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For 'grandkids' future': 100-year-old Port Coquitlam grandma tells Trudeau to stop Trans Mountain

Coquitlam groups opposed to Trans Mountain pipeline project are holding virtual protests to get their message to federal officials during the pandemic

A 100-year-old Port Coquitlam grandma is saying thanks but no thanks to the Canadian prime minister as she mounts a personal protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“Grams” turned 100 on Feb. 15 and, in response to a birthday certificate she received from Justin Trudeau, she sent him a photo of herself with TMX protest signs along with her birthday wish to “have a future for all grandkids and cancel TMX.” 

Grams’ birthday also happened to be the same day as the Families for the Future event, whereby community groups and members came together in a protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“We are going to make sure he (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) gets the photo,” said Jane Thomsing of Gram’s protest photo.

Thomsing, who is with the Colony Farm Park Association, is helping to organize a virtual protest against the $12.6 billion pipeline project and will be sending along the virtual protest to Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon and other federal officials.

Thomsing said that instead of protesting in person during the pandemic, organizers decided to hold a virtual protest on social media to encourage people to voice their concerns using the hashtags #familiesforthefuture, #stopTMX and #antiTMX.

Thomsing and other groups are concerned about plans to use Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam as a staging area for pipe for a Fraser River crossing.

Work is expected to start in March and Thomsing says she is worried that using 11 acres of the southwestern area of the park as a staging area will be destructive to critical bird habitat.

Trans Mountain meanwhile says it will not damage the park and will contribute $1.4 million toward the park.

“Trans Mountain will leave no infrastructure within the park when its temporary use of the space is complete. All work will be completed according to approved environmental protection plans and overseen by qualified environmental professionals,” a Trans Mountain media spokesperson stated in an email.

Pipe is also being installed along Rogers Avenue in an industrial area of Coquitlam and on United Boulevard, where furniture stores, Home Depot and the Coquitlam transfer station are located.

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