Kumsheen Park will be the place on Earth Day to have your voice heard in what some are calling the environmental battle of our lifetime.
No Pipelines, No Tankers is a province-wide rally to show the mounting opposition to the proposed pipeline projects in British Columbia.
“This is being organized by the Council of Canadians on a province-wide scale, so there’s mounting demonstrations everywhere,” said Sadie Parr, organizer of the local rally.
“It’s a positive and inclusive way to stand up for what we do love, and choose what our values are going to be for the future.”
The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be transporting crude oil across the province to western ports to be shipped to international markets. These proposed plans will cause irreversible damage to the environment said Parr.
“The environmental risks are far too great. It’s not if, it’s when, when you’re talking about oil,” she said.
“Harper says there are a few radicals who are against this. And I want to be part of the movement that shows these are everyday people who are opposed to this for many different reasons.”
Almost every environmental group in B.C. is now part of this fight says Parr, and she is hoping that the rally at Kumsheen Park will be part of that movement. Participants are encouraged to be creative, make signs and wear costumes. And although it is spearheaded by the Council of Canadians, this rally is open to all people who oppose the pipelines.
“Basically we’re just hoping for a mass turnout of people. It’s about getting it out to the media, and showing across the province that small and large communities are against this,” said Parr.
“We’re trying to get some live music, and it’s going to be a fun, festive event. But the bottom line is we’re there for a very serious reason at the same time.”
Although the government has shown support for these projects, Parr is very optimistic about the power people have when they come together to stand up for something.
“It’s very inspiring to see all these communities working towards the same thing, and I think it’s powerful. It’s about momentum.”
Originally from Ontario, Parr has always thought of B.C. as this magical wilderness, where things are wild and free. She now thinks of it as the people’s backyard, and she is determined to preserve it.
“Most of the rest of our country is developed. But let’s not sprawl into the wilderness that we do have left. You can’t unscramble the egg once it’s been done, so we need to preserve it now.”
People will be gathering at Kumsheen Park, across from the movie theatre, on Sunday April 22, rain or shine. The family friendly event takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m.