Demonstration planned to coincide with Indigenous legal challenges against Kinder Morgan pipeline

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      Downtown retail and office workers and anyone else who cares about B.C.'s coastline will have an opportunity to make their voices heard at a Vancouver rally on Monday (October 2).

      From noon to 1 p.m., there will be a demonstration at the corner of West Georgia and Howe streets to support First Nations that have launched a court fight against Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion project.

      One of the speakers will be Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, who heads the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

      The National Energy Board granted conditional approval to the Texas energy giant to nearly triple shipments of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby.

      If the pipeline project is completed, it will increase shipments from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels a day.

      This would result in a nearly seven-fold increase in oil-tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet, Georgia Strait, and Juan de Fuca Strait.

      This week, the Federal Court of Appeal will hear applications by several First Nations, municipal governments, and environmental groups to overturn the NEB ruling.

      The B.C. government has been granted intervener status and is expected to argue against the decision to allow the pipeline to be built.

      Environment Minister George Heyman says Indigenous legal rights must be respected.
      Josh Berson

      Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the green light for the company to go ahead.

      In August, however, the B.C. NDP government's environment minister, George Heyman, declared that Kinder Morgan would not be permitted to put shovels in the ground on public land pending the judicial review.

      This came at the same time as Heyman and Attorney General David Eby revealed that the province had retained lawyer Thomas Berger to offer legal advice on how to proceed.

      Berger, a former B.C. NDP leader and former B.C. Supreme Court justice, has argued several landmark cases in the courts involving Indigenous rights.