People protested by land and sea in Burnaby today as part of a global demonstration against pipeline projects.
“It’s part of a global wave of action called Break Free from Fossil Fuels, where people around the world are taking non-violent direct action to confront the fossil fuel action directly, said Cam Fenton, an organizer with 350.org.
The main focus of local demonstrators was the proposed TransMountain pipeline expansion, creating a flotilla in Burrard Inlet and marching to the gates of Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.
“I’m convinced that they’re going to approve it, so it’s up to us who are opposed to this pipeline and everybody here to send a message loud and clear to Justin Trudeau that we don’t like it,” said Kennedy Stewart, Burnaby South NDP MLA.
“There’s no economics to support this project, there’s also no climate justification for this climate, it’s not acceptable to the people of British Columbia, it’s not acceptable to First Nations people,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.
“If Justin Trudeau meant his campaign commitment, they has to say no.”
The proposed expansion would see more storage tanks, new berths and and a pipeline capacity increase from about 300,000 barrels a day to almost 900,000.
“We have ongoing engagement with First Nations community, and in fact the majority of First Nations along the pipeline route have exprsed their support for the project,” said Ali Hounsell, a Kinder Morgan spokeswoman.
“But there are always some who don’t agree, but whether you agree with us or don’t agree with us, we’re always willing to sit down and have a conversation.”
The National Energy Board will deliver its final recommendation on the Transmountain Expansion by May 20. Following that ruling, the Federal government will issue its final say on the project by December 20 – but there are also plans for several more reviews of the pipeline expansion before anything is locked in.
– With files from Jill Bennett