With a big sign reading “Stop TMX,” a Vancouver-area professor spent all of Tuesday (Aug. 4) perched in a tree in New Westminster as part of an effort to block construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
“I didn’t expect to find myself living in a tree at 63 years of age,” Tim Takaro said in a statement released by activist group Extinction Rebellion.
Takaro is currently occupying a section of forested area along the Brunette River which is scheduled to be removed to clear way for pipeline to be laid.
“I am a public health physician who has been studying and working on policy regarding the health impacts of climate change for nearly 30 years,” he said.
“This threat has compelled me to put my body on the line to prevent construction of this climate-killing project.”
The group is planning a physically distanced march on Wednesday afternoon in New Westminster. Black Press Media has reached out to New Westminster police and Kinder Morgan for comment.
The latest protest by Takaro comes just days after the Trudeau government and Alberta officials signed an agreement through which the feds will lessen environmental monitoring of oilsands due to budget cuts amid the ongoing pandemic.
Signed July 7 by top bureaucrats in Ottawa and Edmonton, it reduces funding by about 25 per cent from last year’s budget, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Press.
The Trans Mountain expansion – bought by the federal government in 2018 – is expected to triple the pipeline’s capacity to carry bitumen from Edmonton to Burnaby. The controversial project was approved for a second time in June 2019, after the Federal Court of Appeal tore up the original approval last year due to insufficient environmental review and inadequate Indigenous consultations.
Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges from environment and Indigenous groups from B.C.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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