Protesters against the federally owned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project saw contractors accompanied by police sawing a treehouse camp in the Brunette River Conservation Area which had been occupied since December of last year . “It’s a terrible feeling, of course. It’s a setback… but we’ll continue to do it, ”said Tim Takaro, SFU professor of health sciences and protests organizer.
“You can have a 1,100 kilometer pipeline, but you have to finish everything to make it work – and it will never work,” he added. “There are too many things against and it doesn’t make economic sense. “
Takaro did not specify which area of the pipeline construction road the protesters would target next.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion aims to significantly increase the amount of crude and refined oil flowing from Alberta to the BC coast, from the current 300,000 barrels to 890,000 barrels per day.
It faced many setbacks that delayed construction and significant resistance from indigenous groups and environmental activists. Construction had previously been halted due to concerns about negative impacts on hummingbird nesting sites in the Brunette River area.
A judicial injunction has been issued against demonstrators to prevent them from blocking construction sites.
A worker would have lost consciousness
Last week, Burnaby RCMP arrested two protesters who allegedly entered the construction site.
During the incident, police said a Trans Mountain worker was stunned by a fallen branch as a protester “rappelled between trees.”
Police say the worker suffered a concussion and the incident is under investigation.
The Canadian government bought the pipeline from oil giant Kinder Morgan in 2018 for $ 4.5 billion. In February 2020, it was revealed that the total cost of the project had climbed to $ 12.6 billion.
A recent report from West Coast Environmental Law predicted that the expansion would be delayed until 2023, after its expected completion in December 2022.
“With so many construction delays over the past year, the cost of the pipeline has almost certainly increased,” the report says.
According to the report, the cost could exceed $ 20 billion with the delays. He asked the next federal government to provide a transparent analysis of the costs of the project.
Takaro says the ongoing disruption will only contribute to the inflation costs.
“Fourteen months of blockage is a lot of time off their schedule,” he said. “It increases costs and it has to be stopped so that there are not even more costs. “