks. We need to put aside our differences and become one. One voice will not be heard, but many will roar. Many drops of water become an ocean a force that cannot be stopped by any means. This is disgusting. And I am ashamed. We will be the ones who will pay the ultimate price, we already are, but to blind to look around and see it. It seems to me the more mistakes that are made the more it is ok to go ahead and make more. Why isnt this front page news? Why isnt this headline news? I guess the Superbowl or Justin Bieber is more important coupled with sales at Wal-Mart saturate the brains prioritys. Remember people. We have the power and aslong as they keep us divided they will always get there way. Harper you disgust me. You are a virus, and we the people are the cure.

  4. This is amazing everyone should watch this, I have never before seen a white bear. The animals and people in this video are very spiritual and rear and it would be a shame if it was to be destroyed. If the goverment is allowed to pass this and the oil tankers are allowed to go through there we are just asking for another BP disaster to happen all over again lets start standing up for what is right and safe for our enivronment not to mention all the animals that would die as well. Its simple just say NO.

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