Justin Trudeau to Pressure British Columbia to Accept Trans Mountain Pipeline

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | Reuters

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | Reuters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to pile pressure on British Columbia’s provincial government to drop its resistance to a pipeline project, but will try to avoid tougher measures that might alienate voters who helped his Liberals win power, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.

Trudeau is racing against time. Kinder Morgan Canada said it would scrap the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the west coast unless all legal and jurisdictional challenges facing the project are resolved by May 31.

The pipeline, which Canada’s oil industry considers crucial, is opposed by British Columbia’s left-leaning New Democratic provincial government. Environmentalists and aboriginal activists are mounting frequent protests and British Columbia police have arrested about 200 people around Trans Mountain facilities since mid-March.

Trudeau’s Liberals picked up seats in the province in the last election, but the federal NDP – which opposes the pipeline – remains a force there.

This could make Trudeau’s federal government cautious as it is locked in a rare standoff with a provincial counterpart. British Columbia opposes the expansion, citing fears that the risk of a spill in the Pacific province is too great.

Ottawa insists it has jurisdiction over the project and Trudeau is under huge pressure to crack down. For now, he will press the provincial government, pointing to polls showing most Canadians want the expansion to go ahead.

“We need to take actions that are focused on the government of British Columbia,” said the source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. Trudeau will hold more talks with the province as well as Kinder Morgan Canada, the source added.

Trudeau must be careful because British Columbia voters and environmentalists gave him strong support that helped bring him to power in 2015. A crackdown could cost him support in both camps ahead of a federal election set for October 2019.

Although Ottawa says it is exploring all regulatory, legal and financial alternatives, the source conceded “there aren’t an awful lot of options for the prime minister.”

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau discussed the matter with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Toronto on Wednesday and told reporters that Ottawa had yet to make a final decision.

“We are working, using all the tools at our disposal, to make sure we move forward in short order to absolutely ensure this project goes forward,” he said, without giving details. “We have to ensure the rule of law in this country works.”

Some pipeline supporters have urged Trudeau to declare a national emergency to push through the pipeline, but the source said that idea is “preposterous.”

Also off the table for now are calls from opposition members to reduce the payments Ottawa sends to British Columbia to help fund social programs.

“Are they actually suggesting we cut … health and social transfers to hard-working British Columbians?” said the source.

Ottawa and Alberta have talked about investing in the project, though it was unclear how that would lessen British Columbia’s opposition.

Some commentators suggest provincial and federal governments underwrite the project by providing insurance, essentially leaving them on the hook if the company decides to walk away.

If pipeline supporters view Trudeau as too soft, they could accuse him of not doing enough to prevent a constitutional crisis and of abandoning the energy industry in Alberta, where the Liberals also picked up extra seats in 2015.

“I don’t think it’s a win for him in British Columbia or Alberta under any circumstances,” said pollster Nik Nanos of Nanos Research. “The problem is that is this open warfare on principle.”

By David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon (Reuters)

[SOURCE]

PM Justin Trudeau Changing Name of National Aboriginal Day to National Indigenous Peoples Day

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde at Aboriginal Day Live Pow Wow on June 21, 2016 at The Forks, Winnipeg. Photo: Black Powder, Red Power Media. ·

Federal government is renaming National Aboriginal Day

By Black Powder | RPM Staff, June 21st, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is marking National Aboriginal Day with a symbolic name change to the annual celebration of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

The federal government will be renaming National Aboriginal Day — being celebrated today — as National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Trudeau, issued a statement on National Aboriginal Day where he announced the Government’s intention is to rename the day.

He opened his statement by noting that the summer solstice, June 21, was designated as National Aboriginal Day more than 20 years ago.

But the prime minister did not signal if his government will support recognizing the day as a statutory holiday, as it is in the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

Trudeau’s statement noted work remains to build a true nation-to-nation relationship.

Trudeau also noted that Canada’s 150th birthday in July will provide an opportunity to think about “the legacy of the past.”

According to CTV News, the federal government is also renaming the Langevin Block building, which sits across from Parliament Hill, out of respect for Indigenous Peoples.

