Burnaby residents support protesters

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Burnaby residents posed for pictures, waved signs and even delivered doughnuts to the Greenpeace activists who occupied the Westridge Marine Terminal on Wednesday.

A number of local residents came out to show their support for the demonstrators who were chained to the front gate and in other areas inside the terminal.

Hartwig Boecking, a 25-year resident, applauded the protest.

“I support this in many ways,” he said. “You don’t have to be an environmentalist to be in favour.”

Another protester arrived wearing a large yellow sign reading: “Clean water is worth more to us than dirty oil.”

The man, who would not give his name, said he was a former dog-walker and that all six of his dogs had died of a form of cancer, which he blames on the toxins he says are issuing from the terminal.

“These people,” he said, pointing to the two protesters chained to the gate, “are the bravest souls out here.”

Alan Dutton of Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) said there’s a mixed reaction to the Greenpeace action.

“While many have expressed support, others are cynical about the long-term effect,” said Dutton. “I am optimistic, however, that the Greenpeace demonstration will not only raise public awareness about the multiple dangers of shipping and storing oil in major cities it will stimulate debate about the most effective ways to oppose building a new larger pipeline, more than doubling oil storage capacity on Burnaby Mountain and dramatically increasing tanker traffic through Second Narrows and Vancouver Harbour.”

Greenpeace B.C. director Stephanie Goodwin said the activists were grateful for the support.

“It was great,” she said. “We also heard from them that they want more information and more input into this issue.”

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