VICTORIA — Indigenous leaders, environmentalists and local politicians are among the anti-pipeline protesters in Victoria’s streets today.
About 300 people took to the streets on Saturday morning to protest the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Led by Indigenous drummers, the crowd of chanting demonstrators left Victoria’s City Hall escorted by police vehicles with their lights flashing. They march is set to proceed for more than 20 kilometres, ending in central Saanich.
A small house is being towed behind the marchers and will be temporarily erected at Island View Beach, near Victoria International Airport, to house future pipeline protesters.
Indigenous leader Rose Henry says politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump, face elections in the near future and their anti-environmental decisions could cost them at the polls.
“We can stop it. We can stop it by saying no to this unwanted pipeline. I’m going to remind everybody that in the next few months we have two elections coming up,” she adds.
— Eric Doherty (@Eric_Doherty) June 22, 2019
Eric Doherty, a Victoria resident, says he’s against tax dollars being used to support the fossil fuel industry.
“Governments approve all sorts of things and then they face the people on the streets and they get cancelled. That’s how societies turn around, people hit the streets,” Doherty says.
Saturday’s march is expected to be among the first of many protests this summer aimed at blocking the twinning of an existing pipeline from north of Edmonton to Burnaby.
Some First Nations, along with the B.C. government, have already said they plan to file legal challenges to the federal government’s decision to proceed with the pipeline expansion.