Protesters target University of Alberta convocation

*CEO of company proposing controversial pipeline receiving honorary degree*

rotesters from British Columbia crashed a University of Alberta convocation in Edmonton on Thursday, objecting to the presence of Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel, who was receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree from the school.

About a dozen protesters wore paper face masks made to resemble Daniel and handed out pamphlets outside the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, where the ceremony was being held.

The protesters said they are against the gas company’s plan to build the $5.5-billion Northern Gateway Pipeline between Edmonton and Kitimat, B.C.

In late May, Enbridge filed an application with the National Energy Board to build the 1,172-kilometre pipeline. If approved, the project would consist of a twin underground pipeline system, with one 90-centimetre-diameter pipeline carrying oilsands crude west and a 50-centimetre-wide pipe bringing condensate east.

Protesters hold a banner outside graduation ceremonies held Thursday at the University of Alberta’s Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton. (CBC)Condensate is natural gas in a liquid state and is used to thin oil so it can be pumped through a pipeline.

Greg Brown, spokesperson for Friends of Wild Salmon, the B.C.-based group behind Thursday’s protest, said the pipeline would ruin the region.

“We’re not going to go to the end of the oil age with you, and we’re not going to accept an oil pipeline through our area, and we’re not going to accept oil tankers on the west coast of British Columbia,” Brown told CBC News.

Commerce graduate Kayla Balzac was one of the people who stopped to watch the protesters.

Balzac said the protesters chose the wrong time and place to air their complaints.

“I get what they’re saying, but if they could just wait and not go right in the middle of where everyone wants to be, that’s what I would like,” she said.

A joint review panel of representatives from the federal Environment Department and the National Energy Board is reviewing Enbridge’s bid.

Back to News index page