Will You Help Us Chart Our Course?

By Ben

What do you think, does negative campaigning work? Is a positive approach better? This is one of the fundamental questions often debated when it comes to campaign strategy.

I was contemplating the implications of these questions while standing in line to get a coffee at one of my favourite local shops when I noticed that they had a funny tip jar competition, and it gave me an idea. There were two cups and a sign asking you to vote with your tips on who would win in a “dance off”: Ellen Degeneres or Conan O’Brien. It made me smile and motivated me to leave a tip (in case you are wondering, I picked Ellen).

While waiting for that morning coffee, I had been trying to decide what to emphasize in my first fundraising appeal email on behalf of Tanker Free BC, the one you are reading right now. Inspired by the creative tip jar, I decided to let you decide through your donations what we should emphasize. Fun right?


When you donate today you will help us chart our course for 2015. We’ve got a busy year ahead! Should we focus more on the anti-Harper campaign or the climate solutions approach? You can help us decide.

As the new Executive Director of Tanker Free BC I couldn’t be more excited about what we have planned. We are rolling out two new major campaigns this year: ‘Goodbye Stephen Harper’ and ‘Beyond Fossil Fuels.’ We need your support, but we also would love your advice.

The question is where should Tanker Free BC focus its resources in 2015? We are going to work on both campaigns, but the amount of support we get from you for each campaign will determine our capacity for the work involved.

Here’s some more information about our plans to help you decide what to support.

Goodbye Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper

Working in coordination with environmental groups and other progressive organizations across Canada we will work hard to educate the public about Stephen Harper’s appalling record on everything from the muzzling of scientists and the gutting of environmental regulations to the stripping of the National Energy Board’s public consultation process and obstruction of international climate negotiations. We see the Harper government as a fundamental threat to democracy in Canada and to our role in the international community. There is no question that currently our country is on the wrong side of history as we deal with the destabilization of the planet’s climate, the issue which will ultimately define our generation.

We intend to help defeat Stephen Harper in the 2015 election by supporting community organizing, door to door canvassing, town hall meetings as well as ongoing media commentary and analysis. We will particularly focus on communities along the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker shipping routes. Close races in BC could make the difference in what is expected to be a razor close election. Support for our work in these areas could make all the difference.

Beyond Fossil Fuels


Clearly it’s time to say goodbye to the Harper government, but we also know simply changing Prime Ministers is not going to be good enough if we are going to truly face the challenges before us related to proposed pipelines and climate change.

Furthermore, saying “No” to project proposals that take us in the wrong direction is important, of course, but when you are going the wrong way you don’t just have to slow down, you need to turn around and go another direction.

We will fight infrastructure with infrastructure to counter the claims that the environmental movement is “anti-everything”. We want to ensure that the projects proposed are responsible for the local environment, and empowering for local communities.

We will be organizing support for the BC Transit Referendum and the Fraser Valley interurban passenger rail project because they are opportunities to not only reduce greenhouse gases but also to create good jobs we can all be proud of. We will also be working with allies to facilitate bringing online new renewable energy projects along the Kinder Morgan pipeline route to help demonstrate the viability of alternative technology. It’s so important that these projects are done right. We work closely with First Nations and community members to help provide a model of what meaningful public consultation and community empowerment looks like.

Of course if you want to support all of our work you can still do so via Credit Card, PayPal, Bitcoin, or by mailing a cheque. All the information is on our donation page here. Please let me know what you think of our new campaigns.

Thank you so much for all your kind support,


Ben West, Executive Director

Tanker Free BC

Stop Harper or Go Beyond

Which issue is more important to address in the near term?
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