Trudeau says keeping the name of Sir Hector-Louis Langevin — someone associated with the residential school system — on the building that houses Prime Minister’s Office clashes with the government’s vision.

Instead, the building will be called the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council.

 See Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, statement issued today HERE

 

Trudeau Calls Trans Mountain, Line 3 Approvals Major Win, Ready to Work with Trump on Keystone XL

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary on Wednesday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary on Wednesday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Alberta’s climate change ‘leadership’ paved way for pipeline approvals, says Justin Trudeau

Staff | CBC News: Dec 21, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it was the Alberta government’s leadership role in tackling climate change that allowed him to approve two major pipeline projects.

He said that without the carbon tax introduced by NDP Premier Rachel Notley, Ottawa would not have been able to justify green-lighting the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3 project.

“The fact that we are able to move forward on approving two significant, important pipeline projects for Alberta was directly linked to the leadership this Alberta government has shown … around the impacts of climate change,” he told reporters in Calgary.

The prime minister spoke earlier in the day at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce year-end breakfast.

Trudeau said opposition parties in Alberta that have vowed to scrap the carbon tax — which comes into effect Jan. 1 — don’t understand the new political dynamics at work.

Trudeau speaks to Arlene Dickinson at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce event. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Trudeau speaks to Arlene Dickinson at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce event. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

He said putting a price on carbon and capping carbon dioxide emissions from the oilsands are necessary measures for Canada to move ahead with big projects such as pipelines, while still protecting the environment.

“Quite frankly, the fact that there are a number of opposition politicians out there who bizarrely seem to be crossing their fingers that these pipelines will not get built under this current government, I think, is really dismaying, and should be dismaying for Albertans,” he said.

Trudeau said his predecessor, Stephen Harper, who claimed to be a champion for Alberta’s energy sector, was unable to deliver on pipeline approvals because he, too, refused to accept that getting energy resources to market in the 21st century requires responsible leadership on the environment.

Keystone back on agenda

During a question and answer session following his speech at the chamber, Trudeau said he supports a renewed push to get the Keystone XL pipeline built, a project U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has vowed to approve shortly after he takes office.

Trudeau told the business audience that he and Trump discussed Keystone in their first conversation after the U.S. election.

“He actually brought up Keystone XL and indicated that he was very supportive of it,” Trudeau said during a question-and-answer session after his speech.

“I will work with the new administration when it gets sworn in … I’m confident that the right decisions will be taken.”

The 830,000 barrel per day pipeline would carry oilsands crude from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest. It was rejected by the Obama administration last year.

Trump has previously said he would approve the pipeline but wanted a “better deal” for the United States.

Trudeau said if the United States takes a step back on fighting climate change under Trump, Canada will capitalize.

Climate change is a fact and fighting it is where the rest of the world is going, he said.

And while there might be short-term benefit in ignoring it now, he said, if Canada sticks to its plan, the country will be attractive to investors who are looking decades down the road.

Pipelines safer than rail, PM says

Trudeau said moving crude oil via pipeline is safer for the environment and more economical than moving it by rail.

Almost all of Canada’s oil is currently exported to the U.S. Pipelines that carry oil from Canada are at capacity, so a lot of it is going by rail. Canadian oil also faces a significant discount in U.S. Midwest refineries because it’s heavier and more expensive to refine than light crude.

Alberta’s premier could find herself at odds with both Trudeau and Trump on the issue of Keystone, said Duane Bratt, who teaches policy studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

“She hasn’t said a word, one way or the other, about Keystone, since the American election. And she had always been opposed to it,” he said.

“It was easy to be opposed to it when you saw that Obama was about to get rid of it.”

Calgary on Ottawa’s mind

Trudeau said his government’s decision to green-light Trans Mountain and Line 3 shows that Calgary is top of mind in Ottawa under his leadership.

“What happens in Calgary is important. It’s important to Alberta and all of Canada,” he said.

“And as I said in making the announcement, these approvals are a major win for Canadian workers, for Canadian families and for the Canadian economy.”

