About two dozen protesters gathered outside the office of Delta MP Carla Qualtrough this afternoon to call on her to speak out against the planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Members of the Wilderness Committee, who called today’s action, were joined by representatives of the Delta-Richmond chapter of the Council of Canadians, the Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group and the Pipe Up Network to try and persuade Qualtrough (who is also Minister of Public Services and Procurement) to advocate for their cause with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“She’s a cabinet member, so she has a little bit more sway over cabinet decisions,” said the Wilderness Committee’s Peter McCartney. “We need her in that room standing up for British Columbia and so far we haven’t seen anything out of her office. So we need her to do her job and stand up for B.C.”
Staff confirmed at Qualtrough was no in the office at the time of the protest.
— North Delta Reporter (@NorDelReporter) May 4, 2018
The group held banners and signs along Scott Road in front of Qualtrough’s office chanting slogans like “Hey hey, Trudeau, Kinder Morgan’s got to go” and banging makeshift drums while passing motorists honked their horns and waved (whether in support or disapproval was not immediately clear).
Today’s protest comes one day after a pair of Greenpeace protesters entered a Delta holding facility and scaled a tunnel boring machine intended for use in the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The machine has been stored in Delta’s Tilbury industrial area since Kinder Morgan announced it would stop all non-essential work and any related spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion between Edmonton and Burnaby while B.C., Alberta and the federal government resolve their various jurisdictional and legal challenges.
While today’s protest was not directly affiliated with yesterday’s action in Tilbury, McCartney said it will take everyone working together on a number of different fronts to put a stop to the Trans Mountain expansion once and for all.
“It’s important to have direct action and action outside of MPs’ offices and all sorts of different tactics. We need everybody to stop this pipeline, and so however people can lend a hand is great,” he said.
“These rallies are happening here in B.C. and all across Canada. I think you can really see that Kinder Morgan’s ready to pull the plug on this,” McCartney continued. “Justin Trudeau thinks that he has invested too much political capital in keeping the project afloat, but we figure it’s time for him to back out, stand down and don’t try and ram this pipeline through over British Columbia’s opposition.”
“To take all of that risk and saddle Canadian taxpayers with it for a pipeline that fuels catastrophic climate change, that threatens our coast and violates Indigenous rights, it’s just a ridiculous plan.”
– with files from Grace Kennedy and Katya Slepian