Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says the federal government will call in reinforcements if Canadian pipeline protests get out of hand.
The federal government approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement on Tuesday. Both projects have been hot button issues amid fears about their potential environmental impact.
Carr warned potential protesters on Thursday to keep any resistance to the projects non-violent.
“If people choose for their own reasons not to be peaceful, then the government of Canada – through its defence forces, through its police forces – will ensure that people are kept safe,” Carr said in Edmonton on Thursday.
“We have a history of peaceful dialogue and dissent in Canada. I’m certainly hopeful that that tradition will continue. If people determine for their own reasons that that is not the path they want to follow, then we live under the rule of law.”
Pipeline protests have come to the forefront this year, most recently in opposition to Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline, which will run oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Demonstrators camped out in opposition to the project for months on the Sioux Tribe’s Standing Rock reservation and were ordered to evacuate last week by North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple.
Protests also derailed the National Energy Board’s hearings for TransCanada Corp’s proposed Energy East pipeline in August. The Montreal hearings were suspended after demonstrators stormed the conference. The NEB subsequently replaced its review board in light of conflict of interest complaints.