ROTHENBURGER – The time has come to put away anti-pipeline protests

(Image: Greenpeace Canada: Facebook)

AT WHAT POINT IS IT TIME to stop protesting and accept reality? I have the feeling that even after the last length of pipe of the Trans Mountain expansion is in the ground, somebody will be out there waving placards and vowing to fight it “for as long as it takes.”

Friday, it was revealed that the cost of the expansion has ballooned from $7.4 billion to $12.6 billion, not including the $4.3-billion purchase price. That brought howls from opposition MPs and from the Wilderness Committee environmental group, the latter calling on the federal government in a news release “to cut its losses and abandon the project.”

Said climate campaigner Peter McCartney, “There’s barely any pipe in the ground now but we know legal errors permitting delays, route changes and community resistance will drive up the price tag even further. There’s still time to walk away from this and the sooner the better.”

A couple of days before that, the Federal Court of Appeal decided federal consultations with indigenous groups had met the test. That has not pleased those who oppose the expansion.

One indigenous leader said it was a blow to reconciliation. Others vowed to launch a renewed legal challenge while they plan more protests.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8171 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

10 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – The time has come to put away anti-pipeline protests

  1. I guess my little brain is sure suffering and scrambling to keep up reading all the reporting about all them various protest (pipeline-related and not)…you were talking Trans-Mountain I was just finishing reading another piece about Coastal Gas and the two separate pipelines got foggily merged…me bad…

  2. Ian MacKenzie // February 10, 2020 at 4:43 PM // Reply

    Pierre – If you read carefully the site you yourself just found, the difference between the authority of hereditary chiefs vs that of councils elected through the Indian Act will become clear. That site includes interpretations of the difference by several scholarly experts on the subject.

  3. Oil and gas is where we’ve been at for many years. It has beyond proven that it is unsustainable for the future well being of this planet. It would be logical and completely necessary to the continuity of all life on earth to begin making a shift over to renewable energy sources. Solar energy etc….this is a fact. In the end the resources will be gone. We have only just begun to see the devastating results. …the issue here is not just about a pipeline. The real reason why there is such outrage, is over the RCMP raiding unceded indigenous land. No consent has been given. Had there been consent, this would not be occurring to the extent it has been. The government in Canada has always never really cared about indigenous people. The last residential school was closed in 1990 if I am correct. Reconciliation has been the focus of the government for years now. Promises have been made. And many have come out in the open to talk about their traumas and the residual Effects of the practice of cultural genocide that have been condoned by the Canadian government and many Canadian people. It is important to look back through the pages of history (history is written by the victors) to see that we don’t keep repeating the same mistakes. So easily we forget why we are living on this beautiful planet. We are here to grow as humans and to live together with animals, and in turn help protect the earth. We are not here to expand industries and corporations. Especially ones that promise a bleak future and destruction of all organic life. All the Archie Bunker types are up in arms spewing hate. Misinformation is rampant. And an overall careless attitude towards life is the theme. I felt that when I stood with my friends and family to speak out. It was actually terrifying to see and feel the reaction. And the total disrespect towards people that stand in solidarity is overwhelming. I think people watch too much family guy and pornhub, to know the depth of this issue. ….the world is facing turmoil in every corner it seems. The planet is being destroyed. Racists are organizing. The governments are run by megalomaniacs and power hungry liars. ….and barely anyone cares. Thanks. Thanks a lot. I wonder what will be worth living for when my daughter grows up? And her children grow up?

    This is why I stand in full support of anyone who has the courage to stand up and fight for what is right.

  4. Bill Hadgkiss // February 8, 2020 at 6:37 PM // Reply

    Where’s the business plan? Where’s the market? TMX says they ship 5 tankers per month. Records show Jan 2020, zero. Last year 2019, 1/m. 2016, 1.2/m to 2018, 3.6/m. Only 20 tankers to China since 2014 when our oil was U$ 20.00/barrel and Alberta had too much. It’s rare for Westridge to ship more than 50% of it’s capacity. 2016 & 17 were 15% capacity. Our government is SPENDING not investing our tax dollars. Show $$$.

  5. I am not sure if I have followed the controversy well enough, hence anyone please correct me if I am wrong. My understanding is most First Nations affected by this particular pipeline (which carries gas to be precise) have gone along with its installation except for one particular group. Can you, Mr. Rothenburger confirm please?

    • Tony Brumell // February 9, 2020 at 4:15 PM // Reply

      Pierre you don’t seem to understand the concept of multiple levels of government. The white guys have a mutiple level government and if the province tries to over rule the federal gov’t all hell breaks loose. The federal government has jurisdiction in many areas, So too with first nations. The hereditary chiefs are the upper level of gov’t and handle policy issues and the elected chiefs and council ( a system of government imposed on them by the privilaged white guys ) handle band and local issues.
      The hereditary chiefs who are the prevailing authority on land issues were not consulted in this or any other issues.
      If we have and depend on layered government then we must accept that F/N can as well and we must respect that. Even you !!!

  6. Tony Brumell // February 8, 2020 at 3:35 PM // Reply

    I don’t know about the pipeline proteststo any great extent. but what I do see and understand is that this government is denying the importance and even the viability of ,several supreme court rulings such as Delgamuk: Silkotine,: Truth and reconciliation and the latest to be desicrated the UNDRIP. These rulings were meant to offer peace and fairness and justice to first nations within the country.They have now been shown to be valueless to the governments of B.C. and Canada who prefer to strong arm those who foolishly (apparently ) though anew dawn was coming for F/N . Sorry It’s the same old racist dawn you have suffered under for the last 170 years. May next generation will be given their rightfull heritage.
    Mel !!! to echo Mike “You have to be joking or blind.”

  7. Ian MacKenzie // February 8, 2020 at 11:18 AM // Reply

    No, Mel, the time has come to resist pipelines with even more determination, and homeowners like you who unfortunately live alongside the pipeline should be leading that growing group of citizens whose foresight, along with the predictions of innumerable scientists and the increasingly extreme weather and climate events proving them correct should be at the leading edge on the field of battle along with the First Nation hereditary leaders. What would have happened at Dunkirk if Churchill had said, “It’s time to go home now lads and leave those other guys on the beach?” And Dunkirk is only a microcosm compared to the battle that has to be fought now to save the world from being on those beaches metaphorically and actually.
    Our governments are captured agencies of greedy international commerce, our courts are weak reflections of our governments, going by a book of constrained evidence instead of by the accumulated evidence of history, and using our national police force as their militarized henchmen.
    You can call me an idealist if you wish but everything has got to change. And fast.
    Surely you’re only playing Devil’s Advocate. You can’t mean it.
    You’re just kidding.
    – – – Aren’t you?

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