A small crowd gathered in front of MP Jati Sidhu’s constituency office in Mission on Monday, June 4, 2018. (Kevin Mills/Black Press Media)

Day of Action: Hundreds show support at pipeline protests across B.C.

This was part of at least 100 protests scheduled throughout Canada on June 4

Dozens of protests were organized around the province today, as hundreds of people came together in solidarity against Canada’s decision last week to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan.

Located mostly in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island — with other demonstrations taking place in the Okanagan, Kootenays and the North — Monday’s ‘Day of Action’ was billed as a way to speak up against the pipeline sale by joining forces outside local MP offices or other visible locations throughout the province.

READ MORE: Canada to buy Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan

Despite protests being organized for the first day of the week, many of the rallies that Black Press journalists covered were well attended. We spoke with a number of organizers and supporters and this is some of what they had to say:

“My original plan was to drive to Chilliwack but I thought why not do it here. There are people here who have a voice as well,” explained Terry Wilkinson, who helped host and coordinate an event in Mission.

“We as tax paying citizens do not agree with the recent decision of using taxpayers money to pay for Kinder Morgan, which we don’t agree with in the first place. So not only is it an environmental disaster waiting to happen, it’s now a financial disaster that has happened.”

Nearly 100 people turned out in South Surrey, where opposition to the decision was strong.

READ MORE/TAKE OUR POLL: Do you support the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion?

“The importance of what we’re doing here is just huge,” local organizer Geoff Dean, a South Surrey resident, told the crowd. “The stupidity of the Trudeau government to think that they’re going to put $4.5 billion-plus into a pipeline. If they put that money into solar energy, we’d be way better off.”

Several members of the Council of Canadians in Williams Lake attended their local rally, including Keith Munroe who said the message of the federal government is inconsistent.

“You can’t demonstrate climate leadership and invest in increases in tar sands production, it just doesn’t make sense,” he said.

That sentiment was echoed by Vicky Dalton in Cranbrook.

“It’s a huge mistake, environmentally, socially; it’s incredibly irresponsible, frankly, for the government,” she said.

“Why are we supporting fossil fuels when we should be investing that money in renewable energy? And why are we, when we’ve just a few years ago signed on to the UN declaration of Aboriginal rights, why are we supporting something that many, many First Nations are extremely opposed to it, and have been mounting significant protests for years.”

READ MORE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit B.C. this week

In Surrey, Rebecca Haber tightly held a small envelope for her local MP.

“There’s over 100,000 signatures on this petition. It’s on a USB stick, that’s why it looks so small,” Haber said, adding that it’s “unacceptable that the Liberal government is spending billions of our tax dollars on a fossil fuel project at a time when we need real action on climate change.”

Port Alberni organizer John Mayba would like to see comparative studies of the future needs of both coal and oil, and two or three different scenarios: what would happen if we continue using these resources as we are now; examine how much we would need to transition to sustainable energy solutions and for how long; and take an honest look at how going to war against climate change would cost if we ceased using such resources immediately.

About 150 people gathered in front of city hall in Nelson, among them was speaker Keith Wiley.

“This was a very upsetting week with the nationalization of the pipeline,” Wiley said after addressing the crowd.

“The fact that there is so little talk about the climate change aspects of the bitumen, about the big picture stuff, is extremely upsetting. It’s all talk about making the provinces ‘play nice’,and the politics of it. This completely avoids the elephant in the room which is our planet’s climate.”

Petitions signed by more than 265,000 people opposed to the pipeline purchase were to be delivered to the federal government on Monday.

Black Press Media web series

5/5 Trans Mountain pipeline: The Economics of oil



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Dozens gathered in Nelson today, in protest of the federal government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline (Bill Metcalfe/Black Press Media)

Just Posted

Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Musical starts Friday in Dave Dunnet Theatre

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Saanich students get on board Walking School Bus

Rogers Elementary students led by teachers and Saanich Police in new initiative

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

Central Saanich Police prepared for afternoon shut-down of Highway 17

Sgt. Paul Brailey questions efficacy of protest

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day in Victoria

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read