The North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA), an organization representing 40 plus Municipal, District and Regional government bodies gathered in Prince Rupert,for their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 12th and 13th, 2011. On Thursday, May 12, a gathering of approximately 1000 protesters marched on the convention center. They spent time chanting “We Say No To Enbridge Oil” at the front doors. They drummed and sang songs, then marched around to the front of the complex where NCLGA members were watching from balconies overhead. More protesters were gathered in boats on the water out front in the Prince Rupert Harbour. This is a video compilation of the protest rally against Enbridge at Prince Rupert, BC.
The NCLGA hired an Enbridge PR spokesman, Kevin Brown, to moderate the entire AGM. Enbridge was a Platinum sponsor for the convention.
Exactly 34 years earlier, on May 13, 1977, the same group, then called the North Coast Municipal Association, accepted $25,000 towards the hosting of their AGM from the Kitimat Pipeline Consortium. Kitimat was the host community and these monies went towards the funding of a cruise ship for the convention which sailed up Douglas Channel from Kitimat, on the proposed tanker route.
Towards the end of Douglas Channel nearer towards Bella Bella, they were met by a flotilla of protest boats who requested they stop and talk. The captain of the Princess Patricia, an Alaskan Cruise ship, refused and in fact increased the speed of the vessel running over one of the protest boats.
In 1977, a Queen Charlotte Regional District director considered the acceptance of the $25,000, a bribe. Once again, the Mayor of the host community in 2011, Prince Rupert’s Jack Mussallem, refused to consider this a bribe and attempted to minimize the impact of Enbridge’s PR spokesperson moderating the convention or Enbridge's financial contribution. Mussallem downplayed the significance of accepting money from a proponent and considered the previous episode, the running over of a protest vessel and the Kitimat Pipeline bribe 34 years earlier unrelated stating people have changed. Read more here. terracedaily.ca/cgi-bin/show_articles.cgi?ID=6200&TOPIC=0
Mussallem acknowledged the NCLGA hired the main PR spokesman for Enbridge, Kevin Brown, to be the MC and moderate the convention, stating Brown has his own communications company.