Former gas line engineer, arrested for protest, speaks out against Kinder Morgan pipeline

Jack Bryceland says he is speaking out against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project because he is concerned about the possibility of a tanker spill.

Jack Bryceland was arrested Saturday for protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline in Burnaby, B.C

Jack Bryceland exploring the great outdoors. Bryceland, a former gas line engineer, was arrested Saturday April 14, 2018 for protesting the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. (submitted by Jack Bryceland)

Jack Bryceland was arrested Saturday for protesting the Kinder Morgan expansion project.

But despite his encounter with the police, that won't stop him from speaking out against it.

Bryceland, who is a former gas line engineer, called in during Cross Country Checkup's discussion on the Trans Mountain pipeline from his home in Chilliwack, B.C.

He told host Duncan McCue all about why he's protesting at Burnaby Mountain and how he got arrested in the process.

On being arrested for protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline

"I was one of the five people arrested on Burnaby Mountain yesterday (Saturday, April 14, 2018). I have never been arrested before. I have never been in court before, but I will go to court next Thursday and address the point that I believed I had to stand up. When you believe something is wrong, you have to stand up and say something is wrong. I believe this Kinder Morgan expansion project is wrong."

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, centre, lined up with other protesters against a gate at a Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline worksite in Burnaby, B.C. in March — violating a court-ordered injunction to stay away from the company properties. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Why he's protesting the pipeline

"Now most of the people who object to this pipeline, I believe, are not saying we shut down the pipeline. We're not saying stop using fossil fuels. We're not saying that we go back to the 17th century and burn candles. That's not what's being said. What is being said is that we do not start to build fossil fuel infrastructure for the next 60 years when that will not meet the way forward for Western society.

My particular concern with this is not the pipeline, but with tankers. I have some understanding of the safety of pipelines. Fifty years ago, I was an engineer on the gas pipelines here in British Columbia. The oil pipeline, for much of its way through British Columbia, runs alongside the gas pipeline. So I've seen incidents on both pipelines. But this is not about pipeline safety, and it's not about whether tank cars on the railroad are safer than pipelines. Of course pipelines are safer than trains. But just because pipelines are safer does not mean that we should be using pipelines."

Of course pipelines are safer than trains. But just because pipelines are safer does not mean that we should be using pipelines.- Jack Bryceland

On the National Energy Board hearings

"The National Energy Board hearings that we conducted never looked at the big picture of the pipeline. They never looked at the upstream effects from the tar sands, and they never looked at the downstream effects from the tankers. The National Energy Board hearings allowed Justin Trudeau to say he approved it. All those hearings were about the pipeline from Alberta to B.C. Now we really need to look at the tankers, and that's what John Horgan has been standing up about."

A young man who locked his leg to a piece of heavy equipment being delivered to Kinder Morgan eats a slice of pizza, in Burnaby, B.C. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

On the oversight of tanker spills

"If we stopped to give a sevenfold increase on tankers carrying diluted bitumen to Asia, we will get a tanker spill at some point, probably sooner than later... we will get a tanker spill on the B.C. coast. And when that tanker spill occurs, we will have irrevocable damage. It might take 100 years for Mother Nature to clean up. Maybe she'll take longer, I don't know. But it will happen. To my mind, the short-term economic benefits of the pipeline are not worth the long-term damages that the taxpayer will have to clean up."

Jack Bryceland's comments have been edited and condensed. To listen to the full interview, click on the audio link above. This online segment was prepared by Champagne Choquer.