More than 60 opponents of the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines and increased coastal oil tanker traffic rallied Wednesday outside the Campbell River office of NDP MLA Claire Trevena.
Scores of passing motorists honked their support as the protesters waved banners, chanted and cheered at the “Defend Our Coast” event, one of many at political offices across B.C.
The fight to keep Alberta tar sands crude bitumen oil out of B.C. attracted supporters from distant points. Sointula resident Nancy Walsh and her dog Kita were on the front lines.
“I have been supporting this cause for a long time,” Walsh said. “My involvement started with the hearings in Port Hardy. We have to halt the expansion of the tar sands and building more pipelines here is too much risk and too much cost for B.C.”
Trevena said: “I’m very pleased to see so many people turn up. It’s an indication that people are clearly very worried that this pipeline project could go ahead. I hope the government listens to this protest and similar protests across the province. We think the B.C. government has effectively sold out.”
Council of Canadians Campbell River chapter spokesman Richard Hagensen said: “We are protesting both the Enbridge and the Kinder Morgan pipelines. We are concerned about the possibility of spillage. Also, government should be investing in sustainable energy like solar power, tidal power and wind power and not subsidizing the oil companies.”
Campbell River resident Lori Tait said she would not describe herself as an environmentalist.
“I’m just a concerned citizen and I’m out here today because I don’t want to see oil all over our province,” she said. “I don’t want to see it in the ocean. It’s just too risky.”
Event organizer Lizz Donald said: “I could not have asked for a better event. There are all sorts of different people; there are people drumming; there are children.”
Defend Our Coast organizers said more than 3,400 people registered online to participate in similar rallies outside government and MLA offices in 68 communities across the province including remote places like Bella Bella. The effort was buoyed by the fact that more than 3,000 people attended the mass demonstration at the B.C. Legislature Monday.