ICA’s Statement on Canada’s $4.5B Bailout of the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline
May 29, 2018 (Coast Salish Territory - Vancouver, BC) - Today, Canada’s government announced that it is going to pay $4.5 billion to Kinder Morgan to buy both the existing 65-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline and the controversial Trans Mountain Expansion Project. This doesn’t include the assumed liability for construction costs of the project, which could cost billions more, including Kinder Morgan’s previously documented $7.4B for construction costs, and the significant potential for costs related to construction delays. The real cost to taxpayers could easily top $12B.
The Trudeau government has shown its cards; they do not have an interest in standing by their election commitments to uphold Indigenous Rights, lower GHG emissions or work towards solving climate change. The Canadian government has gone from backing a fossil fuel company that is trampling Indigenous rights to becoming one. In response, Indigenous Climate Action released the following statements:
“This is an affront on the rights of Indigenous communities and a giant step backwards in achieving Canada’s climate commitments. This project will increase total GHGs by as much as 27 megatonnes of CO2 annually, and green light continued expansion in Alberta tar sands. It is far more than simply disappointing, it’s enraging. Indigenous Climate Action is driven by a steering committee of Indigenous representatives that want a climate future that includes our people. Today’s decision indicates that our rights, our values, and our people mean very little to today’s colonial government,” stated Eriel Deranger, Executive Director, Indigenous Climate Action and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
Despite today’s decision, this pipeline has not obtained consent from many of the Indigenous communities along its route and violates tenants of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Indigenous lands, culture, rights and wellbeing are critical components to healthy environments and yet continue to be sacrificed for profit. Indigenous people are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and its drivers as demonstrated in recent weeks as Indigenous peoples flee for their lives in Little Grand Rapids due to forest fires, settler and Indigenous communities evacuating due to flooding in the Okanagan and the recent oil spill in Secwepemcul'ecw (Darfield BC).
“As an Indigenous woman from Secwepemcul'ecw, I have seen first hand from the recent spill in our territory what this project will bring to our communities. This move made by the Canadian colonial government has reiterated that Indigenous peoples are the only true leaders prepared to take real action on climate change in this country. This government is not prepared to make real change in order to move towards a climate just future. Now more than ever, our people and allies need to push for climate leadership to be placed in the hands of Indigenous peoples and communities. We will not let this project be built,” stated Kanahus Manuel, Secwepemc Ktunaxa, Tiny House Warriors.
“Now more than ever, as our climate rapidly changes and communities are being adversely affected, we need to work towards a just transition and support renewable energy projects that are Indigenous owned and operated. Instead, we are seeing public dollars put towards projects that violate the rights of Indigenous peoples and locks us into decades of unsustainable fossil fuel energy project and damn our future.” Melina Laboucan-Massimo, ICA Steering Committee member, member of the Lubicon Cree Nation, and David Suzuki Fellow.
“Kinder Morgan estimated cost of building the TransMountain expansion could be higher than the reported $7.4 billion; all now to be purchased and built with public dollars. These funds could be used to go towards addressing the legacy of poor housing, water infrastructure and energy deficits within Indigenous communities. This is just another broken promise made by the Trudeau government during his term which has now gone by the wayside,” stated Clayton Thomas-Muller, ICA Steering Committee Member and 350.org campaigner.
“As a youth and Tsleil Waututh nation and Tulalip member I recognize that this pipeline is not in the best interest for my generation , but also causes a future that is unsafe . The Kinder Morgan trans mountain Pipeline will affect the economy and The identity of the Pacific Northwest including the United States puget Sound area in destructive ways. And knowing the true facts about this pipeline I will put my life on the line to stop this pipeline for my god children and future generations, we are not protesters we are protectors.” stated Cedar George-Parker, 21 and member of Tsleil Waututh and Tulalip Nations.
“Indigenous Climate Action will continue to support Indigenous peoples who challenge the expansion of Alberta’s tar sands projects and infrastructure, and other dirty energy projects to push us further into climate chaos. Hundreds of years of colonial rule has proven that the only way to ensure our rights and survival is to challenge colonial laws and regulations. Indigenous peoples, and our rights, have been critical to some of the more important changes to environmental policies and protection measures. Climate change, and Canada’s attempts to undermine our ability to address it, is just another obstacle to overcome. We will not be defeated,” concluded Deranger.
Join us in taking action against this decisions by:
Attending actions across the country, such as THIS ONE taking place on Coast Salish territory today, Tuesday, May 29th, 2018.
Joining our webinar about the pipeline bailout and how this will affect Indigenous communities. This webinar is set to take place on Friday, June 1st, 2018. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the coming days for more details.
Sign Statement created by Indigenous leaders across the country that denounces this decision as an act of war against Indigenous peoples and communities - Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the coming days for more details.
Sign this PETITION by Dogwood.
For more information or to set up an interview:
Maryel Sparks-Cardinal, firstname.lastname@example.org 604-603-3441