B.C. Green’s Weaver ‘very worried’ about civil disobedience after pipeline approval

People are frustrated and feel they aren’t being listened to over Trans Mountain concerns
WATCH ABOVE: B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver tells Mercedes Stephenson he understands if there is civil disobedience by opponents of the Trans Canada pipeline expansion project, and says the decision will cost the Liberals at the ballot box this fall.

B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says he is “very worried” about the potential for civil disobedience in light of the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The controversial pipeline, which will triple the amount of tanker traffic in the waters around B.C.’s Lower Mainland, was approved by the Liberals last week after a Federal Court judge blocked it from going forward in the fall of 2018.

That decision prompted a fresh marine impact assessment by the National Energy Board as well as renewed consultations with 117 Indigenous communities along the pipeline route from Alberta’s Fort McMurray to Burnaby, B.C.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets green light to proceed

And while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed construction will resume this year, Weaver suggested he would not be surprised to see pipeline opponents take matters into their own hands to try to stop it moving forward.

Story continues below advertisement

“As a political party, you will not see me standing up and condoning or participating in civil disobedience. I don’t believe as a lawmaker it behooves me as such a person to actually break said law,” he said in an interview with the West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson.

“However, I understand that in times of strife, people find different ways of expressing themselves. I’m very worried about how this is going to end up.”

WATCH BELOW: Growing debate over federal government’s approval of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Growing debate over federal government’s approval of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
Growing debate over federal government’s approval of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was one of several protesters arrested last year during a demonstration at the Kinder Morgan work site on Burnaby Mountain in 2018, where the company was working on the pipeline.

READ MORE: Elizabeth May pleads guilty to criminal contempt for role in Kinder Morgan protest

Story continues below advertisement

She pleaded guilty to criminal contempt for violating an injunction barring protesters from the work site.

Weaver’s provincial Greens currently hold the balance of power in the B.C. legislature and have pushed NDP premier John Horgan to continue opposing the pipeline expansion project, which will twin the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to increase capacity.

Pipeline proponents argue the increase is needed so Alberta’s crude oil can get to tankers that will bring it to global markets.

Currently, Alberta crude is landlocked and captive to the low prices available on the American market, meaning it sells at a steep discount.

READ MORE: B.C. government open to continuing Trans Mountain fight in court, premier says

Weaver said his party will continue to support the NDP government after Horgan vowed on Wednesday to continue fighting for B.C. to be allowed to restrict the shipment of crude through its territories — a case he wants to see heard before the Supreme Court.

A poll by Angus Reid on Friday suggested six in 10 Canadians support the government’s approval of the pipeline, with 52 per cent of B.C. respondents saying they think the government made the right decision.

But Weaver argued those results don’t look closely enough at the regional opposition in certain areas of the province — and he said he expects the Liberals will pay for the decision to let the pipeline go forward at the polls this fall.

Story continues below advertisement

“If the Liberals think they’re going to win seats on Vancouver Island or in Greater Vancouver, they’ve got something coming to them,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they were wiped out of Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.”