Trouble in the Peace

4 09 2010

B.C. Peace River

I came up to BC’s beautiful Peace region last week with a plan to follow my trapper friend Carl on his Tumbler Ridger trapline, and get him talking about the confluence between natural habitat and industries like coal mining, oil and gas.

I filmed him last in November 2008. While he comes across excellently on screen, and he’s the most articulate conversationalist I could hope to find – ever – the footage was not as professional as I would like.

So I came up again with the idea of re-shooting… But Carl had other ideas in mind.

He got me talking to a few people in the local community about their battles with gas companies and the rampant disrespect with which they’ve been treated. From the first story, my mouth fell open and I listened, aghast, thinking, “how could this happen in CANADA?”

This is a battle for land of epic proportions, and it’s being fought over some of BC’s most fertile farmland, next to it’s most untouched wilderness. The stakes are huge. The health risks are unimaginable. And the oil and gas companies do not play fair.

I won’t go into details now because I’m still at the research stage and will need to consult with Charlotte as to whether we will go ahead with this as a possible. But suffice to say: I’m hooked.

This 1-minute trailer “Trouble in the Peace” sheds a bit of light on what I’ve been uncovering over the last few days. It’s for a documentary in the works about the area by Julian Pinder and Six Island Productions. Pinder is a little more sensationalist than I would be, but he gets the point across that there’s a battle in this region, and it ain’t pretty.

It also tells me I’m not the only one interested in this story. However, there’s more than enough drama and high stakes for seven documentaries to be made.

The Peace may never be quiet for me again.

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