TORONTO, June 4, 2018 /CNW/ - People across Canada took part today in 100 rallies outside MP offices, including in all major cities, to tell the Liberal government they are angry and deeply disappointed that their tax dollars are to be spent to bail out a Texas oil company and expand the oil sands.
"The Trudeau government's plan to buy the pipeline with taxpayer money has hit a nerve," said Jolan Bailey, a campaigner with Leadnow. "Grandmothers, teachers, and university students — a diverse range of everyday people —have come out of the woodwork to lead 100 protests across the country. Many have never organized politically before, but they're saying enough is enough."
The thousands of participants at today's rallies — calling on the Federal government to cancel its plans to buy the pipeline before the deal is finalized this summer — wore red as a symbol of their anger.
Hundreds gathered outside cabinet ministers' offices, including Prime Minister Trudeau (Papineau), Finance Minister Bill Morneau (Toronto Centre), Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre).
"Trudeau has tried to talk from both sides of his mouth on Indigenous rights and climate change. But by buying the pipeline he's picking a side, and the voters who elected him aren't having it. We haven't seen this kind of outrage since the Harper years," said Logan McIntosh, Campaigns Director at Leadnow.
An Angus Reid poll released in April found a majority of voters across Canada oppose using public funds to back pipelines. Opposition is especially strong in British Columbia where a May Research Co. poll found that 75% are uncomfortable with the buy out and 49% say they're less likely to vote for the Trudeau Liberals as a result.
Despite the Trudeau government's plan to buy the pipeline, the project still faces immense opposition — from 22 BC municipalities, 150 First Nations who have joined the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, a consolidated legal challenge involving 14 cases, and ongoing public protests. More than 250,000 petition signers and 24,000 people have pledged to do "whatever it takes" to stop Kinder Morgan, and over 200 people have been arrested in the past few months in acts of civil disobedience against the pipeline.
Today's National Day of Action was led by independent advocacy group Leadnow.ca, with support from the Council of Canadians, 350.org, SumOfUs.org, the Leap, Coast Protectors and Greenpeace.
Photos from today's events will be posted to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/leadnow/albums/72157694431481202