UBCIC Presentation to Kinder Morgan TMX Project Ministerial Panel

August 19, 2016

Dear Chiefs Council, sister organizations and friends:

Please find the attached briefing note with key points as presented by UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip to the Kinder Morgan TMX Project Ministerial Panel on August 18, 2016.

The Briefing Note is pasted below for your convenience; the attached PDF file contains the appendices.



Provide key points for the UBCIC Executive to present during the August 18th Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) Ministerial Panel in Vancouver.  Background information is provided as appendices.


  • UBCIC Chiefs Council has provided a mandate for opposition: As directed by resolution, UBCIC has consistently opposed the TMX project since 2011 given lack of consent by all Indigenous Peoples whose territory will be impacted and the environmental risks including possible spills and impacts on climate change.  UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip was arrested in November 2014 at Burnaby Mountain to block geo-technical survey work by Kinder Morgan.  
  • The Ministerial Panel is clearly not fulfilling Crown Consultation legal obligations: The Liberal Government has acknowledged that the Ministerial Panel is not Crown Consultation; however, UBCIC is concerned that the Liberal Government is trying to create the perception of First Nations consultation and engagement.  Many Indigenous leaders in BC have voiced their concerns that there was minimal notice and zero invitations, or even recognition of territory.  The Ministerial Panel process has been characterized as “drive-by consultation” which is completely unacceptable.
  • Federal Government’s process for approval of TMX must be consistent with the 2014 SCC Tsilhqot’in decision, which points to the need for a foundational shift towards recognition and consent-based decision-making rather than denial of Aboriginal Title.
  • Canada must uphold its commitment to fully implement the UNDRIP in considering approval of the TMX project:  This includes UNDRIP’s direction that States shall “consult and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous Peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
  • First Nations and the general public opposition to TMX project will have political costs: First Nations’ opposition to the TMX project is rights based, and the implications of not upholding First Nations’ Title and Rights could mean a prolonged legal battle which First Nations are highly likely to win given their constitutionally protected Title and Rights.  Opposition from the general public and local municipalities including the city of Burnaby and the city of Vancouver, is only growing stronger. 
  • Environmental risks are significant: The TMX project is expected to bring a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic, meaning there will be over 400 oil tankers through Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet per year, and an increased risk of environmentally damaging and expensive spills, as well as increased pollution.  TMX project’s expansion emissions are equivalent to 13% of Canada’s total annual emissions- an additional 93 megatonnes of global GHG emissions per year.  [1]
  • The TMX project ignores current climate science and Canada’s Paris commitments; climate change threatens security and way of life of Indigenous peoples: Developing another major pipeline will mean increased extraction of fossil fuels and a definite increase in Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHGs).  Indigenous peoples bear the disproportionate brunt of climate change while having contributed relatively little to the problem.  This reliance on the old way of doing things fails to promote new energy technologies and is contrary to the commitments Canada made on climate change during the Paris Climate Summit.  A recent report published by CCPA found that Canada cannot expand oil sands production (which TMX would require) and meet its Paris commitments.[2]
  • TMX project not needed: CCPA reviewed the existing pipeline and rail capacity for oil exports and determined that we already have all the transportation infrastructure needed, even with a 45% increase in Alberta’s production over 2014 levels, which Premier Notley’s plan for Alberta allows.[3]
  • Kinder Morgan has an extremely poor record on oil spills and clean-up:  According to a 2016 report from Stand, Kinder Morgan is responsible for at least 1800 oil and chemical spill violations since its incorporation in 1997.  The existing Trans Mountain pipeline has spilled 6 million litres of oil.   Stand has found Kinder Morgan’s safety violations to be extensive, including dumping waste into the ocean, mixed an illegal solvent with gasoline and diesel, placed pipelines too close to schools and hospitals, lied on a permit application, violated the US Clean Air Act, and submitted misleading information to US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission around water quality issues on a pipeline.[4]
  • Ministerial Panel is a PR exercise and is not restoring trust in the regulatory system: UBCIC is concerned that the Ministerial Panel is designed to try and buy political cover for the Liberals to approve the TMX project.  The Liberals are currently working to “restore trust in the regulatory system” but given that the actual NEB process left out the voices of many people impacted and ignored climate change, the Ministerial Panel is not restoring trust.


  1. Background, Current Status, and UBCIC Opposition to Kinder Morgan TMX project
  2. List of Major Oil Spills in North America from 2004-2016
  3. UBCIC Resolution 2011-54 “Support for the Save the Fraser Declaration, the Coastal First Nations Tanker Ban, and the Indigenous laws Banning Crude Oil Pipeline and Tanker Shipments through British Columbia” and Save The Fraser Declaration; UBCIC Resolution 2016-06 “Respect and Recognition of Indigenous Rights in Canada’s Climate Change Planning”
  4. UBCIC April 13, 2016 letter: UBCIC Comments on Proposed Amendment to NEB Regulations for Pipeline Damage Prevention.



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