The Sound of Silence: First Nations Release Oil Spill Commercial Reminding British Columbians of Dangers and Costs of Oil Tankers

Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:00pm EDT

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Coastal First Nations

March 24, 2013 - 04:00:00 PM

The Sound of Silence: First Nations Release Oil Spill Commercial Reminding
British Columbians of Dangers and Costs of Oil Tankers

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 24, 2013) - The Coastal First
Nations today released a television commercial reminding British Columbians of
the dangers and costs of bringing oil tankers to BC's pristine coastal waters.

See the commercial on YouTube:

"We thought it was appropriate to release the commercial on the 24th
anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska," said Art Sterritt,
Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations. "The Coastal First Nations
have banned oil tankers from our traditional territories in the Great Bear
Rainforest, and we have invested more than $300 million dollars over the past
decade to establish a sustainable economy on the coast."

The two-minute commercial, which is airing on television stations in Northern
BC, as well as social media, was given a helping hand by iconic
singer-songwriter, Paul Simon, of the duo "Simon & Garfunkel," whose label
granted the music license for a small honorarium. 

"It's an honour to use Paul Simon's famous song, The Sound of Silence, to help
remind British Columbians of the danger of oil tankers," said Sterritt. "An
oil spill is the sound of silence. It silences communities, it silences
cultures and it silences wildlife. That's what we'll have in BC if Enbridge's
Northern Gateway Pipeline project is approved: A silent coast." 

The commercial opens with the original audio recording of the Exxon Valdez
Captain's radio call to Coast Guard. As the song gains momentum, British
Columbians are reminded that they are not alone in their opposition to oil
tankers (80% of British Columbians support banning oil tankers in coastal
waters), and that an oil spill off BC's coast would cost billions in clean up
costs and lost economic opportunities. 

"A lot of people don't realize that taxpayers will be left paying upwards of
$21.4 billion dollars if there's a spill," said Sterritt. "Each tanker is
owned and operated by a small holding company to limit financial liability.
Taxpayers are left holding the bag, and our communities are left with a
permanently polluted environment." 

The ad ends with a simple message: "Don't be silent. Vote for an oil-free

Art Sterritt
Executive Director, Coastal First Nations

Bessie Brown
Communications Coordinator, Coastal First Nations