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Vancouver-Burnaby & Delta-Richmond chapters at #BreakFree climate action

The Vancouver-Burnaby chapter at today’s #BreakFree march to Kinder Morgan’s Westridge tanker terminal in Burnaby.

The Council of Canadians participated in the ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels’ land and water action in Burnaby today.

As noted in the promotion for the action, “On May 14th, we’ll encircle the Kinder Morgan facility on the ground and on the water. On the water, we’ll create a mass flotilla of kayaks and canoes. We’ll cross the Burrard Inlet to swarm the tanker terminal for the Kinder Morgan facility, which could see over 400 tankers a year putting the coast at risk if the project is approved.” The event was co-ordinated by Greenpeace Canada and 350.org.

The Vancouver-Burnaby and Delta-Richmond chapters, as well as organizer Diane Connors, took part in today’s land action.

News 1130 reports, “The protest started with drums and chanting as hundreds made their way to Westridge Park in Burnaby while kayakers met in Cates Park. Dozens of signs made from cloth forwarded messages like ‘Keep it in the ground’ and ‘Break free from fossil fuels’. And this afternoon, Greenpeace activist Laura Yates, wrote, ” As you’re reading this, I am suspended from an 18ft tripod at the gates of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline terminal in Metro Vancouver, where First Nation and Indigenous leaders along with over 800 people, have staged a sit-in with a mass flotilla of kayaks and canoes, surrounding the tanker terminal from the water and the land!”

The terminal that was blocked today is central to 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.

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.

Today people sent a powerful message to the Trudeau government that it’s time to break free from fossil fuels, that it must say no to tar sands pipelines like Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain, TransCanada Energy East, and Enbridge Northern Gateway, and that we must move to a 100 per cent clean economy by 2050.