Dozens of protesters turned out on June 4 in downtown Campbell River to voice their opposition to the federal government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The protest, which elicited honks of support from passing cars, was among dozens of actions that took place simultaneously across the country against the controversial buy-out.
About 60 protesters gathered outside the office of North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney, who issued a statement in support of the protesters and called for investments in “clean energy jobs for workers today and for the green economy of the future.”
The statement, read aloud by constituency assistant Lukas Schuller, cited climate change, the risk of oil spills on the B.C. coast and the $4.5 billion price tag of the purchase from the Texas-based energy company Kinder Morgan.
MLA Claire Trevena – minister of transportation for Premier John Horgan, whose government has vocally opposed the expansion of the pipeline – was seen giving out donuts and brownies to protesters outside the downtown Campbell River office, which she shares with Blaney.
She told the Mirror that a spill of bitumen could put the jobs of area residents at risk.
“We’ve got thousands of jobs that depend on the coast, whether it’s fish farms, whether it’s tourism, they all depend on the coast,” she said.
Dorothy Andrew, a councillor from Homalco First Nation, drummed and sang for the protesters after noticing the demonstration as she drove by.
She said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should have directed the funds towards ensuring clean drinking water on reserves.
“Instead he bought the pipeline,” she said.
Andrea Craddock, a member of the Council of Canadians and educational assistant at Timberline Secondary, said that concern for future generations had brought her out to the noon demonstration.
“The government’s taking us back in time, not moving us into the future,” she said, arguing that support for fossil fuel infrastructure is demoralizing for students who are concerned about climate change. “It’s pretty alarming for young people,” she said.