Sylvia C. Keesmaat — A group of local protesters joined more than 100 other protests being held across the country to object to the Trudeau government’s buy-out of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
The local group gathered outside the office of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale, carrying placards with various messages, such as “Remember Paris!” “I want my taxes to go to Housing not Pipelines,” “PM Trudeau: Climate Leaders Don’t Buy Pipelines” and “Short Term Oil = Climate Turmoil.”
Since Schmale was fulfilling his parliamentary duties in Ottawa, Shannon Roszell and Brian Walsh, spokespersons for the local protesters, met with Dylan Robichaud, Schmale’s executive assistant. Robichaud agreed with the group that the buyout was fiscally irresponsible and indicated that the Conservative Party had opposed the move. Although the Conservative opposition is in favour of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, they would prefer to see American foreign investment in the pipleline, rather than it being nationalized.
A petition opposing the buyout was submitted to Schmale’s office.
“As a Canadian citizen, I feel very betrayed by Trudeau and his government,” says Glanys Cook of Lindsay. “He (Trudeau) hasn’t done anything he said he would do and this is a sell-out to a corporation.”
Others indicated that it was time for Trudeau to keep his word.
Heidi Riggenbach, also of Lindsay, called on Trudeau “to put his money where his mouth is and clean up the water.”
“We have an obligation to every Canadian to have clean water,” she says.
Still others want Trudeau to change his priorities.
“I think it’s time that the government put the environment and the climate ahead of the economy and the oil,” says George Malcolm of Coboconk. “I’m here supporting the movement against the pipeline. The money could be used a lot better elsewhere.”
Brian Walsh, of Cameron, summed up the mood of the gathering. “Trudeau’s actions this week amount to nothing more than corporate welfare.”
(Full disclosure: Sylvia Keesmaat, the author, was part of this protest.)