Claremont’s Troy Patterson started an online petition last month calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. The petition now has over 23,000 signatures. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

Claremont’s Troy Patterson started an online petition last month calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. The petition now has over 23,000 signatures. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

B.C. teen’s petition to stop Coastal GasLink pipeline garners over 23,000 signatures

Greater Victoria student worried about potential impact on Great Bear Rainforest, marine life

When a Greater Victoria teenager’s petition against the Coastal GasLink pipeline got to 200 signatures last month, his aunt congratulated him on its progress. He responded by telling her he hoped it would reach 800 signatures by March.

A week later, the petition was at 16,000.

“It totally blew me away,” said Troy Patterson.

The Claremont Secondary School student’s petition is now at over 23,000 signatures. The petition calls for construction of the pipeline to stop as Patterson is concerned about its potential impact on the Great Bear Rainforest and marine life.

“This is one of the last wild places in B.C.,” Patterson said. “I thought ‘What can I do as a youth?’ and I thought a petition would be the best way to go about that.”

Patterson first got involved in environmentalism about a year ago, after he visited an old-growth forest. That interest in conservation has continued to grow as he’s currently taking a course in school that revolves around the environment.

The 15-year-old said environmental issues have fallen out of the spotlight during the pandemic.

“I needed to bring this back up so people can remember and start to make a change.”

READ: Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Once completed, TC Energy’s 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline will transport natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat, where the company says it’ll be converted into liquefied natural gas and shipped to global markets.

One of Patterson’s main concerns is the impact on wildlife if LNG carrier-ship traffic increases in the province’s northern waters. One species he’s worried about is the endangered fin whale – which the federal government says can be found in some deep channels between islands along British Columbia’s northern coast.

“The marine ecosystem is much at stake here,” Patterson said. “The tankers have to traverse some quite sharp turns and passages.”

Patterson has reached out to Premier John Horgan, Environment Minister George Heyman, Forests Minister Katrine Conroy and several local MLAs to raise his concerns.

“I think in B.C. we’re quite connected to the environment with it all right in our backyard,” Patterson said. “I would like to see the B.C. government recognize it too and push to a more sustainable future.”

The province’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said the pipeline’s construction and operation “will not involve any effects to marine life or marine traffic.”

“Nor does the pipeline cross the Great Bear Rainforest and, as such, these effects were not assessed for the Coastal GasLink project,” an email from the ministry said.

”Regarding the LNG Canada project, impacts on marine shipping and marine life were considered through the environmental assessment certificate process.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Coastal GasLinkoak bay

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Township of Spallumcheen collected an honourable mention in the 2020 UBCM Community Excellence Awards for its sustainable service delivery and water improvment district conversion plan. (Photo submitted)
Spallumcheen water district conversion plan gets recognition

Township collects UBCM Community Excellence Award honourable mention

Spallumcheen councillors (from left) Todd York, Gerry Popoff, Christine LeMaire, John Bakker, Joe Van Tienhoven and Andrew Casson join Mayor Christine Fraser (fourth from left) in helping to proclaim the township open for business with new signage off Highway 97A. (Township of Spallumcheen photo)
Being open for business paying dividends for Spallumcheen

Township wins provincial award, new business and building starts increase

John Pavelich’s 83rd birthday had an added surprise; members of Enderby City Council came by his residence to present him with a Lifetime Civic Merit award Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby resident unwraps Lifetime Civic Merit award on 83rd birthday

John ‘JP’ Pavelich has been a pillar of volunteerism in Enderby since 1967

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Oliver Fire Department had to put out a fire on their own training ground, and it wasn’t one they set. (Facebook)
Vehicles torched at Oliver Fire Department training grounds

This suspected arson comes after the cars were vandalized earlier and suspicious fire the night before

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Tavis Stevenson, son of Pam and Bruce Stevenson, founders of The Book Shop on Main St, is the creator of the whimsical animal farm carts seen above The Book Shop. He also painted the book mural in the back alley behind the shop. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
The Book Shop in downtown Penticton is one of those rare gems

The Book Shop, like so many businesses, is wanting to turn the page to the end of this pandemic

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Mathieu Bourgault (13) tries unsuccessfully to deflect past West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick during the Warriors’ come-from-behind 7-6 BC Hockey Leaguje pod shootout victory Saturday, May 8, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors rally to edge Salmon Arm in shootout

Warriors overcome three significant deficits to post 7-6 BCHL pod win in Vernon; Silverbacks finish pod 9-7-2-2

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read