Protesting Anticipated Approval of Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion

The ECOreport looks at reports of the thousands protesting anticipated approval of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion.

By Roy L Hales

screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3-43-47-pm1As decision time approaches, most of us know the government of Canada to enable the flow of more diluted bitumen through the most populated region of British Columbia. The cost, in terms of the Liberal party’s political future in this province, could be great. A recent Insights West poll found that 64% of the people who voted for them in the last election oppose the pipeline. One of their own MP’s made the public appeal, “I ask you to listen to the collective wisdom of British Columbians.” Thousands are protesting anticipated approval of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion.

Protesting Anticipated Approval of Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Expansion

Sign displayed in Vancouver - Courtesy the Wilderness Committee
Sign displayed in Vancouver – Courtesy the Wilderness Committee

Their voices have been raised in at least 48 communities.

Around 5,000 took to the streets in Vancouver , chanting “Hey Trudeau, KinderMorgan’s got to go!” as they march across the Cambie Street Bridge.

“This project is not in Vancouver, BC, or Canada’s interest.The environmental impacts of the pipeline expansion are severe. Not only in our local waters and the BC coast in the event of a catastrophic spill, but worldwide as the downstream climate impacts from this pipeline are ten times higher than those upstream in Alberta. Canada needs to cut climate pollution, not add to it, and Vancouver and Canada’s future is with 100% renewable energy,” wrote Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

cx-9ovaxuaixcoy-jpg-largeAbout 70 gathered at the Vernon Recreation Complex.  
“One oil spill will devastate our coast,” said former Kootenay Lake principal Sharon Farinha, one of the dozens of Nelson protesters.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps wrote the Prime Minister, “You can’t be a climate action leader and approve a new pipeline that will exponentially increase the number of tankers travelling through our waters.”

Edmonton and Calgary were among the communities holding candle light vigils.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs told Vancouver’s Metro News, “It’s not over with just Trudeau giving the green light to this project, people will continue to oppose and obstruct and protest.”

Tsleil-Waututh Nation Appeal In Ottawa

Kinder Morgan’s pipeline ends at Westridge marine terminal, in the traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

Candle light vigil in the San Juan Islands, which lies directlky in the tanker route - courtesy Friends of the San Juans
Candle light vigil in the San Juan Islands, which lies directlky in the tanker route – courtesy Friends of the San Juans

On Monday, Chief Maureen Thomas and Tsleil-Waututh First Nation Sacred Trust Initiative Manager Rueben George will make a personal appeal on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

“We continue to see our territory subject to encroachment and pollution. If the government decides to approve the pipeline without our consent, it will reopen many old wounds. Quite frankly, such action will irreparably harm our relationship for some time to come, possibly for generations,” said Chief Thomas, in a press release.

“This is about our survival. They seem to not understand that we meant it when we said the risk is too great to accept. I wanted to believe that the government would really listen, but they have not taken us seriously. We came to Ottawa to tell them one more time that we will not allow this pipeline to be built,” added Rueben George.

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