Trudeau said the projects will create upward of 22,000 jobs and demonstrate to Canada and the world that responsible resource development can happen in concert with solid environmental protections.

“That way of thinking, that we have to choose between growing the economy and protecting the environment, simply doesn’t work,” he said.

Cheers from business crowd

Speaking ahead of Trudeau’s address, Calgary Chamber of Commerce president Adam Legge drew a round of applause from the business crowd as he praised the Liberal government for approving Line 3 and Trans Mountain in the face of stiff opposition from environmentalists.

“We thank you for your leadership and your courage in that decision,” he said.

“Getting more resources to market was a critical missing element of our national infrastructure. We are all buoyed by this decision and are ready to get to work.”

Tyrone Cattleman, a member of the local plumbing and pipefitting union who came to hear the prime minister speak, said he’s optimistic about the new pipeline projects.

“I really hope he goes through with those plans, to create more jobs for the younger generation,” he said.

[SOURCE]

Police Issue 99 Trespass Citations During Pipeline Protest On Parliament Hill

A protester is detained by Parliamentary Security and the RCMP after she attempted to go through a barrier during a demonstration on Parliament Hill, Monday October 24, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

A protester is detained by Parliamentary Security and the RCMP after she attempted to go through a barrier during a demonstration on Parliament Hill, Monday October 24, 2016 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

The Canadian Press, Oct 24 2016

OTTAWA – The Liberal government’s conflicting climate and pipeline policies were thrown into sharp relief Monday as more than 200 protesters marched on Parliament Hill demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reject any new oilsands infrastructure.

The protest resulted in the brief detention of 99 individuals, all of them issued citations by the RCMP for trespassing after climbing over police barricades near the foot of the Peace Tower.

The immediate focus of the demonstration was the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., which the Liberals have said they’ll decide upon by mid-December.

But the larger theme was keeping fossil fuels in the ground, as many signs proclaimed, and urging Trudeau to keep his word on Canada’s international emissions-cutting promises.

On Monday, the World Meteorological Organization released its 2015 inventory of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and found that, on average, there were 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere. That compares to about 278 parts per million before the industrial revolution.

The report predicts that “2016 will be the first year in which CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory remains above 400 ppm all year, and hence for many generations.”

It is that cumulative increase that pipeline protesters insist doesn’t allow for more expansion of fossil fuels such as Alberta’s oilsands.

“Climate Leaders Don’t Build Pipelines,” said a giant banner carried at the front of the protest group, which was dominated by university students from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Protest organizers called it the largest act of student climate civil disobedience in Canadian history, but the boisterous rally was a polite affair.

After some initial pushing and shoving at the police barricades, the protesters began individually climbing over the gates, often with police assistance, where they were then charged. The first dozen or so were handcuffed before being led away, but most of the detained protesters were not.

Andrew Stein, a McGill University environmental sciences student, said forcing the police to arrest them was the point of the exercise.

“It gets attention and it gets the word out there that climate leaders do not build pipelines,” Stein said in an interview shortly before climbing the barricade himself.

Protest spokeswoman Amanda Harvey-Sanchez, a third-year University of Toronto student, said pipeline approvals are a deal-breaker for many younger voters who helped propel the Trudeau Liberals to a majority government in last October’s general election.

“If Trudeau wants us on his team in 2019, he cannot approve this (Trans Mountain) pipeline,” said Harvey-Sanchez.

“We’re coming here to the capital to call on Trudeau to reject Kinder Morgan.”

Protest organizers said the 99 detained individuals, including Stein and Harvey-Sanchez, were issued citations that bar them from Parliament Hill for three months, but they were not fined.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr shrugged off the protest, saying “dissent is the hallmark of democracy.”

“We’ve been saying all along that environmental stewardship and economic growth go hand-in-hand in Canada,” he said.

