Thousands protest Enbridge in Vancouver: video
"The federal government called me and my people 'radicals' -- they called us enemies of the state," federal NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) told a large crowd at Vancouver's Defend Our Climate rally on Saturday.
"They thought they could bully us. They thought they could shut us down. ...Sometimes, they close they close their ears off to us and say, 'You just happen to be in the way between the tar sands and China.' We're more than just in the way. We live here," he said.
Thousands of people gathered outside Science World as part of one of over 130 events held across Canada to urge the federal government to take action on climate change. In Vancouver, however, the protesters' focus was on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, which would bring oil from Alberta's oil sands through British Columbia to Asian and U.S. markets.
"Enough of this tired old rhetoric that it's a choice between the environment and the economy. What generation do you live in? In this generation, we have the creativity, the courage, and now, the technology to get it right for our kids, and that's why we're here," Environmental advocate and author Tzeporah Berman said.
A prominent First Nation leader warned there would be political consequences in BC if the proposed pipeline was approved by federal government.
"We have 21 Conservative MPs in this province," Coastal First Nations executive director Art Sterritt said. "And if Stephen Harper approves this (Northern Gateway pipeline proposal), those 21 MPs are going to be in the fight of their lives, and they are going to lose big time."