June 19 2019 - “No matter who approves it, this pipeline will not be built,” Indigenous leaders
19 June 2019, Unceded Coast Salish Territory, (VANCOUVER, BC) — Pipeline opponents are promising undeterred resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project, in response to Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet’s approval of the project earlier today.
“No matter who approves it, this pipeline will not be built,” said Will George, a leader of Protect The Inlet and community member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation whose territory encompasses the tanker terminal. George and thousands of supporters with Protect The Inlet led public resistance to Kinder Morgan, causing mass arrests for six months last year outside Trans Mountain facilities. The Indigenous-led opposition has been ramping up recruitment for more resistance in anticipation of today’s approval with the launch of https://www.stoptransmountainpipeline.org/.
“People in British Columbia are the ones risking disaster from spills and we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to stop this pipeline,” George continued. “Tonight in downtown Vancouver we’ll show our opposition to this destructive pipeline and on Saturday we will further escalate our actions.”
This Saturday, June 22, Protect the Inlet and George will be in Victoria for a 22 kilometre walk where local activists have been building a Tiny House to support the Secwepemc Tiny House Warriors, who are preparing for land defense in the Interior of British Columbia. 7km of Saturday’s march will occupy the highway, before delivering a completed Tiny House to Island View Beach.
British Columbians oppose the project because it lacks consent from many Indigenous peoples and Nations along the route and tanker radius; a tanker spill jeopardizes endangered whales, salmon and other ocean life while threatening local jobs in tourism, fishing and other coastal activities; and the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and subsequent climate impacts are inconsistent with the climate emergency recently declared by the federal government.
Last year, more than 200 people were arrested at Trans Mountain construction sites before the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of First Nations and environmental organizations, overturning permits and halting construction. Pipeline opponents expect arrest numbers to rise significantly when construction begins in earnest.
Canada declared a climate emergency on June 17, which is largely seen as a meaningless gesture given today’s decision on Trans Mountain. The pipeline’s new upstream (production and transportation) climate impacts would add an additional 21- 27 million tonnes of upstream greenhouse gas emissions annually to Canada’s total, roughly equivalent to 4,458,599 new passenger vehicles on the roads every year, or cutting down 24,715,361 acres of forest in a year, as calculated by the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator: https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator
Despite the federal government’s ownership of the pipeline and supposed commitment to climate-safe policies, there has been no formal accounting of climate pollution from the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project. A study commissioned by the City of Vancouver determined the downstream (end user burning) climate impacts of additional greenhouse gas pollution to be 71.1 Mt Co2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) annually, roughly equivalent to adding 13,694,444 passenger vehicles for one year or cutting down 75,912,447 acres of forest in a year.
Will George, Protect the Inlet: 604-506-8761
English language media liaison: Sarah Beuhler, Coast Protectors – 778-988-2323
French Language media liaison: Tegan Hansen, Protect the Inlet – 250-354-3302