A group of First Nations leaders who formed to fight pipeline projects across Canada says they will continue their push to stop three other pipelines now that the TransCanada Energy East pipeline is dead.
TransCanada made the announcement Thursday.
The Treaty Alliance Against the Tar Sands, made up of 150 First Nations across Canada and the United States, says it will now focus its sights on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, Enbridge’s Line 3 and TransCanada’s Keystone XL.
“Both the Northern Gateway fight and this Energy East one show that when First Nations stand together, supported by non-Indigenous allies, we win,” Mohawk Council of Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon said in a release sent Thursday. “So that’s two tar
“So that’s two tar sands expanding mega-pipelines stopped in their tracks but it will be a hollow victory if Indigenous opposition and serve as an outlet for even more climate-killing tar sands production.”
Energy East had been proposed as a way to move Alberta oilsands production as far east as an Irving Oil operation in Saint John, N.B.
Supporters say Energy East was necessary to expand Alberta’s markets and decrease its dependency on shipments to the United States. Detractors raised questions about the potential environmental impact.
Calgary-based TransCanada had announced last month that it was suspending its efforts to get regulatory approvals for the mega projects.
It will now inform the federal and provincial regulators that it will no longer be proceeding with its applications for the projects.
“After careful review of changed circumstances, we will be informing the National Energy Board that we will no longer be proceeding with our Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications,” CEO Russ Girling said in a statement.
He added that TransCanada will also withdraw from a Quebec environmental review.
The premiers of Alberta and New Brunswick say they’re disappointed by TransCanada’s cancellation of the Energy East pipeline, which would have connected their two provinces.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her government has always supported Energy East because of the new jobs, investments and markets it would create.
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant also said Energy East would have been good for his province’s economy and generated future revenue for his government.
The Opposition Conservatives are tearing a strip off the Liberal government over TransCanada’s decision to cancel the Energy East pipeline project.
Deputy Tory leader Lisa Raitt is blaming the decision squarely on what she described as the “disastrous” Liberal policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Treaty Alliance is warning the governing Liberals, and premiers, that before megaprojects are built, consent of First Nations is needed.
“This is yet another lesson to government and industry that you can’t hope to build any project without the consent of First Nations, and certainly not a destructive mega-project like Energy East,” said Ghislain Picard, Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador on behalf of the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.
“Whether they like it or not, governments and industry can’t ignore us anymore.”
APTN National News