It’s the hottest debate in Canada on the screen.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline is the focus of a new documentary Directly Affected: Pipeline Under Pressure that screens at the Schubert Centre May 31 at 7 p.m.
Vancouver filmmaker Zack Embree recently returned from screenings with MPs in Ottawa and in Toronto, will be in Vernon to introduce his film and answer questions afterwards.
Directly Affected weaves together the stories of people impacted by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project, the broken National Energy Board review process used to approve the pipeline, Canada’s commitments at the Paris Climate Talks and the innovators working towards the low-carbon economy.
Five years ago, Embree set out on a mission to understand the impacts of the Kinder Morgan pipeline on local communities and give a voice back to those who had been ignored by the National Energy Board process.
Embree interviewed residents affected by the 2007 Burnaby oil spill and covered the protests on Burnaby Mountain. He journeyed to indigenous communities such as Fort McKay, Alta. to witness the impacts of fossil fuel extraction, to New Brunswick where many of the energy workers are from, and to France for the Paris climate talks.
What he found was a growing storm of opposition from all walks of life and confusion over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate plan.
The film serves both as a primer and a history lesson on the pipeline project that began as part of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s attempt to make Canada an oil superpower. According to Embree, laws were loosened and the approval process streamlined at the bequest of the powerful oil lobby. Embree said everyone thought the tide was changing when the Trudeau Liberals came to power, but now they are pledging tax dollars to entice Texas-based Kinder Morgan to move forward with its plans.
The dichotomy between the growing impacts of climate change, including floods, fires, severe weather events and ocean acidification and the insatiable demands of the fossil-fuel industry are well covered in the film. As well, Embree documents the economic fallacies behind the bitumen bubble that is poised to burst as alternate energy sources expand exponentially.
Everyone is welcome to attend the screening sponsored by the Sustainable Environment Network Society. Tickets, $10 and $5 for students and seniors, will be available at the door.