British Columbia·Feature

Pipeline opponents make special delivery to MP's office


'The pristine water is what we're here to protect and the contaminated-with-oil is what we're here to prevent'

Pipeline opponent Susanne Jackson holds two jars of water. One she filled with water from Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby and another she filled with roofing coating to symbolize contaminated water. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Nearly a hundred people gathered outside of Burnaby-North Seymour MP Terry Beech's constituency office on Hastings Street to protest the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. 

And they brought a gift.

"We had two samples of water. One pristine from Burrard inlet, one contaminated with oil. The pristine water is what we are here to protect and the contaminated-with-oil is what we are here to prevent," said Ruth Walmsley, with the Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan (BROKE). 

The demonstration was of one 50 others held in front of the offices of MPs across the country as part of the national day of action against Kinder Morgan.

Joyce Slaney who has lived in Burnaby since the 1970s said she was there to protect the water for future generations. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

MP Terry Beech was in Ottawa. His staff were given the jars in his absence. 

Beech, the parliamentary secretary for fisheries and oceans, posted a video on Facebook for those gathered outside of his office. In it, he thanked the protestors for organizing the event and said he would ensure their voices are heard in Ottawa. 

"It's not really good enough," said Walmsley. 

Particularly, she said, after two federal politicians were arrested at another protest against Kinder Morgan earlier in the day. 

​"Unless he actually takes meaningful action to represent his constituents, the majority of whom don't want this pipeline, then I feel like it's kind of meaningless," she said. 

Ruth Walmsley hands the jars of water to MP Terry Beech's staff. Beech was away in Ottawa. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Young and old gathered at the rally on Friday, Including 16-year-old Emma Soothill from Burnaby, B.C., who was critical of the government. 

"Why won't they protect our future? I'm not even allowed to vote yet ... So I strongly believe that the government's moral duty is to make responsible decisions that protect the future of children, the waters and our earth," she said through a megaphone.

Emma Soothill,16, urged youth to educate themselves on the topic and to speak up. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

In February, the National Energy Board cleared Trans Mountain to begin construction of the pipeline's tunnel entrance at Burnaby Mountain.

The controversial $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline system running from Alberta to B.C.'s southern coast. 

Demonstrators used chalk to write their messages outside of MP Terry Beech's constituency office in Burnaby, B.C. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Jana Creutz and her husband came down with their one-year-old twins to Beech's office without knowing a protest was planned. 

"We thought we were going to walk in the office and talk to somebody," she said, of the family which lives near the project. 

"We are against the pipeline. We want to protect the environment. We want to protect our world. We don't think Kinder Morgan is giving anything back to us in exchange for ruining our land and our water," said Creutz.

Jana Creutz and her husband showed up with their twins to the protest. They live 100 metres from the site. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)
Maizie Rosengarten, 7, lives in Burnaby and may have been the youngest demonstrator in front of MP Terry Beech's constituency office. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)