People power mounts pressure as Kinder Morgan approaches decision moment
Blog by Cam Fenton
As Kinder Morgan’s May 31st deadline to either continue with, or stop the TransMountain tar sands project draws closer, people all across Canada — and beyond — are continuing to demonstrate bold, creative and unstoppable resistance to this project.
Just last week, from high school students walking out en-mass in protest, to a massive thousand person #StopKM rally in Trudeau’s own city, to a letter signed by over 200 global organizations calling on the Canadian Prime Minister to end his support for the pipeline, people power sent one clear message after another to the Prime Minister.
It all began on May 22nd when hundreds gathered on Parliament Hill to oppose Justin Trudeau’s desperate plan to backstop the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Vocal critics included federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who addressed the crowd and re-affirmed his recent decision to join the fight to oppose Kinder Morgan.
The fact that the opposition leader took such a strong position on the pipeline is a true testament to how far the resistance to Kinder Morgan has come in forcing politicians to take a position on KM.
That same day, a group of Elders for Environmental Justice gathered at Justin Trudeau’s riding office in Montreal, to get the word out to as many voters as possible in the riding that the Prime Minister’s promises to meaningful reconciliation, climate action, and protecting the future of youth are broken by his ongoing support to the pipeline. Many residents got to learn for the first time that Trudeau’s government was ready to write a blank cheque for the massive oil company!
Then, on Wednesday, disappointed by Trudeau’s failure to honour his commitments to climate action and Indigenous rights, youth took the lead when hundreds of high-school students from across the lower mainland walked out of class and gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery to voice their opposition to the pipeline. They were joined by Heiltsuk students in Northern BC, where more than 50 walked out in solidarity.
Later that same day, activists in Washington, DC brought a message to the steps of the Canadian consult, reminding Justin Trudeau the simple truth, that climate leaders don’t build pipelines.
On Thursday, Trudeau received a clear message that he is facing international scrutiny when more than 230 groups from around the world published an open letter to Justin Trudeau, calling on his government to abandon their support for the Kinder Morgan pipeline, citing the project’s risk to global climate action, and the worldwide struggle for Indigenous rights.
On Friday, people on the ground in Burnaby demonstrated that the resistance is here to stay. Two people were arrested blockading Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine terminal while young voters who supported Trudeau in 2015 publicly committed to change their vote in the coming 2019 election because of the Prime Minister’s position on the pipeline. To date over 200 arrests have taken place on Burnaby Mountain.
To cap it all off, an oil spill was reported at a Kinder Morgan facility near Kamloops on Sunday. The spill is reported to be small, but makes more than 80 spills from the pipeline since the National Energy Board forced the company to start keeping track.
We are days away from a decision on this pipeline, and no matter what happens, we’ll be ready. Right now, you can support the more than 200 people facing criminal contempt charges for standing up to Kinder Morgan by donating here.