A group of protesters gathered outside of South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg’s office Monday afternoon, voicing – including through song – their opposition to the Trudeau government’s decision to buy the Kinder Morgan pipeline for $4.5 billion.
“The importance of what we’re doing here is just huge,” local organizer Geoff Dean, a South Surrey resident, told the crowd. “The stupidity of the Trudeau government to think that they’re going to put $4.5 billion-plus into a pipeline. If they put that money into solar energy and so on – whoo – we’d be way better off.”
Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the purchase plan on May 29.
Monday’s protest was among around 80 expected to take place at MPs’ offices across Canada, including three in Surrey.
Nearly 100 people turned out to Hogg’s Peninsula Village office, many carrying signs that echoed the general sentiment, including “No bailout for Kinder Morgan,” “$4 billion for green energy not pipelines” and “No more oil, push alternate energy.”
Senior Phil De Rosa’s sign read “No Cdn. tax $ to Texan oil barons/Protect Canada’s West Coast waters.”
Brian Brownridge said the federal government’s decision “just doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”
“We probably won’t even meet our Paris Accord goals and we’re providing the world with more fossil fuels,” he told Peace Arch News.
White Rock resident Rick Ketcheson described the purchase as “economic folly.”
“Giving money to corporations run by former Enron executives is an absolute folly and in my mind, tells us a great deal about where our government’s priorities are,” he said.
Hogg was not at his office for the protest but sent a message through his constituency assistant, Deborah Sahl, that he would be “happy to talk to anybody” about the pipeline.
Sahl said Hogg “definitely has a stand” on the issue but would be open to conversations with all sides.
Petitions signed by 265,000 people opposed to the purchase were to be delivered Canada-wide Monday as part of a “National Day of Action to Stop the Kinder Morgan Buyout.”