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Hundreds march in Vancouver to protest Coastal GasLink pipeline

Hundreds of people marched in downtown Vancouver Saturday in opposition to a proposed liquid natural gas pipeline to be built through northern B.C.

The Coastal GasLink project, run by TransCanada Corp., is meant to move natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the coast, where a liquefied natural gas project is scheduled for construction.

First Nations people drum and sing at the intersection of Main and Hastings in Vancouver on Saturday Jan. 12, 2019 to oppose the Coastal GasLink project in northern B.C. (Chad Pawson/CBC)

Zachary Collinson, who is from Haida Gwaii, attended the Vancouver march — and says he’s worried about the impact the project will have on the environment.

“I don’t want the pipeline to go through at all,” Collinson said. ‘We rely on the ocean to support us and our future generations.”

The pipeline would carry natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to a plant near Kitimat.

This week, 14 people were arrested at a checkpoint outside Smithers B.C., where people opposed to the project had been restricting access to the area.

RCMP enforced a court injunction to allow Coastal GasLink access to the road and bridge near Houston, B.C.

On Thursday, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, who have opposed the project, reached an agreement over the enforcement of the interim injunction to allow pipeline workers into the nation’s traditional territory.

TransCanada has said it signed agreements with all First Nations along the proposed pipeline route to LNG Canada’s $40-billion liquefied natural gas project on the coast.

But the hereditary leaders say those agreements don’t apply to the traditional territories.

Snarls traffic

Marchers like William Wong, a member of the Gitxsan First Nation from Prince Rupert, said people at the Vancouver protest were there to support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

Some protesters carried signs saying “no pipelines on stolen lands,’ while others had ones with environmental messages such as “the climate is changing, why aren’t we?”

Proponents of the project, like Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth, say it will bring much-needed jobs, investment and tax revenue to the region.

The protest snarled traffic in Vancouver’s Main and East Hastings streets area around 2 p.m. and concluded at Commercial Drive and Broadway around 7 p.m.

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