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Protesters gather as Trudeau talks pipeline project in BC

Last Updated Apr 6, 2018 at 8:26 am PDT

Trans Mountain protest in Vancouver as Justin Trudeau visits BC on Apr. 5, 2018. (Renee Bernard, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Critics voice their concerns as Justin Trudeau visits BC and talks Trans Mountain

Protests spoil Justin Trudeau's visit to BC as he touts benefits of a controversial pipeline project

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Critics and activists came together in Downtown Vancouver as the federal Liberal Party hosted a fundraising dinner with the prime minister. They gathered as Justin Trudeau tours parts of the province touting the benefits of a controversial pipeline project in BC and Alberta.

Many used pots and pans to get across their deep disappointment at the Trudeau government’s approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project. Members of local First Nations communities led the crowd in song as they talked about the sacredness of the land, water and Indigenous rights.

People held signs that read, “For a modern Canada that defends the rights of all,” and “Pipelines: Justin’s Waterloo.”

On Vancouver Island earlier on Thursday, about 100 people protesting against the pipeline expansion chanted “Leave it in the ground” not far from where the prime minister was getting a tour of a Canadian Coast Guard ship.

Trudeau says his message of environmental protection and the need for an oil pipeline are the same as he visits BC and Alberta this week.

Trudeau is defending the decision to approve the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. While speaking in Victoria, he told reporters the federal government needs to build a strong economy and protect the environment.

“Before we made this decision, we ensured that every measure had been taken to keep our oceans safe. I would not have approved this pipeline had I not been confident of that.”

Trudeau says while he understands the concerns of those against the project, the pipeline is in the best interest of the country. “Decision that get taken in Canada are not taken by they who shout loudest but are taken on the basis of facts and science and evidence through responsible processes and that’s exactly what we have done as a country.”

While addressing the concerns of protesters, Trudeau adds he, again, understands how they feel, but insists his government has done more than any previous government to protect the environment.

He said pipeline protesters probably approve of his government’s carbon pricing plan, and when he gets to Alberta he’ll likely meet people who aren’t happy about that idea but like the pipeline approval.

Trudeau says he’s confident his government’s ocean protection and emergency preparedness plans will protect Canada’s environment and he wouldn’t have approve the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline otherwise.