Chiefs join anti-pipeline protests in Burnaby, B.C., promise to return

BURNABY, B.C. — The leader of the Union of British Columbia Indians Chiefs says he will keep up the pressure against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby, B.C.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip sat with a coffee cup in his hands between fellow union executive members, Chief Judy Wilson and Chief Bob Chamberlin, at the gates of Kinder Morgan’s worksite on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s about showing up, it’s about doing more than paying lip service to opposition to this very toxic, dangerous, dirty oil pipeline on the part of Kinder Morgan,” he said.

Phillip, who has been arrested four other times as he fought for Aboriginal rights, says he believes it’s his responsibility to help stop the pipeline expansion.

“This is not our first rodeo, so we’ll be here for a while,” he added.

Activist and author Naomi Klein also joined the protesters, saying they are sending a message not just to the government but to investors that there’s real opposition to the fossil fuel industry in Canada.

“What we need to do is move extremely rapidly toward renewable energy well before mid-century,” she said.

“This project is totally incompatible with taking climate change seriously.”

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain project is set to twin an existing pipeline, tripling the flow of oil flowing to the B.C. coast from Alberta.

The RCMP say they have arrested about 200 people demonstrating around the Trans Mountain facilities since mid-March, and while most face charges for civil contempt, officers have also made arrests for mischief, obstruction and assault of a police officer.

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