Rally organizer Korry Zepik reads a letter to Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr protesting the planned Trans Mountain Pipeline from Alberta to B.C. Friday during a rally outside Fuhr’s constituency office. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Rally in Kelowna to protest pipeline

Forty people gather outside MP’s office to protest Trans Mountain pipeline project

A rally outside Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr’s constituency office Friday, to protest the planned Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, drew a crowd of about 40 people.

The protesters, many of whom carried signs calling for cancellation of the pipeline project and for the protection of the waters on B.C.’s coast, could not meet the MP in person as he was in Ottawa. But they did hear a call by organizer Korry Zepik for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to kill the project.

Zepik of Lead Now, which organized protests in several B.C. communities Friday—read an unsigned letter to Fuhr asking his to join the fight against the pipeline.

“I ask you as a fellow Canadian to please stand up for the values we all hold so dear and perform your citizen’s duty to our country and commit to ending the construction of this egregious pipeline,” said Zepik, reading from the letter.

The protesters had hoped to present Fuhr with a sample of water taken from Burrard Inlet by Zepik, a sample he said he collected when he was in the Lower Mainland recently protesting the pipeline project.

Zepik said he fears for the waters off the B.C. coast could end up in a very different state than they are now if the pipeline is allowed to proceed.

In the letter to Fuhr, Trudeau is accused of going back on his “promise” of a fair review process of the project and ignored the advice of not just the scientific community in general, but of his own scientists in particular on the pipeline issue. And he said the prime minister has “turned his back” on Indigenous people and other Canadians on the issue climate change by allowing the pipeline.

The letter says the increase in oil production in the Alberta Oil Sands to feed the new pipeline—the twin of one already in place—will not only increase greenhouse gases, it also poses a serious pollution risk in B.C.—along the route—if there were to be a leak or be a spill at the Burrard Inlet terminal. It will also increase the tanker traffic carrying bitumen off the B.C. coast.

Protests are currently underway on Burnaby Mountain in the Lower Mainland where Kinder Morgan wants to start boring a tunnel to create a route for new pipeline. On Friday, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was arrested at that protest.

The B.C. government opposes the pipeline project and recently got into a trade spat with Alberta over the issue.

The pipeline would carry bitumen from the Alberta Oil Sands to Burrard Inlet in Burnaby, where it would be loaded onto tankers destined for Asia.

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