Rail blockade set up to stop shipment of pipes for $9.3-billion Trans Mountain expansion project

In August, the Canadian government–owned Trans Mountain Corporation announced that it was restarting construction on a massive pipeline expansion.

This came after the Trudeau cabinet approved the $9.3-billion megaproject for a second time over the objections of several First Nations and environmental groups.

But today, activists in Oregon and Washington set up a blockade on a rail line to prevent the pipe from being shipped to Canada.

They claimed that the direct action at the Port of Vancouver in Washington state “is causing a major delay in loading pipe onto trains destined for British Columbia”.

It was organized by the environmental groups Portland Rising Tide and Mosquito Fleet. It came four days before the Canadian election.

A banner at the protest site declares “Your hypocrisy is embarrassing!” with the hashtags #Trudeau, #GovInslee, and #StopTMX.

If the project is completed, it will dramatically increase tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea. 

In 2014, the City of Vancouver commissioned a report that concluded there would be more than 71 million tonnes of annual downstream carbon dioxide equivalent emissions as a result of this project.

That exceeds total carbon emissions every year in all of British Columbia.

The Trudeau government bought Texas-based Kinder Morgan’s Canadian pipeline system in 2018 for $4.5 billion.