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Hundreds rally against Trans Mountain pipeline in final push before expansion decision

Last Updated Jun 9, 2019 at 6:04 pm MDT

Hundreds gather at a protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, many carrying signs and banners. (Taran Parmar, NEWS 1130)

Hundreds of protestors rallied near Science World against the Trans Mountain pipeline Sunday afternoon

The protest could be the last push to stop the project before the fate of the pipeline is determined

The federal government is expected to make a final decision on the pipeline June 18

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion showed up Sunday afternoon for what could be the final rallying cry before the project’s fate is decided.

A couple hundred protesters are gathered near Science World Saturday, singing songs, holding signs and giving speeches, calling for the government to stop the pipeline and protect the environment.

RELATED: Trans Mountain stake should go to Indigenous owners on route, B.C. chief says

Ruben George spoke to the crowd, saying it’s time for those opposing the project to stand up and make their voices heard. The says the ‘time is up’ for the project, and that Justin Trudeau can’t make this decision on behalf of all Canadians.

“We still have to continue to educate, still have to continue to fight. We call this a zombie pipeline. It’s going to keep coming back and we have to squash it, and we will,” he says.

“Big day coming for you, Trudeau, fighting for your political life. Fighting for your political life because the political choice you made to support your rich friends.”

Others speakers pointed out how damaging a pipeline spill would be for the environment, and how difficult it would be to clean up.

“Walk the Climate Emergency Talk” was organized by half a dozen environmental groups, Indigenous leaders, and student groups.

RELATED: How much responsibility falls on Burnaby to protect residents near tank farm?

Peter McCartney with Wilderness Committee says if the Trudeau Liberals are serious about tackling climate change, this project can’t go ahead.

“You can’t approve a pipeline that would enable a 20-per-cent expansion of emissions in the tar sands, our most polluting industry, at the same time as you’re pretending to be all about climate change,” he says.

He’s hopeful that people are becoming more aware of climate change and what building the pipeline expansion would mean.

“I don’t think anyone wants to see a catastrophic spill on the coast here, and I think people are really starting to tune in and realize that climate change is a much more immediate problem than they had thought.”

RELATED: Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

He says today’s protest is aimed at showing the Prime Minister that “you don’t build pipelines in an emergency.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs was set to lead the rally.

The Trudeau Liberals bought the pipeline for $4.5-billion last summer and a final decision on the project is expected to be announced by June 18th.