(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – November 03, 2016) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) remains steadfast in their outright opposition to the Kinder Morgan (KM) Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Pipeline, despite today’s sunny report by the Ministerial Panel.
KM TMX Ministerial report completely misses the mark by focusing on the perceived benefit of the project and the mitigation of perceived risks, while largely ignoring the unnecessary and dangerous increase to the capacity of the Alberta tar sands and the great risk posed to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in BC.
This project represents an unacceptable and egregious risk to clean and healthy ecosystems. The expansion of this project will necessitate a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic to our pristine coasts, exponentially increasing the threat of environmental devastation on our land and in our water resulting from the further contributions to climate change and the inevitable catastrophic oil spill, to which BC and Canada have yet to develop an adequate response and prevention program.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, stated, “The Ministerial Panel’s report does not in any way enhance consultation neither does it meet the requirement of free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Nations, necessitated by Canada’s unqualified adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous. Further, it does not represent an impartial and fair review, given that Ministerial Panelist Kim Baird was previously an affiliate of Kinder Morgan. The Indigenous people of Turtle Island will by no means allow such a grievous threat to our way of life and the health of our future generations to proceed without our explicit consent. This report has been a colossal waste of time, resources and taxpayers’ money.”
The approval of this project runs rough-shod over the Title and Rights of First Nations across the province and flies in the face of Canada’s Paris Commitment to combat climate change. Since 2011, The UBCIC has consistently opposed the TMX project, and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip was arrested in November 2014 to block related construction on Burnaby Mountain.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (604) 684-0231