This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Kinder Morgan Protesters need to continue to pressure government

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

10 Comments on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Kinder Morgan Protesters need to continue to pressure government

  1. Brent: You see no room for compromise…? Man, you’re blind as a bat
    First, pay your share of taxes. A $90 billion company pays $1.5 million in taxes? Because it can? Get real and negotiate a realistic tax and we can talk.
    Second, clean up your act (product). Refine it here, take out all the crap and ship crude, or gasoline, which is much easier to clean up when the inevitable spill occurs. Can’t afford to build a refinery? Ship one in from South Korea like the LNG proponents suggest. Can’t afford Canadian labour rates? Bring in you TFWs – they were going to refine it elsewhere, so no jobs lost (eh, Christy?)
    Third, establish a clean up fund, so when the inevitable spill occurs there will be money to clean it up instead of you declaring bankruptcy and leaving it to the taxpayers.

    You do that and we’ll start talking about a compromise to ship OUR oil through OUR forests and oceans before its replaced with something more benign. But you better hurry up before you suffer the fate of LNG. I hear that its so cheap now that Christy is thinking of IMPORTING LNG. Maybe save our own for a rainy day (or cold night).

  2. How’s about every politician, that thinks it’s ok to risk our environment for the profit of others, put up all their assets as collateral to guarantee the clean up they seem to think will never have to be done.

    • Politicians dont work for the people.
      Politicians work to get reelected.
      Every day is election day.

  3. The way our gov’t has handled the fishfarm issue I WILL NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY SAY ABOUT OIL PIPELINES!!!!!!!! have you read the latest from the Canaidian Food inspection agency?and they are looking after our food supply

  4. There might just be the silver lining that has killed many a pipeline dream. The price of the commodity always dictates whether the money to build will be found. In present circumstances oil prices below US$70 and falling will cause lenders to withdraw offers of financing. Couple that with an increase in interest rates and there is no way this project will get done.

  5. protesters will not sway the provincial or federal governments in the matter of the pipeline. The protests would have to see tens of thousand out being arrested before any attention is paid. At that time the army would be brought in. Kinder morgan doesn’t care if there are protesters, they continue to work.

    Not even falling oil prices will stop the pipelines. Prices will rise some time in the future.

    People need to understand the majority of people who voted, voted to put the B.C Lieberals and federal conservatives into office. Now the rest of us will have to learn to live with it. People voted to destroy the environment. It wasn’t smart. It wasn’t nice, but that is what happened.

    The only thing which will stop any of this will be governments which place people and the environment ahead of corporate and foreign interests. It might also help if people started to understand christy lied about the trillions of dollars and all those jobs.