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'Whatever it takes to stop them:' Tsleil-Waututh hold water ceremony in opposition to Kinder Morgan

The ceremony on Mother's Day featured prayers for the waters of Burrard Inlet and a vow from several First Nations, environmental groups and politicians that they are united in stopping the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline.

First Nation harvests clams for first time in 30 years from Burrard Inlet, fears for waters if expansion built

First Nations, environmentalists, politicians and residents took part in a water ceremony along Burrard Inlet across from Kinder Morgan's Westridge Marine Terminal on Sunday, May 14, 2017. (CBC)

Members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation along with First Nations from across Western Canada and the U.S were joined by environmentalists and politicians on Sunday to bless the waters of Burrard Inlet and recommit themselves to stopping Kinder Morgan's approved expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

"Everything we got out of the water is good," said Rueben George with the Tseil-Waututh. "What Kinder Morgan is doing over there is not good."

Kinder Morgan has received federal approval and the blessing of the provincial government to proceed with the expansion of its pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.

The company needs to meet 37 provincial conditions and 157 conditions from the National Energy Board.

If built, the $7.4-billion, 1,150-kilometre twinned pipeline will nearly triple the capacity of the existing pipeline to 890,000 barrels a day.

'Unacceptable'

Tsleil-Waututh Nation member Rueben George is worried Kinder Morgan's expansion will damage the ecology of the waters of Burrard Inlet. He says, after 30 years, his nation has been able to begin harvesting clams again after clean-up efforts. (CBC)

Bless the waters

Members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation take part in a water blessing ceremony, aimed to help protect Burrard Inlet. (CBC)

United against the project

Paddlers head down to boats to paddle across the Burrard Inlet to Kinder Morgan's Westridge Terminal. (CBC)

20 year government revenue: $46.7 billion

Elected to oppose

'Stopping the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion has been a central issue ... for the people of Burnaby North,' says the NDP's newly elected Burnaby North MLA Janet Routledge. "People resoundingly said we want to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion." (CBC)

Paddle on

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation along with two other first nations have asked the courts to overturn the federal cabinet's decision to approve the project. 'We'll do whatever it takes to stop them,' says Rueben George. (CBC)

Construction of the Trans Mountain expansion is scheduled to begin in September, with an expected completion date of late 2019.

Kinder Morgan says during construction, the equivalent of 15,000 people will be working on the pipeline expansion, while the project will also create the equivalent of 37,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs per year during operations.