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For Immediate Release Aug 5, 2020 Contact Maayan Kreitzman 604-723-9577

Extinction Rebellion Vancouver to rally in support of anti-pipeline tree occupation

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — Extinction Rebellion Vancouver is calling on members of the public to join in a peaceful march and rally on Wednesday, August 5th, in support of Dr. Tim Takaro, and to demand that the government cancel the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (TMX) once and for all.

Dr. Tim Takaro has been occupying several trees since early Tuesday morning, within a section of the pipeline route that is scheduled to be cleared between August 1st and September 15th. He has deployed and occupied an aerial camp high in the trees in order to remain in place for as long as he can in order to prevent TMX from clearing the trees along the Brunette River in New Westminster. The area is home to eight species at risk and several salmon-bearing creeks, which feed into the Brunette River and eventually, the Fraser. The proposed pipeline would be devastating to the area’s ecosystem. The expansion of the pipeline is a continuation of the government’s complicit behaviour with regards to dealing with the environmental crisis. In order to deal with the crisis appropriately, there needs to be radical transformation of the economy before 2025, after which it will be too late; this is simply an unaffordable and a careless pipeline project that threatens the livelihood, and indeed the lives of future generations, both in and outside of British Columbia and Canada.

The $12-15 billion pipeline would expand the production of Canada’s oil sands, creating an increase in emissions equivalent to an additional 2.2 million cars on the road, and making it impossible for Canada to meet its targets under the Paris Climate Agreement. The pipeline would lead to a 700% increase in oil tanker traffic, with the likelihood of an oil spill in the 50-year lifespan of the project as high as 79-87%. The existing Trans Mountain pipeline is already a major environmental and public health hazard with a long history of disastrous spills. In June this year, 50,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a pump station located above an aquifer that supplies the Sumas First Nation with drinking water. An oil spill would put at risk the 98,000 coast-dependent jobs in British Columbia. By comparison, the TMX pipeline ​would create a mere average of 2,500 jobs a year for two years during construction​, and 90 full-time jobs after construction.

In addition, more than 150 First Nations and Tribal Chiefs have joined ​the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion​, which includes opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The ​Union of BC Indian Chiefs​ (UBCIC), ​Tsleil-Waututh Nation​, ​the Coldwater Indian Band, ​Squamish Nation,​ the Neskonlith Indian Band, and many other First Nations in British Columbia are outright opposed to the project, as are the Lummi Nation, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribes, and Suquamish Tribe​ in Washington State. To join the Extinction Rebellion march: Come to Hume Park, New Westminster, 660 E Columbia Street, at 12:00pm on Wednesday, August 5th.