By Peter McCartney. Prime Minister Trudeau approved the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline today despite widespread and fierce criticism of the project within both BC and the rest of Canada. The pipeline is designed to pump tar sands bitumen from Alberta to a fleet of waiting tankers at the Kinder Morgan’s terminal in Burnaby BC.
“Canadians — and especially British Columbians have said loud and clear that we don’t want this reckless pipeline coming anywhere near the Pacific coast,” said Peter McCartney, Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner. “To ignore the deeply held views of the vast majority of people who live on this coast is outrageous.”
Indigenous rights have been trampled by today’s decision as more than 59 First Nations in BC have opposed the project. Today, the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, an Indigenous pact vowing to do whatever it takes to stop pipelines, reached over 100 nations.
“The federal government’s approval is a betrayal of promises made in the last election to act on science, gain public approval and respect Indigenous rights. People are furious that they have been lied to,” said McCartney. “Through the courts, at the polls and in the streets, we will make sure this pipeline is never built.”
Trudeau also announced a ban on tankers on the north coast of British Columbia, effectively killing the Northern Gateway pipeline due to the obvious risk of a spill.
“Today’s tanker ban is an acknowledgement that tar sands tankers pose an enormous threat to coastal communities and ecosystems,” said McCartney. “If Justin Trudeau agrees that the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for a pipeline, he can’t possibly think that the Salish Sea is better.”
Seven court cases have been launched by First Nations, environmental groups and municipalities to stop the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline and more are expected. It is sure to be an issue in the provincial election and the public is already gearing up for a fight.
“Our so-called leaders in Ottawa have failed us but frankly this is not their call,” said McCartney. “Kinder Morgan’s dirty tar sands project threatens our entire way of life on Canada’s Pacific coast and we will have the final say.”