ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS
Port Alberni was just one of many locations across Canada to hold a candlelight vigil in protest against the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline System on Monday night.
The local protest outside of Port Alberni City Hall was arranged by John Mayba, who is an affiliate with 350.org, a non-profit organization with the goal of building a global climate movement through online campaigns, grassroots organizing and public actions.
Protests against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline have been taking place across the country, including a large march involving thousands in Vancouver last week.
“I’ve been following the issue of climate change for 20 years and becoming more and more frustrated,” said Mayba. “This is giving people an opportunity to express their feelings.”
Speakers, from local concerned citizens to Alberni-Pacific Rim NDP MLA Scott Fraser, took turns addressing the crowd, which grew to more than 20 people.
“I was really pleased,” Mayba said of the turnout. “It was short notice.”
The federal government is set to make a decision on the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline by Dec. 19. The pipeline, if approved, will increase the volume of crude and refined oil carried from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia. Much of the protest against the expansion comes from concern regarding spills, as well as increased traffic through residential neighbourhoods and First Nations traditional territories.
“Every opportunity that we can provide to get the word out is very important,” Mayba said Monday night. “Our community needs to lend its voice to support action.”