A National Day of Action to Defend the Water was observed in Chilliwack Friday with a rally against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline outside Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl’s office.
Organized by Council of Canadians, Chilliwack chapter, about 25 water defenders gathered in the parking lot, singing, drumming and chanting slogans.
Part of the idea was to deliver fresh water samples from various Chilliwack watersheds to the MP, as a symbolic gesture underlining heightened community concern about threats to local water posed by the pipeline twinning.
“With the power of water from the front lines of resistance, we’ll inform our MP that constituents in this riding do not want future generations living with the climate disruptions that will ensue with further expansion of the tar sands pipelines facilitated by the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion,” said Suzy Coulter, Council of Canadians, Chilliwack chapter spokesperson.
The samples were brought into the office featuring fresh water from the upper Chilliwack and the lower Vedder River sections, at Peach Creek near the Browne Creek Wetlands.
”The Chilliwack/Vedder River feeds the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer, which is at risk of being irreparably polluted by a leak of the diluted bitumen being transported through Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline project,” Coulter said.
The crux is that the proposed twinning of the pipeline, with its increased capacity, runs both under and over the Vedder River, and through wetlands, and “puts at risk all these water courses” in the event of a leak or spill.
“We hope our MP Mark Strahl, by receiving these water samples, will appreciate the symbolic gesture we are making to impress upon him the sacredness of these waterways and our legitimate concerns as local residents that we feel deeply concerned that these waterways are under significant threat if this twinned pipeline proposal goes forward,” Coulter added.
A powerful movement, on the heels of huge anti-pipeline march less than two weeks ago in Burnaby, “is rising up to defend the land, water, and climate,” Coulter said.