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.

 

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

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Kwalikum Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Nanoose Bay Catspan receives BC SPCA funding

Spay/neuter grant to address overpopulation

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

B.C. to spent $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Most Read