Hundreds of people gathered Thursday evening to protest the federal government’s purchase of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Indigenous protesters were central to the proceedings, which began with a series of speeches in front of the Visitor’s Information Centre on Wharf and Government streets, then continued with a march to Centennial Square along Wharf Street. Participants met more demonstrators there.
Cedar George Parker from the Tulalip Tribe near Seattle was among the speakers.
“I really love this day today, cause before, it was as if the First Nations were by themselves,” he said. “But today I look amongst all of you guys and I don’t just see First Nations, I see all different races and colours and that’s the beauty of diversity.”
He and others spoke of the importance of fighting the pipeline project as a way to protect resources such as fresh water and a healthy shellfish and seafood supply for future generations.
A second pipeline related event, an “emergency town hall” on the Kinder Morgan project organized by Victoria NDP MP Murray Rankin, happens Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Due to overwhelming interest and large expected crowds, the venue has been moved to Victoria High School.
Rankin will be joined on the panel by former federal deputy minister Harry Swain and local environmental advocate and former city council candidate Erik Kaye.