Unless you’ve been living under a rock and have not seen any news of what’s going on in Canada, you probably know about the pipeline protests that are happening. Like with everything, there are upsides and downsides to this, and most people in Kamloops have their opinions.
Summer Robinson, who lives in Kamloops and is also Wet’suwet’en, explained to me her thoughts on why the protests are important and why she agrees with the pipeline not happening. She said that the pipeline can wreck the environment and destroy lakes and the forests and that the protests are important to help maintain the wellbeing of the environment.
On the other hand, building the pipeline/fixing the old pipeline can possibly help future environmental issues. Kamloops resident Jacob Madden stated that if the pipeline doesn’t get built or fixed, they will use trains and trucks to transport the oil, both of which are more likely to crash and spill oil than the pipeline spilling oil if it is properly built and fixed. Another Kamloopsian, Alicia Dunn, added that yes there will be some environmental issues at first, but in the long run, there are more pros. An anonymous source talked about how the number of new jobs that will come out of the pipeline being built will be good for many people.
Protesting itself is a legal thing to do in Canada, but when laws start being broken is when it becomes illegal. Blocking the railroads is actually illegal and goes against the Railway Safety Act. One of the biggest problems that people are having with the protesters is that they are protesting in this illegal way. Dunn thinks that the protesters should be at least vaguely respectful about the law. Madden says he gets where they are coming from but they need to be conscious of the repercussions of their actions that are going to affect the Canadian economy and Canadians in general.
There are upsides and downsides to everything. You can pick pretty much any topic and get a pros and cons list on it. In Canada, everyone is entitled to their own opinion; in the Canadian charter of rights, there is the fundamental freedom right, which is freedom of speech. Everyone is free to speak on their beliefs in Canada unless it is hate speech, obscenity, or defamation, which are three things that are restricted in the charter of rights. Out of the people who talked to me about this it does seem that while understanding some of the issues, they are mostly pro-pipeline.