Weeks away from a decision from the federal government, more than 1,000 people turned up at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach Saturday to rally against the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline.
The rally was part of a national day of action against climate change, which prompted similar gatherings across Canada.
Some demonstrators hope that protests such as these will send a clear message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“We’re weeks away from a decision from Stephen Harper on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline,” said Ben West from Forest Ethics Advocacy.
“We’re still holding out hopes that he might do the right thing and listen to the people of B.C.”
Those who support the project were the minority at Saturday’s rally, but showed up as well to voice their opinions.
“Canada can develop the oil sands and ship it all over the world… keep the jobs here in Canada instead of having China and South Korea import from the Middle East,” said pipeline supporter Wyatt Webster.
Enbridge said in a written statement that they are committed to accessing new markets by building a “safer, better pipeline.”
“The National Energy Board’s independent Joint Review Process… ended with an endorsement that the Northern Gateway project is in the best interests of Canada and, subject to 209 conditions, can be built and operated safely,” Enbridge said in a statement.
But pipeline opponents disagree, saying if Harper approves the pipeline, they will do anything to stop it, including engaging in civil disobedience.
With files from Darlene Heidemann