Our View: Why seek arrest, pipeline protesters?

On Monday, thousands of people braved the cold fall air to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

On Monday, thousands of people braved the cold fall air to protest and hear union activists, politicians, environmentalists and First Nations leaders slam the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

It’s great to see people exercising their democratic rights with peaceful protest and assembly on public space, in this case the Legislature lawn. Today, a protest is scheduled outside B.C. Liberal MLA Ida Chong’s office in Saanich.

It’s less gratifying to read that at least 1,000 people have signed up for civil disobedience training. Some groups announced they would seek to be arrested during the rally.

“Defend our Coast” protesters filling local jail cells as a means to protest a pipeline in the north seems misguided at best.

Passive resistance against police for trespassing or more active resistance through shoving or fighting makes for good evening TV news, but it does little to advance the debate about protecting B.C.’s coast and the North from oil leaks and spills.

By Monday afternoon, Victoria police weren’t willing to arrest people engaging in blocking traffic or setting up signs on the Leg lawn, and overall the rally was peaceful, respectful and well attended.

Protesters want to send a message to Ottawa and the provincial government, but the B.C. Liberals aren’t exactly laying out the red carpet for Enbridge. The province has acknowledged that people have legitimate concerns about the safety of heavy oil pipelines.

After recent public hearings in Prince George, the government slammed Enbridge for not providing practical solutions to the environmental risks, and noted the company lacks a spill response plan, among other systemic problems.

The protesting public and the government aren’t exactly speaking the same language on pipelines, but the gap isn’t huge.

On all fronts – with government, First Nations, the public – Enbridge faces a monumental battle to build its pipeline.

 

Just Posted

Therapeutic recovery centre likely to open in the fall

Former Choices facility in View Royal to be transformed

Hiker rescued on Mount Finlayson

Langford, Metchosin respond to technical rescue

UPDATE: Search continuing for missing kayaker in East Sooke

A witness saw the man paddling out from the marina in a kayak

Two people taken into custody after TD bank robbery

VicPD say an individual left the building with an undisclosed amount of cash

Trudeau, Horgan condemn controversial U.S. child migrant policy

Premier John Horgan said B.C. ‘will always stand up for the values’ of diversity and inclusion

B.C. creates public registry to track real estate owners

The first registry of its kind in Canada aims to end the hidden property ownership

Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Police watchdog called to Kelowna after car destroyed in crash

A motor vehicle incident has closed Highway 33 in both directions

BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

Society is again urging people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe in the heat

8 B.C. communities rank as the friendliest in Canada

Eight B.C. communities can claim they are the friendliest in the country.

Canucks host all-inclusive birthday party for B.C. kids with autism

Such invitations are rare for some kids with autism, and one B.C. family knows the feeling

Heat records broken across B.C. as weather warning lifts

Thirteen records broken across B.C. on Tuesday

Alt-ed program brings mindfulness to the classroom

B.C. school leading the way in anxiety reduction strategies

Most Read