Pledges and Pipelines
Speaking of “Churn”, yesterday’s announcement by Canada’s Liberal government approving the Line 3 and Trans Mountain (Kinder Morgan) petroleum pipelines (but squashing the Northern Gateway) has lit a fuse. I recieved, this morning, a declaration from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) vowing resistance to the pipelines and calling for aid, which I here reproduce in full.
November 29, 2016
Of Climate Change and Relationships: Federal Approval of Kinder Morgan and Line 3 a Total Betrayal
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – November 29, 2016) Today, Canada approved the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline and Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, while dismissing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and committing to advance a tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, stated “We are outraged with Prime Minister Trudeau’s cavalier ‘50/50’ announcement, and with the sheer audacity of his refusal to acknowledge the serious erosion of Indigenous rights and the extreme impacts on climate change that will certainly result from approval of Kinder Morgan TMX and Line 3. We absolutely and categorically reject his sunny assertion that approving these two pipelines is the only way to protect the environment and grow the economy. This is simply not true and conjures up the ghost of his predecessor Stephen Harper, in making decisions that are not based in science. Prime Minister Trudeau committed to overhaul the CEAA and NEB processes before any major decisions would be made by his government. He lied.”
Today’s approval is in direct contradiction to Canada’s commitment to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which includes that “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.” It has been made very clear to the government that all impacted Indigenous Nations have NOT provided their free, prior and informed consent.
Grand Chief Phillip concluded, “Last week I walked with nearly 5,000 people through the streets of Vancouver in opposition to the Kinder Morgan TMX pipeline, and we pledged to do whatever it takes to stop the pipeline from going through. Ultimately, as the Trudeau government is well aware, these projects will not succeed. The opposition is too great, and we will remain united, strong and determined.”
By resolution, the UBCIC Chiefs Council has unanimously called for any climate change plan developed by Canada to stop the further expansion of fossil fuel production and export, and support development of alternative energy and alternative energy economies. The UBCIC supports the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, which has more than 100 signatory Nations and Tribes throughout North America including 56 Nations in British Columbia and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the US, and is an expression of Indigenous Law prohibiting the pipelines/trains/tankers that will feed the expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231
I have taken the pledge, along with about 10,000 others so far, to stand with the Treaty Alliance in the event that the pipeline construction proceeds. We are all Treaty People, and treaties are promises and pledges I intend to keep. That will be my own personal act of resistance and defiance of “post-truth society”.