Candlelight vigils will be held in Edmonton and Calgary Monday evening for people to show their opposition to the potential Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline expansion.
The federal government is expected to make a decision regarding the controversial pipeline by mid-December but stakeholders expect it could come as early as Nov. 22.
Greenpeace said more than 30 municipalities will hold candlelight vigils Monday night, urging the federal government to reject the proposal.
In Edmonton, the event will take place at the Alberta legislature at 4:30 p.m. In Calgary, it will be held at Olympic Plaza at 5 p.m.
“The pipeline begins in Sherwood Park and it is important for us to show that people at the source stand with the over 22 municipalities and 59 First Nations that oppose this pipeline,” Edmonton event co-ordinator, Hannah Gelderman, said.
“We are ready to transition to a sustainable, justice-based, low carbon economy. We need to respect indigenous rights and keep our climate promises.”
Greenpeace has also launched an online petition to voice opposition to the Kinder Morgan and Energy East pipelines.
The Alberta government has stressed it is imperative infrastructure is created to get resources to market.
In fact, Premier Rachel Notley said her NDP government will not support the federal government’s climate change plan without serious progress on pipeline approval.
Alberta’s environment minister said her government would be willing to talk to Ottawa about a federal price on carbon of up to $50 a tonne if the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is approved.
“Kinder Morgan will ensure that we realize many of the economic benefits of economic access,” Shannon Phillips told Global News in an interview.
“Of course more is better, but that is the one we have in the regulatory queue right now and that is the one project that we are looking to the federal government to resolve.”
The Trans Mountain expansion would create a twinned pipeline to carry oil from Strathcona County in Alberta to Burnaby, B.C. The expansion would triple the pipeline’s capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.
The expansion has faced political opposition in B.C. from the provincial government and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, along with indigenous groups in the province. They are concerned about coastal oil spills and increased tanker traffic.
The National Energy Board approved the pipeline expansion back in May, attaching 157 conditions. A final decision now rests with the federal government, and specifically cabinet. The deadline for that decision is Dec. 19.
The project has an estimated cost of $6.8 billion.
With files from Vassy Kapelos, Global News
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