British Columbia

Victoria mayor will fight pipeline but not from jail

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said would risk jail to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline approved on Tuesday, and suggested Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps would be sharing her cell.

Lisa Helps says court challenges, not civil disobedience, will defeat Trans Mountain project

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion which would dramatically increase tanker traffic around Victoria and Vancouver Island. (CBC)

Victoria's mayor is not planning to share a jail cell with federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

May, the Green MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, declared on Tuesday she is prepared to go to jail to stop Kinder Morgan'sTrans Mountain pipeline expansion.

"I don't think I'm the only one," May said. "I think I'll be sharing a cell with the mayor of Vancouver, the mayor of Victoria, the mayor of Burnaby."

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps told On the Island host Gregor Craigie she won't engage in civil disobedience.

"I'm not prepared to go to jail, just to be perfectly clear, because if I'm in jail I can't run the city and that's my primary responsibility," Helps said.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Vancouver earlier this month with protesters opposing the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The Victoria mayor has been an outspoken opponent of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, citing an increased risk of spills with a six-fold increase in tanker traffic near Vancouver Island. 

"I am responsible for ensuring our coastline is safe and clean," she said. 

Helps said she plans to contact fellow mayors in Vancouver and Burnaby to discuss the next steps to take in response to the pipeline's approval.

An oil tanker anchors at the terminus to the Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby, B.C. TMX's shallow port can’t accommodate modern supertankers. (Chris Corday/CBC)

However she predicts it will never be built. 

"The most effective and the most possible way of stopping the pipeline is to throw our support behind the First Nations who are fighting this in court," she said.

The prime minister made it very clear yesterday, he will listen to the courts," Helps said. "I think that is how Enbridge (Northern Gateway) was stopped and I think that's our best bet at this point."

To hear the full interview go to "Victoria mayor Lisa Helps reacts to Kinder Morgan approval".