Faith leaders arrested while protesting Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion

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[The duty to consult Aboriginal communities and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has adopted, can, however, be ignored. *RON*]

Thea Uson, Global News, 20 April 2018

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Two faith leaders were arrested at the Kinder Morgan protest site in Burnaby Friday morning. "It' s time for us to stand up for the earth," the leaders told Global News.

Two faith leaders were arrested while protesting at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby on Friday.

National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald was among the religious leaders resisting the pipeline expansion outside the terminal’s gates.

“Our goal here is very simple,” MacDonald said.

“To underline and highlight the principle of free, prior and informed consent which we believe is at the heart of reconciliation in Canada, at the heart of Indigenous people, and at the heart of live-able future of us all.”

READ MORE: Anti-pipeline activists arrested at Kinder Morgan site could be tried for criminal contempt

Rev. Emilie Smith of New Westminster’s St. Barnabas Anglican Church was also present on Friday. She said there’s already been substantial environmental damage in the area around Alberta’s oilsands.

“There’s no fish to eat anymore, there’s no caribou to eat anymore because of the pollution from the tar sands,” she said.

“It’s time for us to stand up for the Earth, it’s time for us to say yes to life and no to the profit-making and greed involved in death.”

About a dozen work vehicles were turned away from the construction site starting at 5:30 a.m., leaving workers stuck outside.

Leaders of faith communities brought copies of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, saying Canada has failed to uphold Indigenous communities’ right to consent when it comes to development on their territory.

READ MORE: Burnaby RCMP arrest 3 protesters who zap-strapped themselves to Kinder Morgan gate

“I think there has been very little focus on the Indigenous rights aspects of this and that is pretty critical or essential for our concerns and that’s what we want to underline today,” MacDonald said.

Almost 200 people have been arrested since early March as protesters have blocked access to the facility.

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