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Kawartha Lakes demonstrators protest Kinder Morgan buyout

Kawartha Lakes demonstrators protest Kinder Morgan buyout

in Around Town/Community by

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.)

1 Comment

  1. There is a long tradition of public and private cooperation that founded and built Canada, that, as Conrad Black recently observed, Jean Talon used in the 17th century to set up Canada’s brewing, iron, textile and shipbuilding industries, that John MacDonald used to build the CPR, and that PM Pierre Trudeau used to create Petro-Canada. (We won’t include the Ross rifle, although a case could be made.) I am no fan of many of PM Justin Trudeau’s policies and decisions, but this one may have been his only viable option in the circumstances.

    Largely funded by American environmental lobbyists like the Rockefeller Foundation, green politics has long sought to undermine the development of Canada’s resources, especially oil and gas. As Jason Kenney recently observed, they see Canada as an easier target than Saudi Arabia, from whom we buy oil instead of from Alberta.

    An argument can be made that by selling out to Saudi Arabia, we comply with some of the world’s very worst human rights abuses. And by joining American lobbyist efforts to undermine Canadian oil in favour of US oil, our protesters support the way America treats its prisoners of conscience too.

    We should not forget the people of our very own community either, many of whom depend for their very survival in oil. Urban dwellers can ride a bike or take a bus but try doing that in rural Canada, to get to work or to cancer treatments.

    No one wants to harm the environment. Probably the greatest woe humans endure is our dependence on the consumption of other species for our sustenance. The dilemma all of us must make peace with, the “to be or not to be” question famously grappled with by Hamlet, requires we prey to survive. The ethical dilemma is not do we prey but how. Where do we draw the line?

    We are mortals not angels. It behooves us ill to lobby for foreign interests that want to harm our neighbours. So let’s rethink this. Let’s be smart about protecting our environment without shouting ourselves in the foot.

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