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Coastal GasLink protesters target Dartmouth RBC to fight pipeline’s completion

Demonstrators protest Royal Bank’s investment in liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C.

3 min read
2 people, one speaking on a mic and one watching the speaker, standing in front of a #WetsuwetenStrong banner taped to a railing.
caption Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman speaks to a crowd of demonstrators outside 44 Portland St, Dartmouth.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline in B.C. is more than two-thirds complete, but Decolonial Solidarity Dartmouth continues to fight, saying the pipeline should never have started in the first place.

Demonstrators focused their attention on the Dartmouth RBC branch on Portland Street on Wednesday to challenge the bank’s investment in the $6.6-billion pipeline project.

“The more people who begin to understand where their money’s going, and what’s happening with it, the more likely there will be action to move the money to divest from supporting fossil fuels,” said Deborah Luscomb, one of the demonstrators.

Several demonstrators wearing hard hats and safety vests marched into the branch with a handmade pipeline. They taped their pipeline to the floor, saying they did not need consent because the Coastal GasLink project did not have the consent of Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.

Two people in construction uniforms tape a pipeline to the ground in RBC. One person in a similar uniform stands and speaks to the onlookers. One person standing in line to speak with a teller watches the pipeline being installed.
caption Four demonstrators install a handmade symbolic pipeline at the RBC in downtown Dartmouth on Wednesday.

Demonstrators also distributed a letter from Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs calling on investors and stakeholders to divest from the project.

“The more we can shut these things down, the more we can stamp them out,” said Andrew Glencross, one of the organizers, before the protest.

TC Energy began developing the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in 2012. The goal was to deliver natural gas across 670 kilometres of land in northern B.C. for export to global markets.

There was consultation with local communities, environmental experts and Indigenous groups along the pipeline’s route, including the Wet’suwet’en Nation. But the Hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation never consented.


16 people gathered in front of an RBC. 3 stand on a ledge being used as a stage. They are surrounded by banners with slogans like “#WetsuwetenStrong,” “Mi’kma’ki stands with the Wet'suwet'en”
caption Demonstrators gather outside the RBC on Portland Street in Dartmouth to protest RBC’s investment in the Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Setting a precedent

These threats to Indigenous sovereignty and land use threaten us all, said Thunderbird Swooping Down Woman, a Mi’kmaw elder and water protector.

“We need to learn to stand together as a nation to fight future corporations trying to destroy our lands and our waters, because it’s happening all over Mi’kma’ki,” she said.

Over the past decade, she has stood against Alton Gas’ presence on the Shubenacadie River, and the potential of a ‘man camp’ to support the Goldboro LNG project on the Eastern Shore.

Indigenous women at these ‘man camps’ and in neighbouring communities face higher rates of violence, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Alton Gas project is being decommissioned. The development of the Goldboro LNG plant remains stalled.

When asked for comment, the climate communications team for RBC shared a statement: “RBC supports energy projects that are developed in an environmentally and socially responsible way and we strive to be the leading financial institution in Canada to work with Indigenous people towards reconciliation.”

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About the author

Ry Pembroke

Ry is a journalism student at the University of King's College. They have a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Studies and Religious Studies from...

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  1. V

    Vic Brice

    RBC is Canada's dirtiest fossil bank. Over $200billion invested in expanding the fossil fuel industry in the last 6 years.
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