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Council of Canadians to be at ‘Break Free’ kayak climate action in Burnaby, May 14

The ‘Paddle in Seattle’ kayak climate action, May 2015. Photo: Backbone Campaign.

Council of Canadians organizer Diane Connors will take part in the ‘Break Free’ climate action in Burnaby next weekend.

Burnaby Now reports, “Climate change activists are planning to surround the Kinder Morgan marine terminal – on land and water – in Burnaby next weekend. The Saturday, May 14 event is part of ‘Break Free’, a global series of actions against fossil fuel projects. The Burnaby event includes an estimated 100 kayakers on the water, while others hold a sit-in on land, all surrounding the Westridge Marine Terminal, where tankers fill up with crude on the Burrard Inlet. …The event is on Saturday, May 14. The sit-in participants will meet at Westridge Park, at 320 Cliff Ave. at 11 a.m. and then march to the terminal gates after. The kayak flotilla participants meet at Cates Park on the North Shore at 10 a.m. and depart at 11 a.m.”

The Council of Canadians has also been encouraging people to sign up for this action here.

The Westridge Marine terminal is the endpoint for the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The Trans Mountain pipeline was built in 1953 and has mostly been used to transport conventional oil. Texas-based Kinder Morgan bought the pipeline in 2005 and has been increasingly using it to transport diluted bitumen from the tar sands. Now the company wants to twin the existing pipeline and increase the amount of oil being transported from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day and make the marine terminal a major tar sands oil export facility with 400 export tankers a year. The local Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Squamish Nation have both clearly stated their opposition to this pipeline and terminal on their traditional territories.

Metro News has reported, “The scope of ‘worst case scenario’ at Westridge Marine Terminal has been a topic of debate at the NEB’s hearings into the proposed expansion. The City of Vancouver estimates a worst case spill would expose a million people to toxic fumes, kill 100,000 sea- and shorebirds and cause $1.2 billion in economic losses, much higher than Kinder Morgan’s own modeling.”

24 Hours notes, “The event is part of a worldwide, two-week campaign called Break Free from Fossil Fuels. Activists have already disrupted coal mining activity in the U.K. and Philippines, while other flotilla protests are planned for Australia and the U.S., said [350.org organizer Cameron] Fenton.”

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the Trans Mountain pipeline since August 2011, when we participated in a major protest march in Burnaby against the pipeline expansion. The National Energy Board is set to deliver its final recommendation on this pipeline proposal to the federal Cabinet by May 20. The Cabinet is expected to make its decision in December.

We are calling for a 100 per cent clean energy economy by 2050.