Hundreds take to the streets of Victoria to protest against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion


Opponents of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project filled the streets of downtown Victoria on Thursday evening.

Hundreds of protesters took part in the “Victoria Says No” event, voicing their anger about the project and the federal government’s decision to spend $4.5 billion to take ownership of it.

“No government in the world today has any business building any fossil fuel infrastructure,” said organizer Sue Andrews.

The crowds including First Nations and environmental activists began gathering in Victoria’s inner harbour around 5 p.m.

Speeches were made before a protest march began, winding its way through the streets of downtown for more than an hour.

The protest ended with a rally at Centennial Square.

On Tuesday, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Ottawa is spending $4.5 billion to take over the project, saying the money represents a fair price for Canadians and will create jobs and economic advantages in Canada.

But with Canadian taxpayers on the hook for the project estimated to be over $7 billion, there has been fierce debate across the country.

The protest in Victoria is in response to other rallies in Canada opposing the pipeline being built and the government?s take-over of the project for environmental and Indigenous rights reasons.

Twinning the pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby for export overseas would triple the capacity of bitumen flowing through the line.

Kinder Morgan has agreed to help the government find another buyer over the next two months but has said the estimated $7.4 billion cost of the project is likely out of date.

with files from Canadian Press


Ben O'HaraBen O'Hara

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