Trudeau interrupted by pipeline protesters: ‘It is going to poison our water’

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Protesters confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday at the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver, criticizing the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline – Nov 15, 2017

Justin Trudeau was politely interrupted by a couple of young activists who were challenging him on why he approved the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.

Trudeau was speaking in Vancouver on Wednesday at the 2017 United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference, when a woman stood up, interrupting the questions from the media.

READ MORE: Few new details on Canada’s fresh approach to peacekeeping

“We are here as youth who are scared for our future because of climate change,” the Hayley Zacks said.

Twenty-year-old Zacks, and 24-year-old Jake Hubley stood with signs protesting the pipeline and said they took exception to Trudeau’s choice to approve Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline – adding that it went against his promises in the 2015 election.

Zacks said later in an interview with The Canadian Press that she and Hubley were questioned by police after the demonstration. They said they claimed to be freelance journalists to receive passes to the press conference.

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“We voted for you in our first election, and we were so excited for you to be prime minister based on your comments of real action on climate change and reconciliation. But then you went and approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline,” Zacks said.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline lawsuit dropped as non-profit group fears it can’t afford legal challenge

She went on to extol the negatives of the pipeline before she and Hubley were asked to leave by security.

“In Paris, you promised us a 2-degree future, and then you went and approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The Kinder Morgan pipeline is going to increase emissions from the tar sands, it is going to poison our water, our land and everything we hold dear.”

The two left without any complaint.

One of two protesters opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion who interrupted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s news conference is escorted out by a member of the security detail during the 2017 United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

As they were walked out, Trudeau politely thanked them for their comments but didn’t respond to their concerns.

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“Thank you for your questions, for your activism, keep up the activism, please, it’s great to see young people stepping forward and sharing their concerns and views. We certainly take those very seriously,” he said.

Trudeau’s election promises on pipelines

Throughout the 2015 election campaign, Trudeau had championed the environment, promised to work with First Nations communities and revamp the review process for energy projects.

When Trudeau approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline in 2016, he also approved Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline.

Those approvals provoked cries of betrayal, dishonesty and political pandering from environmental groups across the country and opposition MPs in Ottawa, given some promises he’s made.

FACT CHECK: Did Justin Trudeau break his word by approving pipelines?

At the same time, he killed the Northern Gateway pipeline, which fulfilled his concrete promises on not disturbing the Great Bear Rainforest, and called for a moratorium on oil tankers on B.C.’s coast.

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*with files from Global News’ Amy Minsky and The Canadian Press 

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