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Nearly 70 protesters rally in Chilliwack against proposed pipelines

Pipe Up Network member, Sheila Muxlow, speaks to fellow protesters as they stand in a row with their arms linked outside John Les
Pipe Up Network member, Sheila Muxlow, speaks to fellow protesters as they stand in a row with their arms linked outside John Les' office on Airport Road on Wednesday afternoon. The province-wide Defend Our Coast day of action saw nearly 70 locals protesting against the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines. After rallying outside Les' office, the group made its way to NDP MLA Gwen O'Mahony's office.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

Protesters in Chilliwack demonstrated outside Chilliwack MLA John Les' office Wednesday afternoon rallying against the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines.

The province-wide Defend Our Coast day of action saw nearly 70 people protesting here in Chilliwack.

“The federal government is trying to ram pipelines through our province, and our provincial government is sitting on the fence, suggesting that for the right price, BC’s coast can be bought,” said Pipe Up Network spokesperson, Michael Hale.

Wednesday's protest followed Monday's rally where more than 2,000 protesters gathered on the B.C. legislature lawn, some promising to provoke arrests as well as criticizing proposed heavy oil pipelines from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

Organizers of the Victoria rally offered training in civil disobedience techniques to the more than 1,000 people who signed up for the protest, under the banner of Defend Our Coast. Sponsored by Greenpeace and the Council of Canadians, the coalition includes unions, aboriginal leaders and environmental organizations. Victoria Police were out in force to back up legislature security, who locked the buildings down and turned away visitors for the day.

The new proposals are “job killers” because more diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands will be shipped out raw, either from Burnaby or Kitimat, said David Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.

Both protests focused on two proposed projects, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline from northern Alberta to Kitimat and the pending application by Kinder Morgan to twin its oil pipeline that has been carrying Alberta oil to Burnaby and Washington state for more than 60 years.

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