Danielle Prins took the megaphone in the Kelowna Defend Our Coast protest after organizing over 100 people to attend the rally via social media

Kelowna’s pipeline protest brings people into the streets

Defend Our Coast day of action see 100-plus demonstrators fill the corner in front of MLA's office

  • Oct. 25, 2012 12:00 p.m.

No pipelines, no tankers and no room to breathe on the sidewalk in front of Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson’s office thanks to the provincewide Defend Our Coast day of action.

Well over 100 people filled the corner of Ethel Street and Springfield Road to protest the pipeline proposals that would see vast increases in the amount of bitumen traversing Alberta and B.C. to refineries on the coast.

Thomson was out of town, but protesters used the spot to share in the provincial protest day, a second action for individual communities following the larger protest on the lawns of the legislature Monday.

“I’m not here to tell you you should be sitting in front of supertankers. Personally, I would, but that’s me,” said Danielle Prins the UBCO student who acted as point-person for Kelowna’s portion of the multifaceted day of action.

Across B.C. some 68 different communities were holding similar protests and 3,403 people had registered on a website to attend by the time the noon-hour protests began.

protesterPrins told reporters this cause has become her life of late, though she is ordinarily a human kinetics student and couldn’t make it to the protest on time because of a class.

When she did arrive, fellow protesters gathered around for a few inspirational cheers as she took the megaphone and others spontaneously donning tee shirts to spell the phrase “no pipelines, no tankers,” one letter per person.

“We came here for the common purpose of protecting our province,” said Chuck Cullen, a protester who put on a shirt to spell the phrase.

Taron and Jen Keim used the gathering to secure signatures on a petition against the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement set to pave the way for Chinese takeover of the Alberta oil company Nexen.

“It’s concerning that FIPA is kind of getting passed under our noses,” said Taron. The couple have been to several other spots to try and raise awareness.

Like Prins, Taron is a student, but those in attendance at Wednesday’s rally ranged from retirement age to young parents, toddlers to those just out of high school.

At the end of the day, the pearl for the oil companies is always money, so people young and old must send a message that the jobs on the table are not worth the price of the social and environmental impact, Prins said.

She checked the Enbridge website personally and learned the company is only offering 560 long-term jobs to British Columbians under the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, which protesters contend could threaten 785 rivers and streams in the province, including the Fraser and Skeena rivers.

Enbridge is only one of two companies pitching vast pipeline expansion. Kinder Morgan also hopes to double capacity in its Trans Mountain Pipeline System.

Thus far, Premier Christy Clark has proven defiant over the dollars involved, if not the environmental impact. In addition to walking out of meetings on the issue and demanding a larger share of the pie for B.C., she has tried speaking directly to the people in both Alberta and B.C.

Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, rejected the Enbridge proposal saying the company needs a better plan if it wants to run the line through one of the most sensitive ecosystems in the world—the Great Bear Rainforest.

Just Posted

Smoke sparks evacuation at Penticton apartments

Fire crews were called to 88 Duncan Ave just after 6:30 p.m., Tuesday

Accident backs up Glenmore

Commuters in Lake Country, between Vernon and Kelowna, advised to avoid area

Police incident ends peacefully in Glenmore

After the area was evacuated, police were able to calm a distraught 50-year-old man

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

Kelowna art camp held for spring break

Classes for children are available from March 19 to 29

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Smoke sparks evacuation at Penticton apartments

Fire crews were called to 88 Duncan Ave just after 6:30 p.m., Tuesday

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Thompson, Chilcotin Steelhead Trout in danger of extinction

‘Once it’s gone, it’s not coming back’ says longtime Steelhead advocate Steve Rice.

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Skier air lifted from Cherryville

Elementary school students get a close look at emergency services in action

Most Read