Release: Indigenous leaders urge Trudeau to respect the Federal Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision, and cancel Trans Mountain
“Mr. Trudeau, enough is enough,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – September 21, 2018) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to accept the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and tanker project’s defeat in the Federal Court of Appeal, and to cancel the recent directive to the National Energy Board (NEB) to re-perform its environmental assessment of the ill-conceived and ill-fated project.
“The Trudeau government’s fanatical determination to build this disastrous pipeline and tanker project is boorish and disheartening,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC. “It is clear that Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike do not want this project built. Instead of continuing to waste more money, time, and resources on this aberration, Mr. Trudeau needs to accept the public’s rejection, as reified by the wisdom of the courts, to reject the project altogether.”
Federal Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi stated that the NEB will review the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and report back findings on the project’s impact on the marine environment within 22 weeks. On August 30th, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Indigenous rights, stating that the federal government failed to consult with Indigenous peoples and that the initial NEB assessment of the project did not take into account how increased tanker traffic would affect British Columbia’s coast, including impacts on BC’s endangered southern resident orca population.
“If this ‘revamped’ environmental assessment returns with a finding less than that this project is toxic to BC’s coastal waters, it will be a failure, once again,” stated UBCIC Vice-President Chief Bob Chamberlin. “If it returns with the proper finding, that this project is extremely dangerous to our marine life, the project would and should inevitably fail. This exercise is a merely an attempted demonstration of power for the Trudeau government, at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.”
“It is evidently clear that Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike do not consider significant dangers to our climate, our waters, our lands, and our ecosystems part of the ‘national interest,’” said Chief Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC. “Trudeau can bully and attempt to coerce Indigenous peoples into agreeing to this project for as long as he wants, but we will never back down, for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and future generations.”
Opposition to the pipeline and tanker project includes the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, representing more than 150 nations across North America, more than 350,000 petition signers, the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, Victoria and 19 other municipalities, the state of Washington and the province of British Columbia.