By Lyonel Doherty
We wonder how much Prime Minister Justin Trudeau realized the respect he lost in one day when his government announced the planned bail-out of Kinder Morgan’s troubled Trans-Mountain pipeline.
It was huge.
Canadians stand to be saddled with this impulsive $4.5 billion panic purchase that comes with all kinds of problems. The pipeline is reportedly 65 years old and leaking. And the pipeline expansion project itself is slated to cost about $7 billion.
Trudeau has violated indigenous rights, added to climate change and put the B.C. coast at great risk of catastrophic oil spills.
Well, at least it will make Alberta Premier Rachel Notley happy, which appears to trump all of these concerns.
She threatened to put a cork in B.C. wine imports and then threatened to cut our oil shipments if Premier John Horgan didn’t give in. Nice neighbour.
Did Justin ask you if it was okay to spend your money on this project? He didn’t ask us.
The fact is this pipeline will be plagued with legal challenges from all sides, including many First Nations who have vowed not to give their consent.
Approximately 100 First Nations in B.C. are affected by the proposed pipeline and increase in tanker traffic. Only 30 have reportedly signed agreements with Kinder Morgan, leaving more than two thirds who have not. Several have filed legal challenges already.
British Columbia cannot and should not allow its pristine coast to be the new worksite of many oil tankers. Imagine what a large bitumen oil spill would do to the area. For starters, a lot of dead birds and mammals. Next, say goodbye to the tourism and fishing industry.
Our province is not going down without a fight, which could take years to settle in court.
As climate change intensifies, Canada is still going after fossil fuels instead of clean, renewable energy.
Part of the reason Trudeau was elected was his commitment to protect the environment, but choosing to buy this pipeline is contradicting this and only reflects the interest of oil producers (and Rachel Notley).
Yes, many new jobs would be created by this pipe dream, but most would be short term and won’t be around for the next generation.
While Kinder Morgan stakeholders and investors are clinking their wine glasses, animosity is brewing, with more protests and civil disobedience likely to follow.
Plain and simple, the Liberal government had no right to do this.