Thousands gather to protest Trans Mountain pipeline

One of the several thousand protesters in Vancouver today speaking out against the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Trans Mountain pipeline has already been conditionally approved by the National Energy Board, but that didn’t stop thousands of protesters from gathering Saturday in front of Vancouver City Hall to protest it.

The controversial project — which critics say won’t meaningfully contribute to the BC economy, and poses unacceptable safety and environmental risks — is awaiting a federal decision, that should arrive by December 19.

At noon, a crowd started to assemble, including some protesters having travelled all the way from Vancouver Island to participate.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson encouraged protesters at the event. He has been a vocal opponent of the pipeline project, which will dramatically increase oil tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet.

Many environmental and political groups were present, including Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE), Dogwood Initiative, and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. There was also a strong First Nations presence, with many beating traditional drums and leading the crowds in chants and song.

The police presence was restrained, and helped direct traffic around the singing parade of protesters that took over Cambie Street.

The protest ended at the Vancouver Public Library.