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Green Party rolls out plans to fight 'risky pipelines and tanker schemes'

Lynne Quarmby, Burnaby Mountain rally, Nov. 2014. (YouTube)
Lynne Quarmby, at a Burnaby Mountain solidarity rally to defend Coast Salish Territories from Kinder Morgan pipeline plans last November. (YouTube)

Banking on a minority government, the leader of the federal Green Party has announced specific plans for working with all other parties to defend coastal communities from "risky pipeline and tanker schemes," including Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan’s expansion through Burnaby Mountain to Burrard Inlet.

They are all about one thing: "getting raw, unprocessed bitumen to coastlines,” Elizabeth May stated in a press release Tuesday.

The specific plans with West Coast implications include:

•    Restoring and strengthening Canada's environmental laws, especially the Environmental Assessment laws that were repealed through Bill C-38;
•    Embedding the right to a healthy environment in the constitution;
•    Developing a national energy plan with a commitment to strong climate action through the Council of Canadian Governments;
•    Legislating a ban on supertankers on B.C.’s coast;
•    Repealing Bill C-51 and ensure that the RCMP receives scientific briefings in order to understand the legitimate concerns of citizens who demand climate action;
•    Work with First Nations to stop forcing them into court challenges over their rights to defend their traditional territory and coastlines and instead allow for investments in sustainable economies based on Indigenous self-determination.

“One accident could cripple the entire billion-dollar fisheries and tourism industry upon which our coastal communities depend," said May. "It is time to think like a country again and develop a national approach to a diversified energy strategy.”

Dr. Lynne Quarmby, Green Party Science Policy Critic and candidate (Burnaby-North Seymour), became the face of public opposition to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion when she was arrested as a protester on Burnaby Mountain in November 2014.

Lynne Quarmby civil disobedience Kinder Morgan protest arrest Mychaylo Prystupa

Lynne Quarmby is cuffed for civil disobedience at a Kinder Morgan protest last November. Vancouver Observer file photo by Mychaylo Prystupa

The Green candidate is unequivocable about her views on expanding oil sands pipeline and tanker projects:

"Any new infrastructure for transporting diluted bitumen to tidewater, or for export in any direction is inconsistent with avoiding dangerous levels of climate change."

Detail of Trans Mountain pipeline route (Kinder Morgan image)

Above: A detailed section of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, through Burnaby Mountain. (Kinder Morgan image)

Quarmby took issue with Harper's risky economic strategy but also the other parties, notably NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, who the Greens point out has not taken a definitive stand against pipeline expansion.

"If Mr. Mulcair is truly sincere in his efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change, then I call on him to give a clear answer on whether he opposes the Kinder Morgan expansion.”

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