Protesters, counter protesters gather in downtown Calgary after B.C. pipeline arrests
The crowd gathered in front of TransCanada headquarters, the company responsible for natural gas pipeline
Dozens of opposing protesters gathered in front of TransCanada's Calgary headquarters on Tuesday, one day after RCMP arrested 14 people attempting to stop a natural gas pipeline being built on their traditional territory in northern B.C.
One side chanted "people over profit," while pro-oil counter protesters chanted "build that pipe."
At issue is a natural gas pipeline meant to feed a $40 billion liquefied natural gas terminal planned for Kitimat in B.C.
The pipeline is meant to pass through Wet'suwet'en First Nation territory that those standing against the pipeline say was never ceded through treaty.
Members of the First Nation were asserting workers on the project could only pass if they have consent from hereditary leaders.
In Calgary, Michelle Robinson said she was there not to protest the pipeline, but to rally against violence.
"We're here because obviously consent matters so when somebody says no, that is what that means," she said.
"The RCMP has violently gone into a territory and gone after peaceful people — women, children and grandmothers who are not violent at all."
She said there are many First Nations people who support pipelines, but said protests like the one gathered in support of the project on Tuesday, didn't provide a space for Indigenous voices.
"They have an assumption that we are all anti-pipeline when some of us are pro-pipeline, but we are all anti-violence and I would think all Canadians can get behind that message," said Robinson, who helped organize the protest.
Kent Manning came down to show his support for the oil and gas industry and wanted to make sure the "bleeding-heart side" wasn't unopposed.
He says the federal government has to do more to get projects built in Canada.
"We need a prime minister that has the guts or the fortitude or the parts — if I could use the phrase bring back our testicles — in Ottawa so he can force this thing through," he said.
"Declare it to be in the national interest as Trump will do tonight with certain things that are happening there and get all these pipelines built, get it to market."
The pipeline to Kitimat is being built by TransCanada subsidiary Coastal GasLink. TransCanada says it has agreements with all First Nations along the pipeline route, but the Wet'suwet'en protesters say that doesn't apply to traditional territories.
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