“We have already announced — and we will continue to announce — very aggressive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, always mindful of job opportunities for Canadians in the clean technology sector and in the energy sector overall.”

http://www.timescolonist.com/police-issue-99-trespass-citations-during-pipeline-protest-on-parliament-hill-1.2372126

First Nations Predict “Hordes” Will Disrupt Parliament Hill If Pipelines Approved

Katzie First Nation Chief Susan Miller (left) and her sister, Debbie Miller, stand with protesters outside the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain hearings in Burnaby, B.C. on Wed. Jan. 20, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Katzie First Nation Chief Susan Miller (left) and her sister, Debbie Miller, stand with protesters outside the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain hearings in Burnaby, B.C. on Wed. Jan. 20, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

First Nations in opposition of Trudeau government’s approval of pipelines

By Elizabeth McSheffrey | National Observer

First Nations chiefs across Canada haven’t discussed the details of the plan yet, but they aren’t ruling anything out if the Trudeau government approves the construction of a major pipeline project that crosses their territory without their consent. Several are still waiting on the results of court cases before they make their move, and others are already preparing for the worst.

“You may see hordes descending upon Parliament Hill,” said Chief Susan Miller, of the Katzie First Nation in B.C. “We have had some discussion around what civil action would look like, and I think the more we work together, that’s what brings out the hordes. It’s an impressive sight, to see thousands of people coming out for a common cause.”

Last year, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to renew nation-to-nation relations with Indigenous communities, and has repeatedly told Canadians since then that “governments grant permits, communities grant permission.” And after the historic signing of a pan-continental Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, Indigenous leaders have renewed their resolve to hold him to those promises with all resources available to them.

“In that crowd, you’re not just going to see First Nations people, you’re going to see your neighbour next door who doesn’t support this either,” Chief Miller, whose community is fighting Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion pipeline, told National Observer.

“We’re just the vessel to push that all through, and I think when the numbers speak like that, the government can’t continue to disregard [us].”

Tsleil-Waututh spokesperson Rueben George, Coun. Charlene Aleck, and manager of cultural relations Gabriel George open the signing ceremony for the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Thurs. Sept. 22, 2016

Tsleil-Waututh spokesperson Rueben George, Coun. Charlene Aleck, and manager of cultural relations Gabriel George open the signing ceremony for the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Thurs. Sept. 22, 2016

Youth action in Ottawa in October

Nearly 90 Indigenous leaders in Canada and the U.S. have already signed the Treaty Alliance, which aims not only to protect their territories from pipeline, tanker, and rail projects, but to move society towards cleaner, leaner, living as well. Major proposals they take issue with include Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion (from Alberta to B.C.), TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline (from Alberta to New Brunswick), and Enbridge Northern Gateway (from Alberta to B.C.)

But the presence of non-Indigenous allies, including a number of environmental organizations, at its signing ceremonies in Montreal and Vancouver, add weight to Chief Miller’s claim: Indigenous activists in North America are not alone.

“We strive to act in solidarity with Indigenous folks,” said Gabriel D’Astous, a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia and pipeline protest organizer for Climate 101. “They’ve been on the front lines and blocking tar sands projects that threaten the earth and water, and have been defending their rights and lands for years and decades now.”

D’Astous and his team are organizing a youth rally in Ottawa on Oct. 24 to urge the Trudeau government to reject the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion, which has been opposed by at least 21 municipalities and 17 First Nations in Western Canada. He said he, and many of the other protesters, are willing to be arrested in what he hopes will be the largest youth civil disobedience action of its kind in Canada.

Youth have been a powerful force in pipeline protests across the country, including this demonstration against the Trans Mountain expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Aug. 17, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Youth have been a powerful force in pipeline protests across the country, including this demonstration against the Trans Mountain expansion in Vancouver, B.C. on Aug. 17, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Preparing for pipeline protests

While First Nations, environmentalists and other key stakeholders across North America argue that oilsands expansion increases the risk of catastrophic oil spills, threatens critical marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and pushes international climate targets out of reach, energy companies argue that they will revitalize struggling Canadian economies by bringing energy to overseas markets. Industry also argues that they are using state-of-the-art technology that promotes responsible development of resources such as the vast oilsands deposits in Alberta – considered to be the world’s third largest reserve of crude oil after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

All of the major pipeline companies say they are also trying to work collaboratively with First Nations. For example, Kinder Morgan says it has signed more than 20 “mutual benefit agreements” with Indigenous communities along the route of its Trans Mountain corridor. These would be confidential agreements that could include education and training for pipeline construction jobs as well as improvements to community services, infrastructure and other benefits.

