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Winnipeg chapter chants ‘no pipelines’ at Trudeau town hall

The Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter and organizer Brigette DePape were at the Trudeau town hall in Winnipeg this afternoon.

Maclean’s reports, “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced some anger over indigenous issues and oil pipeline development during a town-hall meeting Thursday in Winnipeg. Small groups of protesters scattered throughout the crowd of about 1,200 people held up anti-pipeline signs and shouted ‘Keep it in the ground’. Another protester, seated directly behind the prime minister, held up a sign that read ‘Water is sacred’.” CBC adds, “Trudeau was asked to justify his decision to approve the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines, when a handful of chanting protesters cut him off mid-answer, shouting ‘Climate leaders don’t build pipelines’.”

DePape notes, “The students from University of Winnipeg divestment campaign had ‘No Keystone’ and ‘Respect Consent’ signs. Chapter activist Jobb Arnold and I chanted ‘no pipelines’ and stood up in solidarity with them.”

Media reports have also highlighted that Trudeau became visibly frustrated by the “lack of respect” shown by those holding these signs up during part of his talk. MP Niki Ashton comments, “Admonishing brave women who are standing up for justice on behalf of many. Telling a Chief and Elder that he was going to ‘get tackled’! This is not leadership. Remind me again why the PM went on this listening tour?”

Comments on Facebook have also included:

  • “I don’t think Justin Trudeau realizes how disrespectful it is to our children to be approving pipelines.”

  • “JT trying to act like this peaceful action displays a ‘lack of respect’ is an embarrassment when you are approving pipelines that are going to destroy our lands and people. The ultimate disrespect is destroying our futures. He has a lot of work to do on challenging these pipelines before he earns the respect of young Indigenous people across these lands.”

  • “Literally the only thing Justin Trudeau said the whole hour that was actually connected to any tangible action he was taking was when he threatened to throw out two women and have an elder tackled.”

Over the last two months Trudeau has approved the 890,000 barrel per day Trans Mountain pipeline, the 760,000 barrel per day Line 3 pipeline, and now the 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL pipeline.

All these pipelines mean a continued expansion of the tar sands, all cross waterways and sources of drinking water, and all cross Indigenous lands and territories without adequate consultation and consent.

Despite approving 2.48 million barrels per day of export capacity with those three pipelines, the Trudeau government has not ruled out also approving the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline.