Maple Ridge protestors rally to defend climate

The rally outside MP Randy Kamp’s office was one of 130 events staged across Canada

Whonnock resident Yukiko Tanaka protests outside local MP Randy Kamp's constituency office as part of Defend Our Climate

More than 50 people in Maple Ridge joined a nation-wide protest Saturday to stop pipelines, oil sands expansion and draw attention to climate change.

The rally outside MP Randy Kamp’s office was one of 130 events staged across Canada as part of a national day of action to Defend Our Climate.

Newly-elected Katzie First Nation Chief Susan Miller kicked off the protest by welcoming rally participants to her band’s traditional territory.

Mike Gildersleeve, who organized the Maple Ridge rally, was pleased with the turn-out and honks of support from passing cars.

“We don’t want to be saddled with a fossil-fuel-dependant economy,” said Gildersleeve, a former Green Party candidate.

At the top of his concerns is Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

Gildersleeve believes the 1,170 kilometre pipeline will be disastrous for the environment and increase the risk of an oil spill on B.C.’s pristine coast.

If approved, the Enbridge pipeline would deliver up to 525,000 barrels of diluted bitumen a day to Kitimat, where it would be shipped via tankers to Asian markets.

The federal Joint Review Panel is expected to deliver its final report on the Enbridge proposal by the end of year.

Many protesters also opposed Kinder Morgan’s plan to nearly triple the capacity of its existing TransMountain pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver, as well as the provincial government’s push to ramp up production of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We expect our government to be leaders in green technology, alternative energy and renewal energy, instead of just giving lip service to this,” said Gildersleeve.

“We demand to see some action on these fronts. Instead what we are seeing is this feeding frenzy – more LNG projects, the prospect of pipelines through parks.”

Protestors challenged Canada’s federal government to create an economy that’s built to last, with energy that is clean, just and safe.

Gildersleeve said he hopes Conservative MP Kamp will take the message to Ottawa.

“There is a loud and growing voice saying this is not in our national interest.”

Kamp did not know what the protest was about, but added he respected their democratic right to voice their concerns peacefully.

He defended his government’s environmental record and clarified a few facts for the protestors.

“The facts show that between 2000 and a decade later, that federally regulated pipelines had a very good safety record, of what I’ve been told, 99.99 per cent,” said Kamp.

He added the “oil sands” currently accounts for about 0.16 per cent or nearly 1/1000th of global emissions.

“Resource development is an important part of Canada’s economy,” said Kamp.

“We think it’s extremely responsible resource development.”

Canada, however, has been awarded the “Fossil of the Year” award five times for its perceived inaction on climate change.

Meant to be a badge of shame, the award was shared with New Zealand in 2012.

Last week, Canada was awarded a ‘Fossil of Disbelief’ at a United Nations climate summit in Warsaw for its recent public support of Australia’s plans to repeal its climate legislation.

Kamp says the federal government believes you can do both – “develop resources and do it in a responsible way.”

As for taking the protestors concerns back to Ottawa, Kamp said they didn’t leave him any material.

“If they want to drop something off, I’d be glad to read it,” he added.

Just Posted

Free shoes popular at pop-up shop in Maple Ridge

One day event by Shoe Bank Canada to help those in need

Letter: ‘12 structure fires in Pitt Meadows this year so far’

Department has had 49 fire-related incidents total.

There is a mail-in vote to change our electoral system?

Only 2.5 per cent in Maple Ridge have bothered

New schedule, new code for Maple Ridge council

Daytime meetings back at city hall

Trio of umpires honoured for excellence

Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball has standouts

UPDATE: Young woman killed by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

B.C. referendum ballot count jumps to 18% returned, Elections B.C. says

New count adds ballots received, but not screened for authenticity

Most Read