Hundreds of people rallied in downtown Vancouver against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, just hours after it received conditional federal approval.

Dubbed "The Answer Is Still No," Tuesday's protest brought together First Nations, environmental groups and other people who oppose the pipeline, which is proposed to link Alberta's oilsands to a port in Kitimat on B.C.'s coast.

"B.C. still says 'No' to the Enbridge pipeline — the battle has just begun and it will be taken to the streets, the blockades, and the courts," said a news release announcing the event.

The evening protest across from the main Vancouver Public Library spilled into the CBC Plaza and blocked traffic.

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  • Hours after the federal government gave <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/17/harper-northern-gateway-pipeline-enbridge_n_5504025.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia&ir=Canada%20British%20Columbia&utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia" target="_blank">conditional approval to the Enbridge Northern Gateway</a> pipeline on June 17, 2014, hundreds of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/17/enbridge-northern-gateway_n_5504817.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia&utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia" target="_blank">protesters rallied in downtown Vancouver</a> for an event dubbed "The Answer Is Still No."

  • Jacqueline Lee-Tam wears face paint to simulate oil while attending an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/17/enbridge-northern-gateway_n_5504817.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia&utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia" target="_blank">anti-pipeline rally</a> in Vancouver June 17, 2014.

  • A woman shouts as she and hundreds of other protesters block traffic during a rally in Vancouver June 17, 2014 to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/17/enbridge-northern-gateway_n_5504817.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia&utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia" target="_blank">oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline</a> proposal.

  • A protester argues with a driver after an anti-pipeline protest blocked traffic in downtown Vancouver on June 17, 2014.

  • Joe Taylor, left, of Curve Lake, Ont., who is half Mohawk and half Ojibwa, holds a Mohawk flag during an anti-pipeline rally in Vancouver on June 17, 2014.

  • A woman lies on the street during an anti-pipeline rally in Vancouver dubbed "The Answer Is Still No" after the federal government gave conditional approval to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline on June 17, 2014.

  • <em>NEXT: Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal</em>

  • A cargo ship sits docked at Rio Tinto Alcan's Kitimat Smelter on Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, in Kitimat, B.C., on Jan. 10, 2012.

  • The proposed tanker route leaving from Kitimat, B.C. is shown on a map. The 1,177-kilometre twin pipelines would run from Bruderheim, just outside Edmonton, to a tanker port on the northern coast of B.C.

  • Enbridge workers are seen at a job site in this file image. The estimated cost of Northern Gateway is $7 billion and rising.

  • This Jan. 10, 2012 photo shows the Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project at Kitimat, B.C. The Rio Tinto smelter is at left and the town of Kitimat at upper right.

  • A sign opposing the Enbridge pipeline is shown in downtown Kitimat, B.C. June, 17, 2014.

  • Opponents to the Enbridge pipeline hold signs in downtown Kitimat, B.C. June, 17, 2014.

  • RCMP officers keep an eye on an event with B.C. Premier Christy Clark to celebrate a recent land sale to the Haisla in Kitimat, B.C. on June 17, 2014. Protesters to the Enbridge Northern Gateway project are seen in the background.

  • A sign against Enbridge hangs on a house in Kitimat, B.C. Tuesday, June, 17, 2014.

  • A worker, left, uses a small boat to move logs on the Douglas Channel at dusk in Kitimat, B.C., on January 11, 2012. The Kitimat Marine Terminal would include two ship berths and 19 tanks to store oil and condensate. The facility would have the capacity to serve around 220 tankers per year.

  • The Douglas Channel is the proposed shipping route for oil tanker ships in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, just south of Kitimat, B.C.

  • A joint federal review panel recommended approval of the pipeline in December 2013 with 209 conditions.

  • Enbridge workers are seen at a job site in this file image. The company says Northern Gateway would result in 3,000 new construction jobs in B.C. and 560 long-term jobs.

  • A Kermode bear, better know as the Spirit Bear is seen fishing in the Riordan River on Gribbell Island in the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. on Sept, 18, 2013. Pipeline opponents fear the Enbridge project will endanger wildlife along the project's route.

  • The proposed shipping route for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project would cross many bodies of water and pristine areas in northern B.C.

  • Enbridge workers are seen at a job site in this file image. The Northern Gateway pipeline would be worth an estimated $300 billion in additional gross domestic product over 30 years.

  • Enbridge workers are seen at a job site in this file image.

  • Enbridge workers are seen at a job site in this file image.

  • The 1,177-kilometre twin pipelines would run from Bruderheim, just outside Edmonton, to a tanker port in Kitimat, on the northern coast of B.C.

  • <em>NEXT: "No Enbridge" Rally, May 2014</em>

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

  • Donna Morgan holds a stuffed polar bear painted black to simulate oil during a protest against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Vancouver on May 10, 2014.

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

  • Tsleil-Waututh Elder Amy George (right) speaks to the crowd.

  • Joan Lemmers, of Lions Bay, B.C., wears a salmon hat during a protest against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Vancouver May 10, 2014.

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

  • "Ethical Oil" author and Sun TV broadcaster Ezra Levant covered the event.

  • People hold signs during a protest against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in Vancouver May 10, 2014.

  • Crystal Dixon was part of the No Enbridge rally.

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

  • Vancouver city councillor Andrea Reimer speaks to the crowd.

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

  • Sisters Maria and Audrey Siegel from Musqueam Indian Band attend the No Enbridge rally.

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

  • Ben West (right) of ForestEthics, which organized the rally, speaks to the crowd.

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.

  • Patrick Meder, and Bruce Stout of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association attend the No Enbridge rally.

  • More than 1,000 people gathered at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on May 10, 2014 to protest the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project.


At least two other rallies were held in Kitimat, the city where the 1,200-kilometre pipeline would end. B.C. Premier Christy Clark was in the region Tuesday to announce a land deal with the Haisla First Nation.

Douglas Channel Watch rallied at the "Downtown Kitimat" sign on Tuesday morning, as well as that afternoon after Ottawa's announcement, reported Northwest Coastal Energy News.

A protest was also organized in downtown Victoria.

The Harper government's decision is contingent on Enbridge satisfying 209 conditions set out by a federal review panel and embarking on more consultations with affected aboriginal communities.

The Sierra Club B.C. called the approval a "slap in the face" for British Columbians.

"But ultimately, it changes nothing: the Enbridge pipeline will not get built," said spokeswoman Caitlyn Vernon.

During the Vancouver rally, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs not so subtly hinted at the rocky road ahead: "It's official. The war is on," he told the crowd.

Phillip's union is part of a coalition of aboriginal groups in B.C. that announced it was going to court to "vigorously pursue all lawful means to stop the Enbridge project." The statement was signed by 28 individual bands and the three main aboriginal organizations in the province.

"This project, and the federal process to approve it, violated our rights and our laws. We are uniting to defend our lands and waters of our respective territories," they said on Tuesday.

Several First Nations and environmental groups have already filed applications with the Federal Court to review the federal panel report that recommended approval.

B.C.'s premier has said the project still has not met the five conditions the province has set out for approval. Those conditions include strict environmental protections, adequate consultations with First Nations, and that B.C. receives a "fair share" of the benefits.

Clark has pointed out the project will still need about 60 permits from the province for construction to proceed.

A coalition of groups announced Monday that they will help organize a provincial citizens' initiative — similar to the campaign that forced B.C. to revoke the unpopular harmonized sales tax — should the province issue those permits. If successful, the petition would force the B.C. government to respond either with a vote in the legislature or by holding a non-binding province-wide plebiscite.

With files from The Canadian Press

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