Amid pressure from Trudeau, Treaty Alliance vows to stand against Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

Tsleil-Waututh leaders (left to right) Gabriel George, Charlene Aleck and Rueben George sign the Treaty Alliance Against the Tar Sands in Vancouver on Thurs. Sept. 22, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey
First Nations from the Maritimes all the way to Alberta who are among the 150 Nations in Canada and the US who have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion  are standing stronger than ever with their brothers and sisters in BC and will do whatever it takes to continue delaying the Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline and tanker project. 

“It is deeply disturbing and ludicrous to hear Prime Minister Trudeau say that Canada can only fight climate change by building the Kinder Morgan pipeline and allowing oil companies to dig up even more dirty tar sands oil in Alberta,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC). “Bill C-262 further validates what we already know: Kinder Morgan cannot proceed without the consent of the First Nations along its path, so many of which oppose it.” 

There are 15 consolidated legal challenges to the federal approvals of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline and tanker project. Most of the plaintiffs, including 7 First Nations, are challenging the biased and broken National Energy Board (NEB) pipeline review process that the Trudeau government relied upon to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline – the very same review process that the Trudeau government is today announcing major changes to. 

“Trudeau had promised during the last campaign to fix Harper’s rubber stamp NEB process. Yet we’re seeing reforms only now - long after all the major pipelines have already been approved,” said Grand Chief Serge ‘Otsi’ Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. 

The Treaty Alliance continues to meet with financial institutions in Canada and the US to explain how the Kinder Morgan project violates Indigenous rights and both exposes lenders to reputational risk as well as financial risk given that this project will not be allowed to proceed. 

“Kinder Morgan’s lenders and investors better get out now while they still can: one way or another, Indigenous Peoples and all their allies are going to stop this project,” added Manitoba AFN Regional Chief Kevin Hart. “First Nations all across Canada are not going to let First Nations in BC stand alone in their fight against Kinder Morgan: now more than ever we have to stand up for the water, a livable climate and a decent future for the next generation,” said Chief Arnold Gardner of Eagle Lake First Nation in Ontario. 

The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, launched on September 22, 2016, opposes the expansion of the Alberta tar sands and bars the passage of proposed tar sands pipeline and rail projects, including their associated tanker traffic, which projects threaten our water and coasts and would fuel catastrophic climate change. 

Signatories have committed to work collectively to enforce the ban, including against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion, TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Enbridge’s Line 3.

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