VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – First Nations groups from Squamish and North Vancouver are paddling to protest Kinder Morgan‘s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans.

Dozens of people will be traveling in canoes from Ambleside to Cates Park today as a way to take a stand against the pipeline proposal.

Ben West with the Wilderness Committee says he’s worried about the health and safety of people in BC.

“So many of us on this long weekend are going to be enjoying the water, the beaches [and] the risk of an oil spill is a serious threat,” believes West. “It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when, when you’re talking [about] oil being trafficked from point A to point B.”

He says a potential spill could hurt jobs and damage the food you eat.

“There’s the potential that an oil spill can lead to increased levels of toxins that make it unsafe to be close to the water and that would just be a really big step in the wrong direction,” adds West

“People are trying to reclaim some of what’s been lost and are also looking at what’s at stake in terms of the health and safety risks. You know people want to be able to go to the beaches and enjoy being out on the water.”

As part of the campaign, you’ll find more events on the North Shore tomorrow.

The $4.1-billion expansion would increase the pipeline’s oil capacity to 750,000 barrels per day from its current 300,000.