A group of people will be delivering a little water from the west coast to MP Bill Casey’s Truro office on Friday.
March 23 is National Day of Action to Defend the Water, and people across the country are gathering at MPs’ offices to deliver water and voice their opposition to a Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.
“I feel it’s an important issue, and if I was there I would be marching with the 10,000 up Burnaby Mountain,” said Paul Jenkinson, who lives in Tatamagouche and is one of the local event hosts. “Citizens on the west coast of Canada have very clearly said they don’t want the pipeline expansion and increased tanker traffic. First Nations have made it very clear they don’t want this to go across their land.
“I have a real interest in promoting democracy. When government stops listening to people, that’s a very dangerous development, and the federal government is not listening.”
Jenkinson said this isn’t a political issue for him, as he’s happy with some of the things the federal government has done on other issues.
“The prime minister says he wants to be an environmental leader, but there’s no way we’ll meet our Paris target if the pipeline goes through,” he said. “If you put the pipeline in you’re basically committed to 50 years of extraction to make it profitable. If these gatherings take place in many communities, it will give the prime minister a strong signal.”
He stressed that the gathering is not a demonstration, but a peaceful water delivery with a few words. The water represents all water threatened by the pipeline expansion.
“My interest is in facilitating conversation. We’re ordinary citizens who are standing up and saying this is an issue for all of us. We all use water, and all water and air is ultimately one closed system on Earth.”
National Day of Action to Defend the Water is an initiative of LeadNow, an organization formed in 2010 by a group of young people who care about a wide range of issues and wanted to create a way for people to participate in democracy.
On March 10, Coast Salish spiritual leaders and members raised a traditional Coast Salish Watch House near the pipeline route, to serve as a base for resistance to the project, and 10,000 people in Vancouver marched in solidarity on the same day.
Those interested are welcome to join the group delivering water to Bill Casey’s office, at 40 Inglis Place, Friday morning. People will begin gathering around 11 a.m.