Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan says the city will continue to use all legal avenues available to continue opposing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion before he joins the protests himself, following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting with Premiers John Horgan and Rachel Notley on Sunday.
The mayor and Burnaby South MP Kennedy Stewart were among representatives of Lower Mainland governments and Indigenous leaders who met Monday afternoon to affirm continued opposition to Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion pipeline expansion that runs from Edmonton to Burnaby.
Corrigan said he continues to believe in the legal process, and that the courts will provide checks and balances on the federal government’s power, but predicted opposition will escalate if the courts allow pipeline construction to go ahead.
“If we reach the end of this and there is no alternative, then I think what they’re going to see is massive civil disobedience. There has been a taste of what could happen, an overture in the last little while, but I think people totally lose faith in our democratic system if they believe that the federal government has been able to impose its will,” he said.
“I think we’re going to see chaos.”
Corrigan previously said he would stand in front of bulldozers to stop the pipeline, but for now he will wait and see what the courts decide.
“I’ll make that personal decision if I believe I have no other options left … There’s still a lot of fighting (in the courts) to go on before this happens,” he told Burnaby NOW.
“I think some people are taking a very early approach to saying ‘I’m protesting, I’m going to get out there and be arrested,’ but I’m reserving. I’m keeping my powder dry to find out if there is a time and a place for that.”
Stewart, who was recently arrested with Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May after protesting at the Trans Mountain terminal in Burnaby, said he would continue to oppose the pipeline and represent his constituents who oppose it, accusing Trudeau of creating a “crisis” around the issue.
"The prime minister has failed on this project. He is blowing this into a national crisis because of this mishandling of this file,” he said.
Stewart pointed to comments made by the national resources minister Jim Carr in 2016 that they would consider using military force to ensure the pipeline is built saying that “as long as that is on the table for the federal government, I will continue to stand with my constituents.”
Will George, member of the Tsleil-Waututh nation who has been involved with protests at the Trans Mountain terminal in Burnaby, said he expects protests to continue and actions to escalate.