Why would you protest insurance?

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Anti-pipeline activists fighting against Trans Mountain have been attempting to drive another wedge in the project’s timeline by protesting their insurers. Just the other week they targeted AIG in an attempted de-marketing campaign because they are one of the major insurers of the pipeline. AIG, unfortunately, is also not the only one that has been targeted either. Liberty Mutual and Chubb have found themselves in the crosshairs of these dramatic de-marketers.

In a filing with the Canadian Energy Regulator back in March, Trans Mountain requested the ability to keep the rest of their insurers out of the spotlight. Naturally, this was to prevent even more radicals from smashing windows and harassing street corners outside of office buildings. Likewise, groups like STAND.earth, who have been one of the main proponents of this de-marketing campaign, filed letters during the 2-week comment period to halt the decision.

Last week, anti-TMX groups lost their minds as their demand was quashed by the Canadian Energy Regulator Commission which ruled in favor of the Trans Mountain. While activists argued they should that they should have the right transparency about the insurers, it is not hard to see they would have used that new information to continue their attacks on private businesses.

Many of the usual voices of these fringe groups involved in protests commented on the ruling. Kanahus Manuel, one of the matriarchs of the Tiny House Warriors noted that: “These insurers can’t hide. Any company that refuses to rule out insuring tar sands extraction and pipeline projects is complicit in Indigenous rights violations,”.

Interestingly, this same group has been accused of harassing locals in Indigenous communities that are in support of the project. Last year Simpcw Chief Shelly Loring, along with Tk’emlúps Indian Band Chief Rosanne Casimir, demanded they pack up and leave due to this harassment. It is no wonder Trans Mountain wants to prevent this from happening to its insurers.

While some groups are opposed to the project, 120 of the 129 communities along the pipeline’s path support it or aren’t affected by it. There have also been dozens of benefits agreements signed that will help provide jobs and economic opportunities for those communities.

Despite whatever arguments groups use as a reason to stop the pipeline, this de-marketing campaign ignores the fundamentals of why we have insurance in the first place.

Would you tell insurance companies to stop insuring cars because you don’t like cars? We make insurance mandatory for your car and many other things like pipelines because there is a public benefit. In the very unlikely event of a serious car accident not only are you covered but so are other people.

It is simply irresponsible and against the public interest to campaign against insurance. The pipeline is covered, but this means that the public is too. If they are so concerned about the issues of spills or other hazards that could potentially pop up, why would activists not want protection whether they agree with it or not?

Although with such myopic views, it’s hard to think past your own bias.

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