“Climate leaders don’t build pipelines” was the theme among thousands of protesters who took to the streets of Canada as Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion rages on. With more than 100 pipeline protesters arrested over the weekend, land defenders are doing all they can to delay the project and call out Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, who vowed the pipeline would be completed.
Trudeau, who approved the project in 2016, is being called out for his “betrayal” to British Columbia.
“We believe that it’s time for a new narrative in this country; one that is not dictated by Big Oil, but instead supports life and the much-needed healing of the land and people,” Anna Gerrard, an activist with Climate Justice Edmonton, said.
During his 2015 election campaign, Trudeau “championed the environment” Global News Canada reported. His election promises included working with First Nations communities as well as reworking the review process of such energy projects, but come 2016, Trudeau’s approval of two pipeline – Kinder Morgan and Enbridge’s Line 3 – has many of his backers calling him out for his betrayal and dishonesty.
“We voted for you in our first election, and we were so excited for you to be prime minister based on your comments of real action on climate change and reconciliation. But then you went and approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline,” Haley Zacks, 20 years old, said.
The weekend’s anti-pipeline protests brought Indigenous leaders, lawmakers, students, environmentalists and two sitting members of parliament – Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and New Democrat Kennedy Stewart – together outside the construction site of Kinder Morgan, inside Kinder Morgan corporate offices and on the streets stretching across the country. Many environmental groups and Indigenous tribes claim the pipeline “would severely endanger the water supply and the climate,” Common Dreams reported.
“The commitment to build a pipeline in 2018 when we are in climate crisis is a crime against future generations and I will not be part of it,” May said.
As land and water defenders continue to hold “sit-ins” at Kinder Morgan’s construction site on Burnaby Mountain, the company presented to its shareholders and the courts this month that it lost $89 million in revenue “for every month the project is delayed, as well as hundreds of thousands more for weekly security, staff, and equipment costs,” Vice News reported.
Protesters are determined to delay construction as the show-down on Burnaby Mountain continues.