One thing has become abundantly clear in the last couple of weeks. There’s no way Trudeau can quietly approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline this December. Wherever the Prime Minister goes these days, youth have been boldly standing up with messages calling for the rejection of the Kinder Morgan pipeline this December. With 9 weeks to go until he’s due to announce his decision on this massive 890,000-barrels-a-day tar sands expansion project, it would be an understatement to say the pressure is mounting.
1. Kicking off a series of confrontations, a Canadian student studying at NYC drew the state leader’s attention by calling out to him saying she was from Montreal, but she quickly caught him by surprise when she outright asked him if he would reject Kinder Morgan. The expression on his face changed immediately and he couldn’t get away fast enough. Just see for yourself in the video below!
As he left, Trudeau mumbled something about having a “process.” What he didn’t acknowledge was that his process if very much built on a broken pipeline review, developed by the Harper government, that completely undermines the right of Indigenous peoples to say ‘no’ to projects cutting through their traditional territories and doesn’t include the climate in its definition of the environment!
2. I think we can all safely assume that Trudeau was not expecting the ‘Royal Visit’ in Vancouver to be politically charged. To his dismay, as he welcomed the doting royal couple and their toddlers to the country, the people of the West Coast had some welcome messages of their own. Dozens of people showed up on with banners on the land and brandishing flags as they paddled towards the reception on the water.
The Royal Couple was also personally greeted by Squamish Chief Ian Campbell, whose nation is one of more than 15 Indigenous communities and 21 municipalities that vehemently oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The Chief welcomed the couple with a message “about the beauty of this coast, the sacredness of these waters, and remembering that there’s a spiritual context that First Nations bring to our relationship to the waters we’ve used for thousands of years.” In doing so he named the very things that remain acutely threatened by Kinder Morgan.
3. Next up, the #StopKM message followed Prime Minister Trudeau as he made a special address in Parliament during the opening ceremony of the One Young World Summit. As he spoke to hundreds of young people from across the world converging in Ottawa, some local young people stood up in the crowd and raised a sign calling on Trudeau to ‘Reject the Kinder Morgan’ pipeline — they effectively foiled Trudeau’s attempts to spew his venomous, empty-worded charm. The international young leaders attending this summit might not have known about the Kinder Morgan pipeline when they entered the opening ceremonies, but, fortunately, they’ll go back home questioning Trudeau’s empty rhetoric on climate action thanks to this disruption.
4. Just a week later, Trudeau made an esteemed appearance in Toronto’s financial district to make an important announcement while surrounded by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and a possy of cabinet ministers based in the city. As he walked onto the premise, the guest of honour was questioned once again on the pesky pipeline issues. Check out this epic video of the confrontation:
5. And that same afternoon, as he oh-so-charismatically leaned over to tap a keg to open Oktoberfest celebrations in Kitchener, yet again, some meddling youths showed up again with tough questions and determined to photo bomb, Which they did with notable success! As crowds of people snapped shots of the PM boozing up, a “Reject Kinder Morgan” sign stood tall preventing Justin Trudeau from dissociating himself with the upcoming decision on Kinder Morgan this December.
Of course, the most iconic call to action from youth will come for Trudeau on October 24th when throngs of young people take action in an unprecedented way by engaging in mass civil disobedience and calling for a rejection of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.