UBCIC calls for immediate cancellation of Trans Mountain Pipeline and tanker project

News Release

 September 17, 2018


"Verdict clear, Trudeau should cancel Trans Mountain,”—Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – September 17, 2018) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to accept the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project’s defeat in the Federal Court of Appeal, and to cancel the disastrous Canada-owned project altogether.

“Trudeau’s own ministerial panel in 2016 predicted the Federal Court of Appeal verdict, noting the same serious deficiencies with the approval process for the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project as the court did,” said UBCIC President Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. “This project should never have been approved—it’s a disaster for the climate, and a spill from a diluted bitumen tanker could cause devastation in our coastal waters. The Canadian government needs to accept the verdict of the court and cancel Trans Mountain like it cancelled Enbridge’s Northern Gateway.”

Kinder Morgan Canada, now the Trans Mountain Corporation, continues to press to continue construction on the pipeline and tanker project as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes public statements that undermine the integrity of the consultation process, doubling down on the errors for which the Federal Court of Appeal just chastised, quashing the project’s approval.

While the court found that the consultation framework Canada selected was reasonable, it found that Canada failed “to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the concerns expressed to it in good faith by the Indigenous applicants so as to explore the possible accommodation of these concerns” (para 754). This resulted in “an unreasonable consultation process” (para 762) that fell “well short of the mark set by the Supreme Court of Canada” (para 6).

“The unanimous Federal Court of Appeal verdict was clear: making notes of Indigenous concerns and then shredding them and proceeding as normal will not work to build the Trans Mountain pipeline and project,” said UBCIC Vice-President Chief Bob Chamberlin. “Instead of acknowledging that the Canadian government erred when approving the project and seeking in good faith to fix those errors, they continue with statements that the TMX will be built. This makes a mockery of revisiting Consultation with First Nations and disregards the commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

“For the leader of this country to continue to insist that the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project should be built despite this court ruling is a slap in the face to the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the government of Canada, and is contradictory to reconciliation, falling short of recommendations in the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action” said Chief Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC. 

Opposition to the pipeline and tanker project includes the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, representing more than 150 nations across North America, more than 350,000 petition signers, the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, Victoria and 19 other municipalities, the state of Washington and the province of British Columbia.


Media inquiries:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (250-490-5314)

Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (250-974-8282

Chief Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: (250-320-7738)

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