Two opposing groups, Extinction Rebellion and Canada Action, protested in front of the downtown Teck Resources office building on Jan. 22, to voice differing opinions on the Teck Frontier mine.
Extinction Rebellion Calgary, a group of concerned and hopeful citizens, were joined by a few dozen activists, including Indigenous groups. Many opponents of the mine gave speeches and held signs that said, “Reject Teck.” They also asked the public to sign a letter, to be sent to Ottawa, rejecting this project.
“We want it to be timely and relevant and make our voices heard before the decision has been made,” said Extinction Rebellion Calgary spokesperson, Sarah Flynn. “We’re here because we feel that this mine will be a climate, economic, and environmental disaster.”
Canada’s federal government will approve or reject the project by the end of February.
Canada Action, a volunteer-created movement that encourages Canadians to work together in support of the natural resources sector, organized a larger counter demonstration in support of the Teck project.
“Anybody who is standing on that side wants to destroy the industry,” said Maurice Carney, a Canada Action supporter.
Around two dozen Calgary Police officers worked as a line between both groups.
Extinction Rebellion supporters tried to win over the Canada Action group with a song and some speeches.
Michelle Robbins, a supporter of Extinction Rebellion, gave a loud speech about climate change.
Canada Action is fully funded by oil companies. – Michelle Robbins
According to the pro-resource sector group, if the mine will be built it will generate thousands of jobs and will produce up to 260,000 barrels of oil a day. Teck also said on their website that the project would boost revenues to government by $70 billion over its lifespan.
“No doubt it will generate some jobs but not as many as one would hope, and the problem is that the costs of the emissions are so devastating,” said Flynn. “We love job creation, we feel that it needs to be done in a way that can also be in line with climate action,” she said.
Extinction Rebellion holds events to teach people about climate change and non-violent protests.