British Columbia Democrats Protest Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Three New Democrats from British Columbia’s NDP government have signed a petition calling on Premier John Horgan to stop talks with Kinder Morgan over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The petition, signed by the speaker of the B.C. legislature, Rob Shaw, and three cabinet ministers — Jaclynne O’Brien, Guy Sipraswki and Ed Stelmach — asks Horgan to halt talks on the pipeline because of violent protests in rural B.C.

“This government is taking measures to expand the Kinder Morgan pipeline to allow Alberta to buy Kinder Morgan’s assets,” the petition reads. “We oppose this [pipeline] expansion; as do many British Columbians of all political persuasions. The protests in some of the most rural parts of B.C. are extremely violent and demonstrate the ongoing threat posed by the expansion. Allowing the pipeline to proceed would cause further harm and jeopardize B.C.’s environment and the protection of Aboriginal lives.”

Last week, the pipeline was nearly completely shut down after 10 protesters were arrested in Burnaby. Ottawa is set to extend emergency powers granted to B.C. to curb the pipeline expansion after reaching an agreement with Horgan to temporarily reduce tanker traffic. The concerns of protesters, and others in B.C., has led to Horgan and Ottawa trading barbs.

Earlier in April, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley accused Horgan of “sabotaging” the pipeline expansion by pursuing an electoral strategy against the Alberta NDP’s support of the project.

“Every day they delay in getting the pipeline done costs British Columbians jobs and permits,” Notley said. “And it’s tough for me to see how the activities in the east is why it’s not getting done in the west.”

Photo via Carlos Osorio/Getty Images

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