Rallying against pipeline

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.

Indigenous leaders and environmentalists beat drums and sang as they protested Kinder Morgan's $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline in southern B.C. Saturday morning.

Members of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam First Nations, who led the rally and march in Burnaby, say they want to send a message to government, the company and investors that they do not have consent to twin the existing pipeline.

The march has drawn people from throughout the region. Many held signs, some saying "Keep it in the Ground" and "No consent, no pipeline."

The crowds moved to the steady beating of drums and chants as they began walking to a site about 2.4 kilometres away, not far from Kinder Morgan's storage tank farm in Burnaby.

Supporters of the pipeline project are scheduled to host their own rally in downtown Vancouver this afternoon.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge granted Kinder Morgan an interim injunction Friday aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from protesting construction at two terminals in Burnaby.

The injunction restricts protesters from coming within 50 metres of the facilities until Wednesday, when a hearing on the matter will continue.

ORIGINAL: 7:45 p.m.

Indigenous leaders are calling on people to raise their voices Saturday to stop a $7.4 billion expansion project that pumps oil from Canada's tar sands to the Pacific Coast.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by the Canadian division of Texas-based Kinder Morgan would nearly triple the flow of oil from Alberta's tar sands to the Vancouver area and dramatically increase the number of oil tankers travelling the shared waters between Canada and Washington state.

Texas-based Kinder Morgan says it is moving ahead with preparatory work at two terminals in in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby but still needs to obtain numerous local permits and federal condition approvals to begin construction.

Thousands of opponents are expected to march in Burnaby Saturday — the latest demonstrations in the dispute over a project that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said was in Canada's best interest when he approved it in late 2016.

The project has drawn legal challenges and opposition from environmental groups and Native American tribes as well as from municipalities such as Vancouver and Burnaby. It's also sparked a dispute between the provinces of Alberta, which has the world's third largest oil reserves, and British Columbia.

Opponents say increasing the flow of oil sent by pipeline and boosting the number of ships to transport it would increase the risks of oil spills and potential impacts to fish, orcas and other wildlife. They also say more fossil fuel development is not needed.

"We cannot sit by idly and let this project go with the way it would threaten our livelihood, our lives, our territories, our waters and our culture," said Dustin Rivers, a Squamish Nation leader.

Supporters say the expansion of the pipeline, which has operated since 1953, will give Canada access to new global markets, provide jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits and can be done responsibly.

Amy George, an elder with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, called on people to "come with your drums and a make a lot of noise and show that we really mean it."


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