Indigenous leaders, environmental groups and local citizens vow to protect Lower Mainland forest from Trans Mountain pipeline construction
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Crucial window for Trans Mountain tree cutting at risk of delay due to protests
August 8, 2020, Burnaby, British Columbia — Today, hundreds of people are touring a conservation area where Trans Mountain is planning to clear trees near the Brunette River in Burnaby. The tours include a visit to public health doctor Tim Takaro’s treetop camp, and are followed by legal briefings for those wanting to learn more about how to stop pipelines.
According to Trans Mountain, if clearing work in the Brunette River corridor of the pipeline route is not conducted within a federally mandated six-week window running from now until mid-September, the project could be delayed by a full year. The area is home to eight species-at-risk, including coho salmon and nooksack dace.
University professor Dr. Takaro is on the sixth day of his protest and says he will stay as long as possible to draw attention to the pipeline’s climate and health impacts.
Dr. Takaro said: “I was forced to choose civil disobedience to block construction of Trudeau’s pipeline because I have tried working through official channels, but the government has chosen to ignore or disallow the evidence presented on the health impacts of the project. Mine is a far lesser crime than that of leaving a dying planet to our children.”
Construction delays are already mounting against Trans Mountain’s $12.6 billion pipeline, with most major milestones in British Columbia already months behind schedule.
“Pipeline construction is like dominoes,” said Alexandra Woodsworth from Dogwood. “Everything needs to happen in order or the whole thing gets delayed, piling on even more costs to the taxpayer. It’s time to cancel this boondoggle and redirect those funds to clean energy projects that can build a more resilient future.”
“This pipeline was originally supposed to be in the ground by 2017,” said Will George from Protect the Inlet. “We’ll be here to do what it takes to keep these trees standing, and stop Trans Mountain from threatening our Indigenous ways of life, local ecosystems and the global climate.”
Locals have spent decades restoring the Brunette river and the City of Burnaby has long proposed adding the construction site to the park.
“Residents of the Lower Mainland treasure the Brunette River and have worked hard to bring salmon back to its waters,” said Peter McCartney from Wilderness Committee. “This community is not about to let a pipeline company put it at risk.”
Sven Biggs, Stand.earth: 778.882.8354 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Dr. Tim Takaro, Public Health Physician and Activist, 604-838-7458
Will George, Protect the Inlet: 604.506.8761
Peter McCartney, Wilderness Committee: 778.239.1935 or email@example.com
Alexandra Woodsworth, Dogwood: 778.316.5558 or firstname.lastname@example.org