I’m just waiting for some further information on my promised story, so while that government department figures out what they are going to say, this is todays column!
This week’s topic: Are people protesting Kinder Morgan likely to make a difference?
As I sat watching the coverage last week of Simon Fraser University professor Lynne Quarmby being arrested with other protesters on Burnaby Mountain, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of pride for those who stand up for their convictions.
While protests and demonstrations against the Kinder Morgan planned expansions of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline have been ongoing this year, tension has risen significantly in recent weeks.
The pipeline expansion would significantly increase the amount of unrefined oil coming from Alberta for export out of Burrard Inlet, something those opposed to the expansion aim to stop. In an effort to halt protesters who’ve set up a blockade at the work site where Kinder Morgan wants to drill test holes for a proposed tunnel, the company has asked for and was granted an injunction in B.C. Supreme Court earlier this month.
It wasn’t long before yellow tape marked off the co-ordinates of the area defined in the injunction and dozens of protesters have been arrested to date, for either breaking the injunction or obstruction.
Read Brent Stafford’s column here.
While many like to peg the protesters as disenchanted, unemployed hipsters or professional protesters for hire, when you look at the people at these protests, it simply isn’t true. Many are local residents upset at having this plowed through their communities, parks and local conservation areas. Many are from local First Nations who believe they are exercising power given to them by the courts. They feel as though they haven’t been heard, or that the process is faulted when it comes to community consultation, and I agree.
Pragmatically speaking, resource extraction related to oil and petroleum products is an economic driver in our country, yet has tremendous environmental and societal impacts through the extraction process and the very real risk of spills and accidents. Canadians are now faced with a dichotomy — we rely on this activity, yet it’s contributing to so much destruction and risk…
READ the rest of this weeks column, comment and vote at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/11/23/kinder-morgan-protesters-need-to-continue-pressuring-government