THUNDER BAY – VIEWPOINT – The Thunder Bay Chapter of the Council of Canadians wishes to respond with grave disappointment to Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement today (November 29/16) of the approval of 2 pipeline projects in Canada.
When this government was elected, we, along with many other Canadians, regarded them with cautious optimism, waiting to see which of their many election promises they would keep. Today, they have disappointed and angered us with the cabinet approval of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline proposal to carry bitumen from Alberta through Vancouver to the Pacific Ocean, and the approval of Line 3 which is a smaller pipeline to carry Alberta oil to Wisconsin in the USA.
During the election, Mr. Trudeau promised, among other things:
A revamped National Energy Board and a renewed process for reviewing energy proposals.
Climate leadership, to make Canada a climate-positive force in the world;
A new, respectful alliance with indigenous people in Canada, respecting their rights to consultation.
Development which would bring many more new jobs to Canada while guaranteeing Canadians’ health and safety and the environment.
With today’s announcement, Mr. Trudeau has broken every one of those promises.
To quote the youth who marched on Ottawa in October “Climate Leaders Do Not Build Pipelines”. Since his election, Mr. Trudeau and his Environment and Climate Change Minister have repeatedly used “get our products to market’ almost as a mantra. Many of us were unable to figure out how this fit with the climate leadership we had been promised both pre-election and in the signing of the Paris agreement. These pipelines are only needed to allow production in the Tar Sands to expand. They have sufficient pipeline capacity to carry present production to market now. This expansion will unleash a whole tidal wave of carbon emissions on the world, in the production of, the shipping of, the refining of, and the burning of this extra amount of very carbon-heavy fossil fuel.
Many indigenous communities from all across the country and particularly in BC have expressed their opposition to pipeline development. This opposition continues to grow: there were more signatories today to the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.
This does not look like a respectful new relationship with indigenous people.
There is a great deal of research which indicates that the investment of money in a green economy, from developing alternative energy sources to better insulating homes to protecting eco-systems, and so on. Estimates are as high as 15 jobs in a green economy to 1 job in the fossil fuel industry for a comparable investment. Green economy jobs nor only provide worthwhile employment, they protect the environment and the health and safety of the population.
We are extremely disappointed in these pipeline announcements today, and will continue to struggle against pipeline development and Tar Sands expansion in the days to come.