What do you love about the Fraser River, the Gulf Islands, and the Salish Sea? What are your concerns for the future of our region, the health of our economy or the impacts of climate change? Personal questions to you are not the norm from us, but the answers are fundamental to informing decisions about where and how we live in this region for decades to come. These issues are at the heart of our new film, Directly Affected.
In January 2014, the National Energy Board (NEB) opened applications for public participation in their review of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain Expansion. However, participation was not encouraged. Applicants had to prove they were “directly affected” or demonstrate relevant knowledge and expertise of the issues. Discussion of climate change and the upstream impacts of tar sands development were strictly off limits. While Raincoast supported local communities, individuals, and groups with the application procedure, thousands still felt excluded from the NEB’s process and the impending decision that will directly affect them.
In these community meetings and conversations we witnessed the frustrations of citizens being shut out, but this was outweighed by an inspiring diversity of people motivated to stand up for their communities, lands, and waters – their home. Hearing, witnessing, and sharing these frustrations gave us an idea – why not ask people how they are directly affected, without any restrictions, and give the conversation back to the public?
Last May, our initial documentary pitch for Directly Affected won seed funding from Telus in competition with over 70 other film projects. We now want to share the film with you and ask a question – how are you directly affected by Kinder Morgan’s proposal?
Raincoast’s upcoming film premieres in Vancouver and Victoria are the start of this outreach initiative. We plan to run additional community screenings in the lower mainland and the Gulf Islands, have a dedicated website to host the movie, and provide a forum for people to share their views. Our goal is to raise $2,500 to help fund this important work and every donation gets us closer.
Your support today is an investment in the future of the Salish Sea.
This is your story, please help us tell it.
For the coast,
Misty MacDuffee and Ross Dixon