As you read this, environmental activists groups are engaging in peaceful protests regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Groups organized by the youth advocacy group 350.org are sitting in the constituency offices of the Natural Resources and Indigenous Affairs Ministers, Jim Carr and Carolyn Bennett.
Despite strong and seemingly progressive climate promises prior to the Federal Election, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has effectively rubber stamped the continuation of the project. Fierce opposition of the pipeline has been building and public for quite some times, but the Trudeau administration is revoking on commitments made at the Paris climate summit, and their promises to re-build and uphold the rights of First Nations.
NEWEST IN A LONG LING OF #STOPKM PROTESTS
These protests are not the first of their kind regarding the controversial pipeline, which is designed to export bitumen-based crude oil through British Columbia. Thousands of citizens have signed petitions against the construction, particularly in the wake of clearly and woefully inadequate environmental assessments on the risks the project carries. Just last week, 350.org mobilized groups to engage in civil disobedience at Parliament Hill in opposition of the project. These protests follow a long line of similar protests.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr have a landmark opportunity to publicly oppose Kinder Morgan and improve Canada’s chances of mitigating adverse environmental impacts from the climate, and demonstrate follow-through on the global stage of our commitment to mitigate climate change. These sit-ins are meant to remind the Ministers of the public outcry, and what is truly at stake with these decisions.
The final cabinet decision regarding the Kinder Morgan pipeline is expected within only a few weeks, despite the British Columbia Supreme court consenting to an additional review of the impact assessment. This review however, is expected to be largely a public relations move… as the review will look at the limited and potentially biased National Energy Board (NEB) report.
Indigenous communities who are opposing the project should be enough in and of itself to hault construction of the pipeline, according to framework set out by the UN.
Canada is in a time of critical change. Youth of this nation are more concerned about climate change than ever before, and moving forward with these kinds of environmentally compromising projects is a big step in the wrong direction. Amanda Harvey-Sanchez – an activist arrested in the October 24th civil disobedience protest from the University of Toronto, perhaps says it best:
“My generation elected this government to take real action on climate change and Indigenous rights, not to build pipelines…I hope Trudeau is paying attention today, because if he approves the Kinder Morgan pipeline, he will lose millennials like me that are looking for bold climate leaders, not pipeline politicians.”
These sit-ins, if nothing else, should demonstrate to this government that the environmental protection movement and Indigenous rights’ movement will not cease to hold them accountable for their hypocrisy.
Here is the screengrab of the email from 350.org’s Clayton Thomas-Muller, the photos in this article were also attached in the email:
Feature Image via email from 350.org.