VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Indigenous leaders are calling on people to raise their voices Saturday to stop a $5.7 billion pipeline ($7.4 billion Canadian) expansion project that pumps oil from Canada’s tar sands to the Pacific Coast.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by the Canadian division of Texas-based Kinder Morgan would nearly triple the flow of oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the Vancouver area and dramatically increase the number of oil tankers traveling the shared waters between Canada and Washington state.
Texas-based Kinder Morgan says it is moving ahead with preparatory work at two terminals in in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby but still needs to obtain numerous local permits and federal condition approvals to begin construction.
Thousands of opponents are expected to march in Burnaby Saturday — the latest demonstrations in the dispute over a project that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said was in Canada’s best interest when he approved it in late 2016. Recommended Video:
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Canadian resident Adrian De Lisle captured timelapse footage of an “ocean” of clouds covering the pink Vancouver skyline in early morning, December 9. The video was shot at the Cypress Mountain Lookout in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Credit: Adrian De Lisle via Storyful
The project has drawn legal challenges and opposition from environmental groups and Native American tribes as well as from municipalities such as Vancouver and Burnaby. It’s also sparked a dispute between the provinces of Alberta, which has the world’s third largest oil reserves, and British Columbia.
Opponents say increasing the flow of oil sent by pipeline and boosting the number of ships to transport it would increase the risks of oil spills and potential impacts to fish, orcas and other wildlife. They also say more fossil fuel development is not needed.
“We cannot sit by idly and let this project go with the way it would threaten our livelihood, our lives, our territories, our waters and our culture,” said Dustin Rivers, a Squamish Nation leader.
Supporters say the expansion of the pipeline, which has operated since 1953, will give Canada access to new global markets, provide jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits and can be done responsibly.
Amy George, an elder with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, called on people to “come with your drums and a make a lot of noise and show that we really mean it.”
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is one of several Native American tribes, called First Nations in Canada, that have legally challenged federal approval of the project, saying consultation with First Nations was not adequate.
Kanahus Manuel, a Canadian activist who was arrested during protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, said Kinder Morgan does not have consent to run the pipeline through Secwepemc tribal territory.
“We never surrendered, ceded or released the land,” said Manuel, who is leading a group of activists building tiny homes that will be erected along the pipeline’s route in an attempt to assert indigenous sovereignty.She and tribal leaders from the U.S. and across Canada spoke to reporters in Vancouver on Friday — on the same day a British Columbia judge granted Trans Mountain an interim injunction aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from coming within 50 meters of two terminals in Burnaby. Karen Mahon, the campaign director of the Stand.Earth environmental group helping to organize Saturday’s march, called it “an intimidation tactic.”Kinder Morgan says it remains committed to environmental protection and world leading spill response and that it has “support from First Nations communities whose reserves it intends to cross.” Tribal leaders on Friday disputed that.Trudeau has defended the project. In a talk […]
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