Campus sustainability club organizes protest against Kinder Morgan pipeline

The group partnered with the local chapter of 350 Kingston to demonstrate at Springer Market Square.

The protest took place at Springer Market Square.
Supplied by QBAC

As protests continue in British Columbia (BC) against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, students and members of the Kingston community rallied at Springer Market square on Mar. 10 to voice their opposition to the contentious project.

The $7.4-billion pipeline expansion was approved in Nov. 2016 by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government. This decision sparked concerns regarding oil spills and negative impacts on climate change, creating tension between BC and Alberta’s provincial governments. In addition to environmental concerns, the project has faced opposition due to a lack of consideration for the Indigenous communities in the area. 

Sean Price, ArtSci ’18, a member of Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC), organized as well as participated in the demonstration. The climate activism club hopes to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and land sovereignty in relation to the pipeline project. 

“We wanted to show people in western Canada that there are groups of people ... across Canada [that] recognize that this pipeline proposes [a problem],” Price said. 

“It’s a good question — [is] the government of Canada going to continue to send us down this path of fossil fuel dependence by supporting the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure that’s going to have to be used for the next 20 or 30 years?” he continued. 

Price added that the Liberals “continue to break promises to Indigenous communities across Canada with extraction projects that haven’t received full consultation and don’t have full support from these Indigenous communities which they impact most significantly.” 

QBACC invited local provincial candidates for Kingston and the Islands to come speak at their protest. Green Party Member of Provincial Parliament candidate Robert Kiley was the only invited individual to attend. 

Kiley, who told The Journal he tries to focus on grassroots politics in the community, said he came to the demonstration to support activists and advocate for better public policy. 

“This pipeline doesn’t represent good public policy. In my mind, all policy has to be weighed socially, economically, environmentally and democratically,” he said.  “And across those areas, this pipeline doesn’t make the cut.”  

The protest also saw Mishiikenh, an Elder-in-Residence and cultural counsellor from the Four Directions Aboriginal Centre, speak to the many environmentalists present. 

“I support the health of our planet … they say that we’re supposed to look after our people seven generations ahead and seven generations back,” Mishiikenh told The Journal.  

He stressed the importance of supporting not only the Indigenous communities in BC, but also local youth advocates who will one day be the leaders in the community. 

“I think it’s really important that we have strong allies to support Indigenous rights,” Mishiikenh said. “Our ancestors and our grandfathers and grandmothers have put up with a lot and they suffered a lot in their existence here, and it’s time to celebrate and look at Indigenous peoples in a good way,” he continued.


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