Metro Vancouver residents with serious concerns about a climate breakdown gathered at Creekside Park near Science World to send a message to Justin Trudeau.
They called on the Liberal government not to give the green light to the $9.3-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion when it comes before cabinet later this month.
“Building the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project would trespass on fundamental Indigenous rights in Canada, fuel the climate emergency fire, and risk our coastal waters," the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs president, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, said in a news release issued this afternoon. "One major spill could doom our southern resident killer whales and the salmon so many depend on."
He claimed that oil companies are raking in record profits, yet crying poverty.
"The economic case for this project collapsed with $120 a barrel crude oil prices," he added. "The boom is over and it’s not coming back—we must embrace a clean energy economy for our children and grandchildren, despite Justin Trudeau’s ongoing support to the dirty fossil fuel industry.”
Other participants in the rally included the Wilderness Committee, Stand.earth, Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace, and 350.org.
They object to the pipeline expansion plan, which would triple shipments of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby—from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. If completed, the pipeline would lead to nearly seven times as many oil tankers travelling through Burrard Inlet.
A City of Vancouver study estimated that the downstream impact of the expansion and tanker project would add up to 71.1 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. That exceeds total greenhouse gas emissions per year in B.C.
According to the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, the downstream greenhouse gas emissions from the pipeline and tanker project would be the equivalent of adding nearly 13.7 million passenger vehicles on the roads for a year or mowing down nearly 32 million hectares of forests.