Greenpeace — one of the loudest environmental organizations speaking out against pipelines — doesn’t buy industry’s logic. Since the start of the year, it has trained 800 protesters across Canada with new skills in non-violent action, civil disobedience, and media communications during 40 training sessions conducted in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Nunavut, and Quebec.

Calls requesting the training sessions peaked after the National Energy Board (NEB) conditionally recommended the Trans Mountain expansion in May, said trainer and organizer Earyn Wheatley, and have been steady since the conflict of interest scandal involving former Quebec premier Jean Charest, TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, and the NEB was brought to light over the summer.

“I think there could be unprecedented mobilization and action in opposition to these pipelines if the projects go forward in the way that they have been,” the Greenpeace staffer explained. “That’s definitely a core interest of people who are coming to participate in these trainings — they’re very concerned about those pipelines, and many are saying that the NEB process has been very problematic.”

The organization plans to hold 15 more protest training sessions before the end of the year, with those in Quebec targeting Energy East, and those in B.C. targeting the Trans Mountain expansion, which is due for a decision from the federal government on Dec. 19. Teagan Stacey, a graduate of these trainings, has even started her own non-violent ‘kayaktivist’ group called the BC Seawolves, which will stand in solidarity against Trans Mountain with Greenpeace and First Nations.

“We’re showing the government that we’re not going to let this go through, and if they think they can push it through where members of this oppose it, we’re going to make sure it’s stopped,” she told National Observer. “We recognize this has huge implications for the rest of our country, and the rest of the world through tar sands expansion. All of that we bring with us out in the water.”

Kayaktivists target the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby, B.C. during a protests against the company's Trans Mountain expansion on Sat. May 14, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

Kayaktivists target the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby, B.C. during a protests against the company’s Trans Mountain expansion on Sat. May 14, 2016. Photo by Elizabeth McSheffrey.

First Nations happy to have cross-Canada allies

While not all Indigenous nations in Canada are opposed to oilsands expansions, and some have signed on in support of pipelines crossing their territories, those who oppose the energy projects are happy to have allies across the country. They’re also happy to serve as allies to others, said Tsleil-Waututh First Nation spokesperson Rueben George, who recently visited the Standing Rock Sioux fighting the Dakota access pipeline in North Dakota.

He said their movement, which has recently prompted a halt in construction of the controversial pipeline, has been guided by their elders, cultural, and spiritual values, and the movement in Canada will be too.

“I know [our] elders, community and leadership have been doing the same thing,” he told National Observer. “Campaign promises were made to boost not only the health of First Nations and nation-to-nation negotiation, but economics as well. Doors are opening for that. I’m excited about that.”

Chief Terry Teegee of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council in Prince George, B.C., who met George at the Treaty Alliance signing in Vancouver on Thursday, said he too, is excited about the shifting relationship between First Nations, governments, and the rest of Canada. What’s happening in North Dakota at the Standing Rock Sioux camp will most certainly be replicated across the provinces, he explained, “if it comes to that.”

“I think [pipeline approval] will be for I believe, many First Nations, a tipping point of our relations with government and corporations where we’ll have to stand up for what we feel is right, and protect our rights and title, and Mother Earth,” he said at the signing. “We very much appreciate the outside help. It feels great knowing we have allies out there.”

This article was originally published by September 27th 2016

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/09/27/news/first-nations-predict-hordes-will-disrupt-parliament-hill-if-pipelines-approved


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Northern Gateway: Trudeau Government Expected To Launch New Talks With B.C. First Nations

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in B.C. last year, hiking the Grouse Grind on the North Shore during his victorious federal election campaign. Now, as prime minister, his government faces a difficult West Coast environmental issue with the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project across northern B.C. JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in B.C. last year, hiking the Grouse Grind on the North Shore during his victorious federal election campaign. Now, as prime minister, his government faces a difficult West Coast environmental issue with the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project across northern B.C. JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Peter O’Neil | Vancouver Sun‎, September 20, 2016

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is expected this week to launch a new round of consultations with northern B.C. First Nations on the controversial $7.9-billion Northern Gateway pipeline.

