VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Word that construction will resume on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has prompted protesters to organize a gathering at Burnaby’s Westridge Marine Terminal gates.
Monday’s demonstration is called Drums not Drills, to reflect the fact that drilling is expected to be one of the first activities taking place there.
In July, the National Energy Board gave the go-ahead for construction to begin the terminal in Burnaby.
Brandon Gosnell with Mountain Protectors, who is co-organizing the event, wants to bring attention to the environmental impact.
“Once they start doing that work there’s almost no way of reversing it,” he says. “You can’t rebuild a mountain.”
He says he wasn’t surprised when he heard the Trans-Mountain expansion was reapproved, but he thinks it’s still important for people to show up and oppose it while legal challenges work their way through the courts.
“The people of BC are saying no to accelerating climate crisis through irresponsible pipeline expansion, and YES to land and life for current and future generations,” says a release by the protest organizers.
Gosnell is inviting people to come with their drums and participate in the peaceful protest.
“There’s not much we can do other than direct action. This isn’t going to be an arrestable action,” he says.
Gosnell says the event is meant to coincide with the beginning of construction.
“If they delay the work even just a few more weeks it could jeopardize their entire schedule.”
Gosnell also takes issue with the way consultation with First Nations groups along the pipeline was conducted.
He says the consultation was neither adequate nor equal.
“It should be equal consultation with all nations regardless of how big or small their territory is, whether or not they agree or disagree in the first place,” he says. “The should have all been given an equal chance for have their voices heard.”