The Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust hosted a water ceremony inviting the public to deepen their relationship with water in the face of TMX.
Sierra Club BC released the following statement from campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon in response to the Federal Court of Appeal ruling on Trans Mountain:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 4, 2020
“Today’s ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal is deeply disappointing, even if unsurprising.
“Ignoring Indigenous rights and Indigenous law should not be held up as an example of reconciliation.
“Indigenous rights are human rights, and today’s decision is not in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“It ignores the climate crisis. It ignores the plight of the threatened southern resident orcas. And it ignores and disrespects Indigenous law itself.
“The federal government is on the wrong side of history with its support of fossil fuel expansion in the midst of a climate emergency.
“Ottawa’s determination to ram through Trans Mountain is a betrayal of future generations who will face worsening climate impacts long after the members of the Trudeau cabinet are dead and gone. We are already facing wildfires, drought and flooding. To worsen the climate crisis by expanding oil pipelines is a shameful dereliction of duty.
“Today in their press conference, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation and Coldwater Indian Band have clearly stated this struggle is not over. Appeals are already before the Supreme Court of Canada.
“Sierra Club BC will continue to follow their lead and support them until justice is realized and their rights respected.”
Director of Communications, Sierra Club BC
Photo: Arthur Chapman
We’re fundraising for the Coldwater, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations determined to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline – with our partner RAVEN Trust. I’ve got some important updates about our work to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers.
Last spring was Emily’s first time on a front line as she joined the movement to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Moments of connection with people Emily met at the Watch House in Burnaby have stuck with her, even with people she only knew for a few minutes. This is a comic about some of those moments, as we might be entering another construction season.
The federal government finally announced that we are in a climate emergency. The next day, they approved the Trans Mountain tarsands pipeline expansion.
By Mark Worthing, Climate and Conservation Campaigner
From Ex-Enron executives convincing the federal government to buy a leaky tar sands pipeline to SNC-Lavalin lawyers doing Indigenous consultation for the federal government, the Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers is a story of corporate influence over governments, review processes and the public interest.
After turning a blind eye to the climate change impacts of Trans Mountain, the National Energy Board made a remarkable admission about the impacts of TMX on endangered southern resident orcas in its Reconsideration Report released February 22.
In short, just like in their original review of the project three years ago, the NEB admitted that the project’s oil tankers would have “significant adverse effects” on the orcas, but that they decided expanding a tar sands pipeline was more important.
Yes, you are understanding that right – the National Energy Board thinks pipelines are more important than the potential extinction of orcas.
This round of review was so problematic, inadequately scoped, rushed, and inherently compromised by the obvious bias of the federal government that it has set itself up for inevitable legal appeals.
At the same time this half-baked attempt at public review has attempted to give Trans Mountain a second rubber stamp, the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal has broken Trudeau’s cabinet into pieces.
And guess who the federal government appointed as the special envoy for discussions with First Nations regarding the pipeline? None other than the lawyer for SNC-Lavalin, Frank Iacobucci.
Would you trust SNC-Lavalin’s lawyer to handle consultation with First Nations for the federal government while the government is pushing hard for a tar sands pipeline?
That’s how I feel too.
You can almost hear the Kinder Morgan executives laughing from Texas.
So, what’s next?
On the near horizon are the constitutional challenges and referrals in the provincial tit-for-tat game between Alberta and BC.
The outstanding question is this: does a province have the constitutional right to regulate and limit certain substances that are harmful to human health and the environment if this creates implications for the economic prospects of another province?
The BC government has filed a reference case in BC Supreme Court to answer the question of whether the government can limit the transportation of dangerous substances like diluted bitumen across the province. BC’s reference case begins March 18 and could yield a ruling anytime this spring or summer.
But in a desperate attempt to protect the tar sands industry, the Alberta government has retaliated by bringing in legislation that could limit fuel exports to BC. While BC has already attempted to challenge this legislation, a Calgary court has ruled that the legislation can only be challenged if and when it is enforced. Should Alberta enact limitations on fuel exports to BC, this would likely be unconstitutional.
Curiously, however – in a move that contradicts its public stance against Trans Mountain – the BC government is actually fighting the Squamish Nation in court to uphold BC’s Environmental Assessment Certificate and Equivalency Agreement with the NEB. This is despite the project’s approval being quashed in court last year after the original NEB report was found to be too deeply flawed.
So, while Premier Horgan is throwing high-fives with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and together stating publicly they are opposed to TMX, behind courtroom doors they are defending the provincial certificates granted to Trans Mountain during the Christy Clark era.
In short, the government is leaning on their public communications to garner support and influence popular opinion, but they aren’t using all the tools in their toolbox to fight this pipeline.
That’s why—while we stand ready for another possible round of Pull Together to support Indigenous legal challenges—we’re asking the BC government to stop fighting the Squamish Nation and re-do an environmental review of the project under a new process the public can trust. And we ask you to do the same.