The move would be in response to a June ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal that quashed the former Conservative government’s 2014 approval of the proposed pipeline from Bruderheim, near Edmonton, to Kitimat on the West Coast.

Ottawa is facing a court-imposed Thursday deadline to determine whether it will appeal, and is confronting complex legal and political questions surrounding that decision.

The June court decision found that the former government’s consultations with affected First Nations were “brief, hurried and inadequate.”

But the two judges writing for the majority on the three-person appeal panel estimated that a new outreach process would only require about four months of talks, or “just a fraction of the time” since Enbridge first proposed the project in 2005.

The government is facing “very difficult issues” in relation to the decision, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr told reporters Monday.

“We will make it in the time allotted to us by the Federal Court” of Appeal, he said.

One of the complicating factors is the government’s 2015 campaign promise to bring in a moratorium on oil tanker traffic on the northern B.C. coast.

Such a move would prevent the project from proceeding, though the government has never specified how long a moratorium — which by definition is temporary — would be in place.

The National Post reported earlier this year that the government hasn’t closed the door on the project if the proposed terminal was moved from Kitimat to Prince Rupert.

In the event of new consultations, the federal cabinet would have the option after the talks conclude to send the matter back to the National Energy Board, perhaps tasking the NEB to consider adding conditions to the 209 that the board has already imposed on the company.

The federal government would also have the option, after weighing the results of the consultations, to either approve or kill the project, the judges noted in their ruling.

The Douglas Channel at Kitimat, the West Coast terminus for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
The Douglas Channel at Kitimat, the West Coast terminus for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Enbridge, which also has the option of appealing the June decision, has refused to speculate on what it wants the government to do.

“We’re aware of the upcoming deadline, but we’re not able to speculate on what the government will or won’t do,” said spokesman Ivan Giesbrecht.

University of Victoria aboriginal law professor Chris Tollefson, who represented one of the environmental groups involved in the court case, said he doesn’t expect an appeal by either Canada or the company.

The process would take up to two years if Canada’s top court agreed to hear the case, and Tollefson said permission is unlikely given that the judges were simply following the Supreme Court’s direction to lower courts on Aboriginal consultation.

There has been speculation that a federal decision to do more consultations would be based on concern about a possible costly lawsuit if it doesn’t take that step.

Enbridge has said it’s spent roughly $500 million so far on the approval process, and some suggest the Crown’s failure to adequately consult could open the door to a successful court case seeking damages.

But Tollefson, noting that the Supreme Court is traditionally deferential when it comes to cabinet decisions, said Enbridge would have an extremely difficult time winning such a case.

“I think it would be an extraordinary precedent for government to be held liable for regulatory negligence here,” he said in an e-mail Monday.

“The proponent would have to show that if a constitutionally adequate consultation had occurred, Cabinet would have still been granted project approval, and the project would have proceeded.”

The government is also weighing the politics involved.

With Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announcing Sunday that Ottawa will impose a national carbon tax system if provinces can’t agree on their own, some analysts have said they believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is laying the groundwork for a favourable decision in December on the $6.8-billion Kinder Morgan expansion of its pipeline system from Edmonton to Burnaby.

Killing Northern Gateway, when packaged with a national carbon tax, could provide Trudeau with the additional political cover he needs to convince British Columbians to accept the Kinder Morgan project over the objections of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, environmentalists and a number of First Nations.

Trudeau, when asked about pipelines, has always indicated he favours helping get Alberta’s bitumen to offshore markets.

But he always insists that any such effort be combined with steps to protect the environment and respect First Nations.

“One of the fundamental responsibilities of any prime minister is to get our resources to market,” he told the House of Commons in April.

“However, in the 21st century, getting those resources to market means doing it responsibly for communities, for indigenous peoples and for the environment.”

