VANCOUVER – A British Columbia First Nation hopes selfies and social media will add clout to its battle against the planned expansion of an oil pipeline.
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation has erected a billboard near downtown Vancouver that proclaims “I’m Another Voter Against the Pipeline.”
It invites supporters to take a selfie in front of the board and post it online as voters in British Columbia get ready to head to the polls on May 9.
Tsleil-Waututh spokeswoman Charlene Aleck says posters with the same message have been sent around the province and a bus shelter version of the billboard is set up in north Burnaby.
She says the selfie campaign is a unique way to harness the power of social media and illustrates the extent of opposition to Kinder Morgan’s expansion plans for its Trans Mountain pipeline.
Kinder Morgan plans to triple the capacity of its 1,150-kilometre pipeline running from Alberta to a terminal in Burnaby.
The $6.8-billion expansion will dramatically increase the number of oil tankers moving through Burrard Inlet and Georgia Strait, raising concerns of the Tsleil-Waututh, whose lands border those waterways.
“This campaign gives everyone the ability to make it clear that we all have a right to care and a right to be heard,” says Aleck.
“Social media makes it easy for us to remind our friends and neighbours that we can make a difference on May 9th.”
Selfies taken using the new billboard campaign can be viewed on the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Facebook page.