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Rally against pipeline expansion, as construction start date looms

Last Updated Sep 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm PDT

(Ellen Coulter, NEWS 1130, Photo)

Three rallies are being held this month in opposition of the project

BC NDP has always said it would do what it can to fight the project

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – “We still say no.” That’s what protesters in Downtown Vancouver have said about the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, ahead of construction slated to begin later this month.

Hundreds of demonstrators turned out in the rain for the “Kinder Morgan, We Still Say No” march from the Vancouver Art Gallery to Sunset Beach on Saturday afternoon.

The event was organized by Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver.

Thomas Davies with the group says even with a new government in Victoria, the mission remains the same. “We need to make sure that if the NDP is going to make all the correct decisions, that they have a constituency and people supporting their decisions. I think the only guarantee we really have of stopping the pipeline project is if there’s a mass of people working together to make sure that it doesn’t go through.”

Tegan Hansen was one of those marching. She’s not concerned that the rally might have been too little, too late- given construction is set to begin within weeks.

“”No, not at all. This pipeline will not get built and the longer Kinder Morgan persists in their construction plans, the worse this is going to end for them.”

Kiefer Pelech was another of those taking part.

“As youth we think it’s important to plan towards the future and make sure there’s sustainable answers and we think that a pipeline like this doesn’t reflect that.”

Ivan Bulic lives on Gabriola Island, and is concerned about the impact of an expansion.

“We’re directly impacted by increased tanker traffic. What that would do is turn the Gulf of Georgia into an industrial waterway.”

Today’s event was one of three events planned around opposing the pipeline expansion.

“We want to make sure that we show a big public opposition and reaffirm that many diverse communities are still opposed to the pipeline and are still going to do everything we can to make sure that it’s not built,” Davies says.

The other two events include an outdoor benefit concert in North Vancouver on September 23rd and the construction of an Indigenous healing lodge in Langley on September 30th.

Earlier this week, Kinder Morgan announced construction of the $7.4 billion project will begin this month and should take up to 28 months to complete. The project would triple capacity on the pipeline from the Edmonton area to Burnaby. The project was approved by the federal government last fall.

The BC NDP Government has vowed to use “every tool available” to try to stop the pipeline expansion, but has admitted the options available to the Province are limited.