Protesters rally outside Kent Hehr's office in support of Trans Mountain pipeline
About 80 people showed up to call for action on pipelines
About 80 protesters endured Calgary's chilly, windy weather on Friday to show their support for the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Cody Battershill, who organized the rally, said the group met outside of Liberal MP Kent Hehr's office to send a message that Ottawa needs to take action to get construction moving on the project.
"We're down here to show our support, to show everyone that there are also a lot of Canadians that do support these projects and that Canada is a leader in protecting the environment and responsibly producing oil and gas," Battershill said.
Battershill speaks for CanadaAction.ca, a group that advocates for the country's natural resources sector.
"We're asking Kent Hehr, Jim Carr and Justin Trudeau to put the full apparatus of the federal government behind the approval of Trans Mountain. This pipeline's now been approved for more than 445 days and we're seeing continued delay and obstructionism," he said.
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The B.C. government has proposed regulations that could see an interim ban bitumen exports through the province, which would block projects like the Trans Mountain that function to bring Alberta oil to tidewater.
The expansion would twin the existing pipeline, built in 1953, nearly tripling its capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.
On Thursday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said his government will turn to the courts for a ruling on whether or not the province can implement a ban.
Battershill said he hopes the federal government will take steps to head off court challenges that would delay the project.
MLA Prasad Panda said it was important for him to be there to show support for the pipeline, which he said would ensure Alberta is getting the full value of the product it produces at market.
"I worked in the oilsands and in oil and gas for 28 years, and many of my colleagues ... they're all looking for work. A strong Alberta is a strong Canada," Panda said.
Protester Ken Ruth, an environmental specialist in the energy industry, said the pipeline is in Canada's national interest.
"I'm really in support of the pipeline and I believe in the constitution. I believe it's being violated severely so I just would like to see the country come together and get this pipeline built," said Ruth.
An Alberta government task force is mulling actions that can be taken if B.C. continues to block construction on the expansion.
With files from Scott Dippel