By Katie Perfitt
The mysterious evidence Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is using to justify his government’s support for the Kinder Morgan Pipeline continues to evade the public.
Trudeau and his cabinet continue to say that building Kinder Morgan fits within Canada’s climate commitments, that it won’t put the BC coast at risk, and that has the support it needs from First Nations. Yet we’ve never actually seen any solid proof that this is in fact true.
That’s why this past Monday I joined a team of Ottawa area residents to form a ‘Pipeline Evidence Unit’. Our goal: to search the Prime Minister’s Office and government buildings on Parliament Hill for any shred of evidence behind this governments claims.
We took our search straight to the Office of the Prime Minister, where we set up a search area and attempted to enter the building. Unsurprisingly, the first stop on our search didn’t offer any discoveries, and security refused our entry, so we made our way to East Block, and were promptly turned away by security again.
After two hours of scouring the area for evidence, we came away empty handed. So, here’s what we do know to be true:
Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline would lead to a 700% increase in tanker traffic off the BC coast. This could wipe out the entire population of endangered Orca whales, and would threaten herring and salmon, all species that are vital to the culture of coastal BC First Nations. Kinder Morgan already has a dirty track record of building unsafe pipelines. For example, the existing pipeline spills on average once every four years. With a tripling of capacity, we should expect spills on average to become a yearly occurrence.
Kinder Morgan does not fit within Canada’s commitments. It would lock us into 40–50 more year’s of tar sands extraction, when leading climate scientists have said we need to keep well over 80% of known fossil fuels in the ground if we want to stay below 2°C of global warming.
The government’s steadfast support of Kinder Morgan does not square with Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. By the logic of UNDRIP, if even one Indigenous nation is opposed to a project, it does not have consent. Right now several Indigenous communities are fighting Trudeau government’s approval of Kinder Morgan in court.
Distill that down, Trudeau’s and his government are willing to sacrifice water, the climate, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples for the sake of a Texas-based oil company.
Prime Minister Trudeau has run out of time to show us the science. All the evidence we’ve seen proves Kinder Morgan goes against Canada’s climate commitments, endangers BC’s coast, and is incompatible with Canada’s commitments to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
So now, it’s time for action. On March 10th, thousands of people in BC will be out on the land standing with Coast Salish spiritual leaders and youth for ‘Kwekwecnewtxw — Protect the Inlet’ a historic stand to stop Kinder Morgan. If there is any way you can be in the Metro Vancouver area this Saturday, I urge you to join Indigenous leaders on March 10th for what will likely be the largest mobilization we’ve seen against Kinder Morgan yet.
If like me, you are unable to attend, be sure to share the Protect the Inlet website with your friends and family on the West Coast. Let’s make sure as many people as possible hear about Kwekwecnewtxw.