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/trudeau-government-expected-to-launch-new-talks-with-b-c-first-nations-as-northern-gateway-deadline-looms

 

Justin Trudeau’s Lofty Rhetoric On First Nations A Cheap Simulation Of Justice

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses after receiving a ceremonial headdress while visiting the Tsuut’ina First Nation near Calgary, Alberta, Friday, March 4, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP) Photograph: Jeff McIntosh/AP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses after receiving a ceremonial headdress while visiting the Tsuut’ina First Nation near Calgary, Alberta, Friday, March 4, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP) Photograph: Jeff McIntosh/AP

An era of so-called reconciliation has disguised the continuation of Harper-era land and resource grabs

By  | The Guardian, September 19, 2016

By now, we all know the greatest priority of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is its relationship with Indigenous peoples. How could we miss the weekly reminders?

Trudeau graciously wrapping himself in ceremonial blankets. Hauling jugs of drinking water door-to-door on a northern reserve lacking portable water. Paddling the Ottawa river in his dad’s buckskin jacket and moccasins with Indigenous youth, after a sunrise ritual at dawn.

Welcome to the era of reconciliation, ushered in by a Prime Minister so different in appearance from his predecessors. Free of prejudices. Moved to tears by the country’s dark history. Committed to the need for deep, fundamental change.

Except this carefully scripted story, managed even more tightly than ex-Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s, has long been unravelling.

It began with the fraying of Trudeau’s official platform. A legal order issued to the Liberals to end racial discrimination against Indigenous children? Repeatedly ignored. Compensation for 16,000 individuals snatched from their homes and adopted by non-Indigenous families in the Sixties Scoop? Opposed in court. And that historic budget for First Nations? Turned out most of the funds would flow only in 2020—after the next election. Not exactly the “new relationship” that Trudeau announced to rapturous international applause.

And then there’s what hasn’t made the headlines. In British Columbia, Quebec, the Atlantic provinces and elsewhere through Canada, there are scores of First Nations who have never signed away their Aboriginal title through treaties. For years they’ve wracked up debt while in negotiations with the government over lands sought after by mineral, forestry, hydro and oil companies. But as a pre-condition for any compensation, they’re forced to extinguish their rights to 9 out of every 10 parcels of their territory—rivers, forests, mountains, farmland, and everything underneath.

Fair to have expected a change under Trudeau? Instead the Liberals have given negotiators marching orders from a Harper-commissioned report that advises how to force through energy infrastructure. That’s because Indigenous rights stand in the way of pipelines, mega-dams like Site C, giant fracked gas terminals—and $650bn in resource projects over the next ten years that the Liberals are trumpeting as much as the Conservatives did.

Never mind that recent Supreme Court decisions, and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples before them, call for shared sovereignty or management over these lands. Or that many more Canadians are realizing that Indigenous stewardship of large swathes of territory—instead of its mismanagement by multi-national corporations—would be to the benefit of everyone.

Trudeau may indeed want to do right by Indigenous peoples, but the government is locked into a logic of its own: quietly maintaining exclusive control over Indigenous peoples’ lands and resources. Is this what Trudeau meant when he said his government would “think seven generations out”?

Turning the language of liberation into a contraption of conquest is nothing new: it’s part of Liberal heritage. In the early 1990s, as calls for Indigenous self-determination gained steam on the heels of widespread protest and the Oka crisis, the Liberals appeared to embrace the movement’s demand. They named their policy “the Inherent Right to Self-Government.”

Except this policy—still on the books—only grants First Nations rights such as policing, education, and the licensing of marriages; the government keeps all powers of trade, diplomacy and serious economic development and decision-making to themselves. No wonder Indigenous critics have said it turns First Nations into “ethnic municipalities”: it is nothing like a genuine third-order of government.

The Liberals latest utterances appear just as soothingly promising: “reconciliation,” “nation-to-nation,” even “decolonization.” The most slippery of all has been their use of “consent.” Though the Liberals have proclaimed their support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—at whose heart lies the right of “free, prior and informed consent”—they’ve been loathe to recognize it in practice on the ground.

