Our View: Why seek arrest, pipeline protesters?

On Monday, thousands of people braved the cold fall air to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

On Monday, thousands of people braved the cold fall air to protest and hear union activists, politicians, environmentalists and First Nations leaders slam the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

It’s great to see people exercising their democratic rights with peaceful protest and assembly on public space, in this case the Legislature lawn. Today, a protest is scheduled outside B.C. Liberal MLA Ida Chong’s office in Saanich.

It’s less gratifying to read that at least 1,000 people have signed up for civil disobedience training. Some groups announced they would seek to be arrested during the rally.

“Defend our Coast” protesters filling local jail cells as a means to protest a pipeline in the north seems misguided at best.

Passive resistance against police for trespassing or more active resistance through shoving or fighting makes for good evening TV news, but it does little to advance the debate about protecting B.C.’s coast and the North from oil leaks and spills.

By Monday afternoon, Victoria police weren’t willing to arrest people engaging in blocking traffic or setting up signs on the Leg lawn, and overall the rally was peaceful, respectful and well attended.

Protesters want to send a message to Ottawa and the provincial government, but the B.C. Liberals aren’t exactly laying out the red carpet for Enbridge. The province has acknowledged that people have legitimate concerns about the safety of heavy oil pipelines.

After recent public hearings in Prince George, the government slammed Enbridge for not providing practical solutions to the environmental risks, and noted the company lacks a spill response plan, among other systemic problems.

The protesting public and the government aren’t exactly speaking the same language on pipelines, but the gap isn’t huge.

On all fronts – with government, First Nations, the public – Enbridge faces a monumental battle to build its pipeline.

 

Just Posted

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read