Kinder Morgan pipeline continues to stir discontent
By Greg Waldock, Staff Writer
A busy weekend for the Prime Minister, involving a province-wide tour and attending the Vancouver Pride Parade, was marred by frequent interruptions by anti-pipeline activist at many different stops.
The Kinder-Morgan pipeline has dominated public discourse provincially as well as federally for years now, but since the Liberal Party announced its support of the project, public outcry at these such events has seemingly become more frequent.
In Delta, anti-pipeline protestors beat drums and chanted during Trudeau’s speech at a Liberal Party barbeque. The disruption was brief, but enough to garner outside attention. Members of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, including William George, led the protest as Trudeau quickly interrupted his speech to thank the protestors for appearing, and encouraged the audience to applaud them.
More significantly, Trudeau’s visit to Duncan on Vancouver Island focused on defending his party’s decision to financially back the pipeline project against the protestors that dogged his entire tour.
“We know we have to put in place a strong plan to fight climate change,” said Trudeau. “There are people on the other side of the political spectrum who don’t like that.”
Trudeau’s support of the pipeline being rooted in a desire to protect the environment has been a Liberal Party focus point since the decision to buy the Kinder-Morgan pipeline was announced in May.
The purchase cost $4.5 billion and involved some of the most significant political resistance Trudeau has encountered during his tenure as Prime Minister. Major anti-pipeline concerns include environmental safety in the wake of other colossal oil spills, accountability for Kinder-Morgan to properly maintain the pipeline, unresolved First Nations treaties as traditional land is involved in the construction process, and economic concerns about splitting the wealth between British Columbia and Alberta.
The Liberal Party has defended the project by assuring the public that a pipeline across to the coast is the safest and most economically-efficient option, and it is currently working to secure First Nations approval and scientific data regarding potential spills and the hazards involved.