If Justin Trudeau thinks he’ll get away with rigging the Kinder Morgan approval process, he’s got another thing coming.
During the election campaign, Justin Trudeau waxed poetic about how his government would be the one to renew the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Like so many others, I had my suspicions that he was just like governments before him, consulting with First Nations, not to hear their concerns and take those concerns seriously, but to check a box to push through whatever the project of the day was. That’s why, a few weeks ago, I helped run a campaign we called “Show us the Science”, demanding that Justin Trudeau and his government release any and all information they used to make their decision to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline. We wanted to know if, as they argued, this truly was “historic consultation”, or if, as I worried, this was the kind of Big-Oil slanted politics-as-usual in Canada we had seen under Harper.
Thousands of people called on the government to Show us the Science, but sadly they ignored the calls, even when about twenty people and I showed up on Parliament Hill to search for the documentation ourselves. But, thankfully, Mike De Souza and his team at the National observer had more luck. And, thanks to their dogged reporting, we now know the dark details of how the Trudeau government rigged the approval process for the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Details like how a month before Trudeau announced the approval of Kinder Morgan, a high-ranking federal government staffer instructed public servants “to give cabinet a legally-sound basis to say ‘yes’ to Trans Mountain” while the government was still publicly “consulting” with First Nations opposed to the pipeline. According to some public servants who spoke to the reporters, it was clear to that their job was to get the project approved swiftly, and that a rejection of the pipeline was already off the table for Trudeau.
The significance of this revelation cannot be understated. If Justin Trudeau had already chosen to approve the pipeline while consultations were still ongoing, it could very well undo the entire Kinder Morgan approval. That’s why, just last week, the T’sleil Waututh Nation asked Canada’s Federal Court for leave to present these new revelations as evidence in their ongoing case against Justin Trudeau’s pipeline approval. And why the federal New Democrats, including their newly minted leader Jagmeet Singh, have taken up the call for Trudeau to show people how he arrived at his approval of Kinder Morgan.
This has all the makings of a national scandal, right at the moment when Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet are desperate to bailout this dangerous, unwanted pipeline. While they contemplate dumping billions of public dollars into the hands of Texas oil barons, a movement from coast to coast determined to stand up for the climate and Indigenous rights is rising up.
Over the past two weeks, Trudeau and his Cabinet ministers have been confronted dozens of times across the country, and even during international travels. At Kinder Morgan’s gates in Burnaby, BC people continue to face arrest, while nearly 170 people arrested in a wave of nonviolent civil disobedience are in court week after week for their bold stand against this dangerous project.
We are in a critical moment. Right now, we need to show our unwavering and united resolve to stop this destructive project. We know that Kinder Morgan has until May 31st to decide whether to move forward, or abandon the project altogether. And we know that the company can’t afford this project without some kind of massive public bailout, heaving the risk for this unwanted pipeline on the shoulders of people across Canada.
If Trudeau thinks he can get away with rigging pipeline reviews, then using billions of public dollars to bailout Texas oil barons when the truth comes out, he’s got another thing coming.
Will you join the hundreds of people who’ve already taken action at Trudeau photo ops, Cabinet Minister speaking events, and rallies and sit-ins at Liberal MP’s offices?
To join or host or join an action near you visit: peoplevskindermorgan.ca
In this moment, we need everyone.
This article was written by Katie Perfitt, an Ottawa-based organizer with 350.org