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Anti-pipeline protesters target major bank in Downtown Vancouver

Last Updated Dec 18, 2017 at 9:44 am PDT

Protesters against the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion targeted TD Bank on West Georgia St in Downtown Vancouver. (Ellen Coulter, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Anti-pipeline activists have targeted the Downtown Vancouver branch of a big bank, demanding TD Bank “totally divest from the Kinder Morgan pipeline”.

A couple of dozen protesters gathered on West Georgia outside the bank, handing out flyers to customers urging them to close their accounts.

Alison Bodine is an organizer with Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver and says protesters want the bank to totally divest from the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

“TD Bank is the largest funder and proponent of the Kinder Morgan pipeline here in Canada. They’ve invested $731 million, and this is despite having clear environmental protection policies.”

“The Kinder Morgan pipeline is something we don’t need here in British Columbia, that Canada doesn’t need. We don’t need any more dirty tar sands oil being transported across indigenous territory, through cities like Burnaby and destroying our coasts here.”

Karl Perrin was one of those at the rally and says TD Bank has a social responsibility not to back Kinder Morgan.

“We’re targeting them as a bank that has reach across Canada and all across the United States.”

Bill Winder was handing out flyers to TD customers, urging them to close their accounts.

“There’s no reason whatsoever this pipeline should be going through, and the banks are supporting it.”

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will triple capacity from the Edmonton area to Burnaby. The National Energy Board recently cleared the path for Kinder Morgan to start building in Burnaby, ruling the company does not have to comply with two of that city’s by-laws.

A spokesperson for TD in Vancouver provided a statement from the bank after the protest.

“TD is actively supporting the transition to a lower carbon economy, committing over $12 billion to date in financing and investments. That said, TD is also aware that Canadians will rely on conventional energy sources for several more decades to sustain our economy, create jobs and support a standard of living for our customers and communities.”

“While Canada is transitioning to cleaner energy sources, TD believes that responsible natural resource development must balance environmental, social and economic considerations. The companies that TD finances are required to have strong policies and processes that comply with – and where necessary, go beyond – government regulations.”

The bank says it has now announced a set of initiatives to advance the low-carbon economy of the future, including a target of $100 billion in low-carbon lending, financing and asset management by 2030.

 

This story has been updated to include TD Bank’s comments