12/06/2012 07:33 EST | Updated 02/05/2013 05:12 EST

Kinder Morgan Pipeline Info Session Shut Down Over Signs


VICTORIA - An information session in Victoria on a plan to expand Kinder Morgan's oil pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby ended earlier than planned Wednesday night after company officials walked out.

The meeting was supposed to address concerns about the expansion, but when protesters began replacing company signs with their own, company representatives left.

In a statement, Kinder Morgan says it decided to close down the public information session in response to what it calls "vandalism."

But a statement from some community members who attending the hearing says those at the meeting acted "peacefully" when replacing the Kinder Morgan signs with their own placards, which were aimed at showing their concerns and adding another perspective to the information session.

Julie-Anne Blackpen, a community member who was at the meeting, says Kinder Morgan is trying to brand itself as a corporation that listens to people, but the Victoria information session showed the company's community consultation is actually an advertising campaign.

Despite the flap, the company says the next community event in Victoria will go ahead as scheduled Thursday.

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