Canada is embroiled in an increasingly bitter battle over an oil pipeline. The Trans Mountain pipeline would see the American headquartered company, Kinder Morgan, build a pipeline from the Alberta oil-sands across the Rocky Mountains, through British Columbia to the coast where it would be loaded on tankers destined for Asia.
The battle has pitted environmentalists, some B.C city mayors, some aboriginal groups and the B.C government against Kinder Morgan, some aboriginal groups, the Alberta government and recently the federal government.
Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau who has recently vowed the pipeline will proceed saw the battle follow him to London today where activists erected a fake pipeline barrier around the Canadian High Commission where Trudeau was holding meetings.
The protesters climbed two of the large columns to unfurl banners which mimicked signs on the model pipeline .
Trudeau was in the building but left quickly soon after. He will meet with the British PM and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth before attending a Commonwealth leaders’ meeting on Thursday where he is expected to defend the environment.
Pat Venditti, head of Greenpeace UK said it was, “very hypocritical of the prime minister to be here in London talking about climate change while building a climate-wrecking pipeline that can only lead to more fossil fuels being burned”.
Meanwhile a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute shows an increasing majority (65%) of residents in B.C say the government should not block the pipeline.
When asked if a court rules that B.C does not have the constitutional authority to block the line, 69% of B.C residents say the provincial government should give in.
It has been suggested by both the Alberta and federal governments that public money might be used to invest in the pipeline to ensure its completion, but the majority of Canadians nationally (56%) think that’s a bad idea.
When asked about the risks, a clear majority (74%) said they feared an accident or spill from tankers, while other questions showed majority concern about other risks to the environment.