Dozens of Hollywood Celebrities Join Indigenous Leaders in Calling on Big Banks to Stop Funding the Coastal GasLink Pipeline in British Columbia
Actors Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio are among the celebrities who have signed on for the No more dirty banks countryside.
They are supporting Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and other leaders who are calling on the Royal Bank of Canada to withdraw its support for the northern BC pipeline.
According to to the organizationRBC has invested more than $160 billion since 2015 to fund oil sands, fossil fuel extraction and transportation.
RBC is also the primary financier of Coastal GasLink, the campaign says.
“With RBC as the financial lead, the controversial Coastal Gas Link project showed a flagrant disregard for the Wet’suwet’en people, the will of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the sovereignty recognized by the Supreme Court. of Canada on the Wet’suwet’en. “suwet’en territory,” reads the description on the website.
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The campaign is calling on RBC to withdraw its support for the Coastal GasLink project, especially since its company, City National Bank, has close relationships with many Hollywood celebrities and businesses.
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“We have a responsibility to each other,” Ruffalo said at a press conference on Wednesday. “And it’s time for the right people and the privileged, like us, to do the right thing. To make other, good people, uncomfortable. This is the only way to break this system of racism and evil.”
A court-ordered injunction was granted in December 2019 to stop opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline from obstructing the company’s operations, but since then a blockade has been put in place – intermittently – to stop its construction .
If built, the 670-kilometre pipeline would transport natural gas from northeast British Columbia to a liquefied natural gas facility on the Kitimat coast, where it would be exported to world markets.
The elected council of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and others nearby agreed to the project, but others opposed it.
The project is authorized by Canadian law, but does not have the blessing of the hereditary chiefs of the Wetsuwet’en nation, whose unceded territory it crosses. Concerned about the well-being of ecosystems and sovereignty over their lands, the chiefs declared the pipeline to be “illegal” according to their laws – the only ones they recognize in their territory.
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When asked why celebrities were involved, Ruffalo said it was because they had a platform and a voice and for some reason “people listen to us.”
“We have this privilege and we have to use it for the right thing. None of this matters if our children can’t drink the water, they can’t breathe the air, they can’t get out, the world is burning around them. None of this means anything anymore. We become insensitive to this madness in which we live.
Global News has contacted RBC for comment.
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