As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Seattle Wednesday, protesters rallied on the steps of the Canadian consulate downtown.
The Native and environmental activists were protesting pipelines Trudeau approved in November, including the Trans Mountain pipeline that would multiply oil tanker traffic through British Columbia and Washington waters up to sevenfold.
The prime minister was scheduled to speak at a secretive meeting of CEOs at Microsoft in Redmond on Wednesday afternoon and to meet with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday morning in Seattle.
Gov. Inslee’s office said the two leaders will discuss trade, transportation and action on climate change.
Protesters on Wednesday staged a mock oil spill in front of the Canadian consulate.
“I want Trudeau to know that if he does end up building this pipeline, if he allows it to go through those lands, he will have resistance from the people. We will not allow this pipeline to get to our ocean,” Vanessa Castle, a member of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe in Port Angeles, said.
"This will be affecting all of our salmon, all of our whales. Oil tanker traffic will be running down through the Salish Sea and out through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which is my front yard,” she said.
The Trans Mountain pipeline would carry heavy oil from the tar sands of Alberta to Vancouver, B.C. Tankers would then carry that oil through Canadian and U.S. waters.
Burning that heavy oil is incompatible with preserving a livable world climate, according to energy modelers at University College London.
"That is less economic, and more dangerous for communities, and is higher in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than modern pipelines would be," he said.
While protesters were rallying Wednesday, Trudeau was en route to his speech at the Microsoft CEO Summit, a private meeting of 140 CEOs from 35 countries.
A statement from Microsoft said the meeting’s primary purposes were to “enable an elite group of top-level executives to explore issues around managing global corporations” and discuss “technology megatrends.”
Topics to be discussed include space exploration and electronic security risks.
Microsoft spokeperson Andrew Lowe declined to reveal which CEOs are attending.
“Out of respect for the privacy of our guests, we are not providing any additional information,” he said in an email.
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