We are in a crisis. Climate change has arrived and no one is spared. Fossil fuels must be curbed drastically, starting now.
In 2021, BC struggled with extreme weather, including relentless heatwaves, widespread fires, devastating flooding and ending with a series of strong storms with periods of heavy and blowing snow, freezing rain and extremely cold weather.
People, farm animals and wildlife lost their lives. A village burned to the ground. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. Farm land was submerged under water and livelihoods were destroyed. Roads and Highways collapsed and were impassible. The costs were enormous and it will take years to recover from the damages.
In mid-November, the massive floods, landslides, and road shutdowns forced the closure of the Trans Mountain (TM) pipeline. Work on the expansion project on the pipeline was also halted. In some areas the water washed away the soil and exposed the pipeline. TM had to build up the riverbanks and re-bed the pipe where it was scoured out. It was estimated that the repairs could easily reach many tens of millions of dollars. Shipments of oil were stopped resulting in rationing in the Lower Mainland. The 21-day shutdown marked the longest in the pipeline's 68-year history. It did not resume running at full pressure until January 2022.
BC in 2021
Number of people who died during the "heat dome" when temperatures rose as high as 46 C: 619
Number of people that lost their lives in mudslides: 5
Number of livestock and poultry deaths because of flooding: More than 640,000
Estimates of the numbers of seashore animals living along the shore of the Salish Sea that may have died during the extreme heat: More than a billion
Number of people evacuated from their homes at peak of the floods: Almost 15,000
Number of wildfires that burned destroying 868,203 hectares of land: 1,610
Estimated cost to suppress the fires not including future cost recoveries: $565 million
Estimated costs for insured damages from flooding and fires: $694
Indigenous communities and local municipalities, as well as environmental scientists and health care professionals have brought forward the mountains of evidence against this pipeline, but our country's review boards have been stacked with friends of oil and gas companies. They have refused to acknowledge the severity of the immediate risks of fires, leaks and tanker spills. This pipeline expansion is a long-term threat to our land, water and the many creatures and people in its path.
There are NO "pros" to this venture. It's an economic failure, it works to make climate change WORSE and it tramples on the rights of Indigenous peoples. For all of these reasons, we say it's time to STOP TMX.