As the world tries to wean itself off its oil addiction, one nation walks the other way.
As many countries try and stop fossil fuel subsidies, one country is scrabbling around to secure finance for a dirty energy pipeline.
And that country is Canada.
Instead of seperating oil and state, they are cementing them together for decades to come.
Yesterday, the country’s Prime Minister, Just Trudeau admitted his Government was knocking on the doors of potential investors in Calgary, Toronto, Houston and New York to discuss financial subsidies for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
Trudeau made the comments at a crunch meeting with Alberta Premier, Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier, John Horgan, which was called by Trudeau after Kinder Morgan said they were suspending work until the end of May to try and find a “clear path” way to overcome the huge local opposition to the pipeline, which has come both from the BC Government and local community, many of whom are First Nations.
Trudeau said at the meeting: “The Trans Mountain expansion is a vital strategic interest to Canada – it will be built.”
However, the pipeline has become politically as toxic as the heavy crude it is designed to carry from land-locked Alberta to the British Columbian coast. Despite this, Trudeau is increasingly acting as a polluting oil industry lobbyist, rather than looking for clean energy solutions for Canada.
At the press conference after the meeting, Trudeau said: “This is a series of discussions that are happening in Calgary, in Toronto, in Houston and New York. They won’t happen in public, but as soon as we have something to announce, I promise we will let you know.”
In order to potentially pump Canadian tax-payers money into the pipeline, Trudeau has had instructed his Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, to lead the “formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan.”
According to the Canadian National Observer, Trudeau also “told Notley and Horgan that his government was working on legislation to reaffirm federal jurisdiction over the interprovincial pipeline, and stop provincial efforts to scuttle the project.”
BC Premier Horgan, described the meeting as being “very frank” but said he welcomed increasing support from the Government of Quebec over BC’s anti-pipeline position.
Horgan reiterated his opposition to the pipeline and his determination to protect the B.C. coast from an oil spill.
First Nations leaders also remain opposed, and dismissive of claims that his Government has consulted widely with the local Indigenous community.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief, Perry Bellegarde, added that it was a “big mistake on both levels of government to exclude First Nations people. You’ve got the federal Crown, you’ve got the provincial Crowns, you’re missing out the rights and title holders and that’s the most important element.”
In British Columbia, Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, tweeted:
It doesn’t matter how many times @JustinTrudeau states extensive #Consultation w/ #FirstNations about #KinderMorgan .. it represents sole Crown decision making, undermines #Reconciliation & inconsistent w/ #UNDRIP [United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] which has #FPIC [Free, Prior and Informed Consent]
It doesn’t matter how many times @JustinTrudeau states extensive #Consultation w/ #FirstNations about #KinderMorgan .. it represents sole Crown decision making, undermines #Reconciliation & inconsistent w/ #UNDRIP which has #FPIC @UBCIC @perrybellegarde @RussDiabo
— Chief Bob Chamberlin (@ChiefBobbyc) April 15, 2018
Will George, from the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, also said in a press release yesterday: “The prime minister is saying they are in negotiations with Kinder Morgan to ensure an end to uncertainty. What he is ignoring is that we are the uncertainty. We will not be bought and we will block this pipeline.”