Activists planning to surround Kinder Morgan terminal

Hundreds expected to encircle Westridge Marine Terminal - on land and in kayaks

Climate change activists are planning to surround the Kinder Morgan marine terminal – on land and water – in Burnaby next weekend.

The Saturday, May 14 event is part of “Break Free,” a global series of actions against fossil fuel projects.  The Burnaby event includes an estimated 100 kayakers on the water, while others hold a sit-in on land, all surrounding the Westridge Marine Terminal, where tankers fill up with crude on the Burrard Inlet.

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“I think the tone of the action is to send a clear message to our elected leaders … that there’s no consent for the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and there’s an urgent need to leave fossil fuels in the ground to basically transition off fossil fuels to a clean-energy future,” said Ruth Walmsley, a spokesperson with Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion. BROKE is coordinating with 350.org and Greenpeace, the two main groups organizing Break Free actions in Canada. Walmsley said the Burnaby event will be peaceful, and she’s not expecting any arrests or property damage. However, she expressed upset over news reported in the National Post that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to approve the Energy East and Trans Mountain pipeline proposals.

“I think it’s disgusting. We were actually a little bit hopeful when the Liberal government was elected and (thought) maybe they would have an open mind. They said they would make a decision based on science and consultation with First Nations and all of this, and then they are moving ahead with it behind the scenes. It makes me feel ill; it just makes me feel angry,” Walmsley said.

The National Energy Board’s deadline to submit a recommendation on the pipeline to government is May 20. The feds will also hold their own review process, appointing a ministerial representative to gather community feedback about the proposed pipeline expansion.

“BROKE is going to be involved in urging Terry Beech to have a town hall or something around this supplementary review. Even if the federal government is intending to go ahead with it, it’s important for the federal government to hear people’s voices,”Walmsley said.

The event is on Saturday, May 14. The sit-in participants will meet at Westridge Park, at 320 Cliff Ave. at 11 a.m. and then march to the terminal gates after. The kayak flotilla participants meet at Cates Park on the North Shore at 10 a.m. and depart at 11 a.m.

People interested in participating in the kayak flotilla must attend a pre-event training session on Friday. To sign up, go to www.canada.breakfree2016.org.

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