Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with members of the Canadian Coast Guard in Victoria on Thursday, April 5. (Arnold Lim/Black Press Media)

Trudeau says Trans Mountain pipeline will go through

Prime Minister tells British Columbians that Canada is building a strong economy and being responsible to the environment

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was at the Canadian Coast Guard base in Victoria Thursday afternoon, talking marine safety and spill prevention during his whirlwind tour of western Canada.

He also used the opportunity to confirm what some British Columbians may not want to hear, that Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline is going ahead regardless of the ongoing protests both at the company’s Burnaby terminal or today’s event in Victoria.

“This pipeline is in the national interest, and it will be done,” said Trudeau, during a brief question period with reporters.

Protesters outside the gates of the base demanded a stop to the pipeline expansion. They’ve said the pipeline project, approved by the federal government in 2016, was done without consent from Indigenous and local communities.

Opponents have long argued that Canada will not be able to keep its climate change commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in order to meet 2015 international climate treaty obligations, if the project moves ahead.

“As a government we understand that people have concerns and that’s why we’re moving forward both on protecting the environment and building the economy,” Trudeau added.

“We’re moving forward with a national price on carbon pollution, we’re moving forward with getting our resources safely and sustainably to new markets and we’re moving forward on historic oceans protection that will allow the women and men of the coast guard, and all of its partners around the country to do a better job of preventing marine accidents and responding if ever they occur,” said Trudeau.

First Nations groups, the City of Vancouver, the City of Burnaby, the B.C. Government, environmental organizations, politicians, and citizens have all protested the project, both in court and on the streets.

The decision turned into a battle between provinces on Feb. 6, when Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced her government’s decision to ban imports of B.C. wine after B.C. Premier John Horgan proposed new restrictions on transporting crude oil at the end of January.

A fresh wave of protests began again last month after a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted Trans Mountain an indefinite injunction against protesters, setting a five-metre minimum distance from two work sites.

Elizabeth May, Federal Green Party leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, and New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart were arrested while protesting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Victoria MP Murray Rankin recently condemned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to champion Kinder Morgan’s project as being in the “national interest”. Bill Nye has asked Trudeau what his rationale is for approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, Randall Garrison, supports evidence that a 15 percent spill recovery and a spill response time of six hours is unacceptable.

“Kinder Morgan should never have been approved,” said Garrison at a recent protest against the pipeline project. “The seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through our waters is not something that we can accept. One spill could destroy traditional food and ceremonial fisheries of four First Nations and tens of thousands of jobs in recreational fishing, tourism, and whale watching that depend on the clean environment.”

The pipeline expansion project also has a large contingent of proponents, who are concerned that the opposition to the project is both hurting business and is an affront to the regulatory process.

An open letter to Premier John Horgan distributed by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association and co-signed by Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the B.C. Business Council, and the BC Chamber of Commerce, criticized Horgan for letting his personal view affect a federally green-lit project.

The letter cites the “four years of consultation and rigorous regulatory review” the pipeline has already undergone, and the 157 federal and 37 provincial conditions the project must already meet.

“Failing to respect the rule of law and the largely federal jurisdiction over this project is not only deeply unfair to the stakeholders who respected the process, but also represents a fundamental departure from what it means for B.C. to be part of Canada,” the letter stated.

According to the Prime Minister’s itinerary, Trudeau will continue on to Vancouver for a clean-technology roundtable at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, followed by a $1,000-a-plate Liberal party fundraiser in the evening. On Friday, Trudeau is set to visit the Alberta oil sands.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Justin TrudeauKinder Morganoil spill

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking in Victoria on safety and spill prevention. (Keri Coles/Black Press)

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Trail Kiwanians wrap up $10,000 hospital donation

The new KBRH emergency department opened its doors a few weeks ago

LeRoi Foundation donates to hospital in Trail

$5,000 comes to KBRH via Community Foundations Canada and ECSF

Trail market goes garlic

The event goes Saturday in downtown Trail from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kootenay teachers’ union going to labour relations board over COVID-19 related work conditions

Union issues open letter to premier, education minister, health minister and Dr. Bonnie Henry.

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read