The Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline has been widely debated amongst Canadians since its announcement. While some people stand for it, others have been actively protesting its development. But in a podcast posted on Wednesday, May 20, Alberta’s energy minister Sonya Savage said that it's a good time to build the pipeline as there can’t be big groups gathering to protest as they have in the past.
While the Angus Reid Institute released information saying that a majority of people supported Justin Trudeau in approving the Trans Mountain Pipeline, there are some people who are against it.
This pipeline is currently under construction between Edmonton and Vancouver.
Canadians have been planning and executing massive protests about the construction of this pipeline.
One of the protesters once even confronted the prime minster and things got a little intense.
While the pipeline is a go, people are still talking about it and on a recent podcast called “Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors podcast,” Alberta’s energy minister joined in on the conversation.
During the Wednesday, May 20, podcast, Sonya Savage said that "now is a great time to be building a pipeline because you can't have protests of more than 15 people,” said Savage.
“Let’s get it built.”
After this was said, the interviewer laughed at the remark but Savage didn't.
World-famous activist, Greta Thunberg, joined the conversation on Twitter. "Well, at least we are seeing some honesty for once... Unfortunately this how large parts of the world are run," said Thunberg.
"Alberta minister says it’s a ‘great time’ to build a pipeline because COVID-19 restrictions limit protests against… https://t.co/2gCf4pkRvb— Greta Thunberg (@Greta Thunberg)1590474673.0
Unless otherwise identified in public health orders, gatherings of more than 50 people are not allowed in any outdoor location in the province.
For indoor locations, there can’t be more than 15 people.
Savage then went on to say that there may not be tolerance and patience for protesters as they would be getting in the way of people working.
“People need jobs,” said Savage.
“People need economic activity and these types of ideological protests that get in the way are just not going to be tolerated by ordinary Canadians.”
According to CTV News, Savage’s spokesperson acknowledged that she was on the podcast and said that “we respect the right to lawful protests.”
CTV notes that in February of this year, the government introduced legislation to impose fines with the possibility of jail time for protestors who damage or interfere with the operation of energy infrastructure.
While public gatherings are still limited, a protest of 50 people could still be substantial. Though, even while outside individuals are mandated to maintaining 2-meters of physical distance between anyone who isn't from their household. The new normal may bring changes to the way people protest, too.