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Protest accuses Trudeau of fiddling on pipeline while climate change Burn PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow
Thursday, 23 August 2018 14:07

By Joan Bryden in News, Energy, Politics | August 23rd 2018

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/08/23/news/protest-accuses-trudeau-fiddling-pipeline-while-climate-change-burns-bc

 

 

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Tawahum Bige from the Lutsel k'e Dene and Plains Cree nation with protesters outside the Vancouver

Island Conference Centre during day two of the Liberal cabinet retreat in Nanaimo, B.C., on Aug. 22, 2018. Photo by The Canadian Press/Chad Hipolito

 

Several hundred pot-banging, whistle-blowing pipeline protesters gathered outside the Vancouver Island Conference Centre where Trudeau and his ministers were holed up for a cabinet retreat amid the acrid smell of smoke from the hundreds of wildfires burning across British Columbia.

They questioned how Trudeau can claim to be concerned about climate change when his government is paying $4.5 billion to Kinder Morgan to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and ensure it's expanded to carry Alberta oil to B.C.'s coast.

Multiple protesters carried signs accusing the prime minister of fiddling "while B.C. burns."

Inside the conference centre, Trudeau and his ministers met with B.C.'s NDP premier, John Horgan, 

who has vowed to use every possible avenue to block the pipeline project.

At the same time, however, Horgan reiterated his government's staunch opposition to the pipeline expansion project, which he said would result in a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic off B.C.'s coast and, thus, increase the chances of a "catastrophic spill."

B.C. New Democrat MP Alistair MacGregor, who joined the protest outside the retreat, said later that Horgan supports the "overall objectives" of the Trudeau government to combat climate change but those objectives don't "mesh with buying a pipeline that's going to be exporting diluted bitumen."

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna tried to square the circle of the federal approach to pipelines and climate change.

"This summer is a wake-up call. We've seen extreme weather, we've seen extreme heat that is literally costing lives, we've seen here forest fires, we've seen extreme flooding," she said.

That said, McKenna said the country is in a transition from its reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.

Natural Resources Minister Armajeet Sohi said the Trudeau government has always maintained that economic growth and environmental protection must go hand in hand.

"We need to get those resources to non-U.S. international markets to reduce our dependency on one single customer, at the same time losing $15 billion of potential revenue that we can use to transition to a low-carbon economy and ... actually make more investments in clean technologies and protecting of our environment."

"We have a message for the prime minister and his cabinet," Public Service Alliance of Canada president Chris Aylward told the crowd.

For all the noise outside the cabinet retreat, Liberal insiders say their party's internal polling suggests British Columbians are divided over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Moreover, they say their polling suggests that all seven ridings on Vancouver Island — six currently held by the NDP, one by Green party Leader Elizabeth May — could be up for grabs in next year's federal election.

Several hundred pot-banging, whistle-blowing pipeline protesters gathered outside the Vancouver Island Conference Centre where Trudeau and his ministers were holed up for a cabinet retreat amid the acrid smell of smoke from the hundreds of wildfires burning across British Columbia.

They questioned how Trudeau can claim to be concerned about climate change when his government is paying $4.5 billion to Kinder Morgan to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and ensure it's expanded to carry Alberta oil to B.C.'s coast.

Multiple protesters carried signs accusing the prime minister of fiddling "while B.C. burns."

Inside the conference centre, Trudeau and his ministers met with B.C.'s NDP premier, John Horgan, who has vowed to use every possible avenue to block the pipeline project.

At the same time, however, Horgan reiterated his government's staunch opposition to the pipeline expansion project, which he said would result in a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic off B.C.'s coast and, thus, increase the chances of a "catastrophic spill."

B.C. New Democrat MP Alistair MacGregor, who joined the protest outside the retreat, said later that Horgan supports the "overall objectives" of the Trudeau government to combat climate change but those objectives don't "mesh with buying a pipeline that's going to be exporting diluted bitumen."

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna tried to square the circle of the federal approach to pipelines and climate change.

"This summer is a wake-up call. We've seen extreme weather, we've seen extreme heat that is literally costing lives, we've seen here forest fires, we've seen extreme flooding," she said.

That said, McKenna said the country is in a transition from its reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.

Natural Resources Minister Armajeet Sohi said the Trudeau government has always maintained that economic growth and environmental protection must go hand in hand.

"We need to get those resources to non-U.S. international markets to reduce our dependency on one single customer, at the same time losing $15 billion of potential revenue that we can use to transition to a low-carbon economy and ... actually make more investments in clean technologies and protecting of our environment."

"We have a message for the prime minister and his cabinet," Public Service Alliance of Canada president Chris Aylward told the crowd.

For all the noise outside the cabinet retreat, Liberal insiders say their party's internal polling suggests British Columbians are divided over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Moreover, they say their polling suggests that all seven ridings on Vancouver Island — six currently held by the NDP, one by Green party Leader Elizabeth May — could be up for grabs in next year's federal election.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2018 14:21
 

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