On the Line

 An eco-adventure documentary like no other. Follow Frank Wolf and Todd McGowan on a 2,400 km journey by foot, bike, raft and kayak as they seek to uncover the truth about a proposed 5.5 billion dollar oil pipeline.
 
In honour of Earth Day yesterday, Whistler Watch, Whistler Earthsave and I teamed up to screen the documentary film On The Line. Cliff Jennings kindly offered his home as a venue, which was soon filled with people bearing delicious vegan dishes. On offer was lasagna, Mexican 3 layer dip, salads of kale and broccoli, pizza, and an assortment of dips. Dessert was an extravagant affair of chocolate (carob) chip cookies that I made, mini cupcakes, and a banana cream layer cake covered in fruit that well took the cake. Visit Earthsave’s website: http://earthsavewhistler.com/ for photos!
 
After feasting, we soon settled into the impromptu movie theatre to watch the film, shot by Frank Wolf about his journey across BC with his friend Todd McGowan, following the precise route proposed by Enbridge for the Northern Gateway pipeline. They trekked, biked and kayaked, and interviewed people along the way to get their perspectives on the pipeline. Not surprisingly, the few supporters of the project that they spoke to lived in Alberta, primarily those that worked in the oil patch. Many Albertans conveyed that oil and gas is so ingrained in their economy that another pipeline is no big deal. Others, conveyed that they wanted the tar sands development to slow down, at least until solutions are found for potential problems like leaks. BC residents interviewed largely expressed grave concern for their livelihoods (related to commercial fishing) if the pipeline were to ever leak. Many stated that the risks just weren’t worth the few economic gains that their community would accrue with a pipeline. 
 
The countryside that they hiked through, especially as they approached the Coast Mountains was as wild and pristine as it comes. They followed ancient moose trails and swam in crystal clear streams while ascending some steep terrain. Weather socked them in a few times on their trip- meaning there was little to no visibility- and it became apparent that running a pipeline through this area, let alone finding a leak and fixing it, would pose considerable challenges. A leak would certainly go unnoticed until it was affecting people quite a ways down stream, so the damage would already be done. 
 
To my surprise and delight, a tree planting buddy, Rebecca Reeves, was interviewed in the film!  She was the only Albertan they interviewed with a strong voice against the project- ya Reba!! Her parents have a farm that they will most likely sell because of the proximity to the tar sands development. 
 
At the end of the evening, Sara Jennings had us draw the Earth Day commitments we had written on a scrap piece of paper. I had written “Buy Less Stuff” and drew “Visit the David Suzuki website.” Very cool idea- thanks Sara!  
 
Hoping to screen this film again soon, to an even bigger audience. Any suggestions on an inexpensive venue?