Burnaby Mountain will once again be the site of a mass demonstration.
In response to Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project, anti-pipeline activists are organizing a protest on March 10.
“It’s very important to protect our waters,” said project leader Will George, also a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation. “That pipeline produces so many dangers and hazards that we can’t allow it to come to our water.”
George said the protest has been in the works for the last two years and he anticipates upward of 500 attendees.
Members of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation launched a nationwide call-out on Feb. 6 to “rise up and support the mobilization.” The call-out went to “hundreds of thousands” of people, including environmental groups, civic society organizations and pipeline opponents.
The call-out came less than a week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the CBC the pipeline expansion and two key programs – the Oceans Protections Plan and carbon pricing – are a package deal. Trudeau has maintained the pipeline is in the national interest and will get built.
“Under no circumstances will we be blackmailed by (Justin) Trudeau into accepting the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline,” said Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, in a press release. “We resent his threats to cancel the oceans protection plan and carbon cuts unless the pipeline goes forward. We’ll do whatever it takes to stop this pipeline. The question is, will Justin Trudeau do whatever it takes to build it?”
In an emailed statement, Trans Mountain said it supports people’s rights to peacefully and lawfully express their opinions.
“We understand that not everyone supports the expansion. But, we’re confident we can build and operate this project in a way that respects the values and priorities of Canadians and in respect of the environment,” read the statement.
Once complete, the Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline will carry nearly three times more oil than its current capacity, about 890,000 barrels of oil per day.
Protesters have blocked the gates at Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby terminal on many occasions over the last few months.
In November 2014, more than 100 Kinder Morgan protesters were arrested on Burnaby Mountain. Police enforced a court-order injunction, which forbade the group from interfering while the company conducted survey work for its new pipeline route. However, all charges were dropped because Kinder Morgan had the wrong GPS coordinates for the no-go zone.