It’s obvious why: the right of consent sends shudders through corporate boardrooms whose goodwill the Liberals covet. As an alternative, the government has wheeled out a hazy concept of “collaborative consent.” All that’s clear is it studiously avoids recognizing the actual right to say no to destructive resource projects. Indigenous feminists have underlined how this half-measure is hollow: whether it’s territories or bodies, if you don’t have the power to say no, then “consent” is meaningless.

The extractivist worldview—bent on treating everything as a commodity—that lay behind Stephen Harper’s resource agenda just as powerfully shapes Trudeau’s. In fact, the Liberals’ attempt to wrap themselves in the UN Declaration without embracing its central right may constitute a new, more subtle form of extraction: the extraction from Indigenous territory of consent itself.

Liberal moves to extract and manufacture consent and support for outdated policies are evident elsewhere: restoring funding to the Assembly of First Nations, a government-dependent organization that has since plumped frequently for them; appointing an Indigenous Justice Minister, even though Indigenous critics argue she has sided with the government agenda throughout her political career; and agreeing to call an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, but with a mandate far short of what impacted families wanted. As the weight of reality presses against Trudeau’s rhetoric, the ability to generate consent is crumbling.

Reconciliation is a powerful hope, an uplifting prospect, a deeply desired new relationship that Trudeau has compellingly invoked. But if reconciliation does not include the restitution of land, the recognition of real self-government, the reigning in of abusive police, the remediation of rivers and forests, it will remain a vacant notion, a cynical ploy to preserve a status quo in need not of tinkering but transformation. It will be Canada’s latest in beads and trinkets, a cheap simulation of justice.

The good news is that Indigenous peoples have never been more poised to push Trudeau from mere words to deeds. Idle No More left a profound imprint: a more readily mobilized Indigenous population and a far larger non-Indigenous reservoir of support. An influential presence on social media, a growing force in art and culture, Indigenous peoples are leveraging Supreme Court precedents and trying to rebuild their economies and nations.

They have endured too much to be satisfied with Trudeau attending a pow wow, flashing a Haida tattoo on his arm, or calling for yet another consultation and study. If Canadians are willing to do their part, Indigenous peoples can test Trudeau’s lofty rhetoric the most effective way possible: in the crucible of a rising movement.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/true-north/2016/sep/19/justin-trudeaus-lofty-rhetoric-on-first-nations-a-cheap-simulation-of-justice

 

With First Nations Snub, Trudeau Shows Contempt For Media

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with students, teachers, chiefs, and dignitaries at Oskayak High School in Saskatoon, Sask., Wednesday, April 27, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith

Article By David Akin, canoe.com‎, Apr 28, 2016

AKIN: With First Nations snub, Trudeau shows contempt for media

There has been a running battle between prime ministers and the media going back to John A. Macdonald but on Thursday, Justin Trudeau took prime ministerial contempt for the country’s news organizations to new heights.

Trudeau made what is an unequivocally historic visit to a First Nations community in crisis. The people of Shoal Lake 40 have been living under a boil-water advisory for 17 years. They’ve pleaded with one federal government after another for financial help to build the infrastructure for clean drinking water.

But no Canadian news organization was permitted to document this historic encounter on the reserve that straddles Ontario and Manitoba.

The Trudeau PMO permitted only a crew from Vice Media, the New York-based company which is expanding in Canada, to record the visit.

Trudeau’s director of communications Kate Purchase said it was Vice’s idea. “This is an exclusive documentary, just as the prime minister’s one-on-one interviews with other media are exclusive to that outlet until the air date.”

Media organizations get “exclusive interviews” and good on Vice for getting this one. But it should be as plain as day that the visit of a Canadian PM to a First Nation in crisis is much, much bigger than a “one-on-one interview.” It is an event of immense public interest, deserving of broad and varied reportage.

In rejecting requests from organizations such as the Canadian Press or the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Trudeau is sending a signal that important public moments in the relationship between First Peoples and the federal government can be used as little more than a PMO image control exercise.

Postmedia Network, Global Television News, The Globe and Mail, CTV and other major news organizations immediately registered protests with Trudeau’s office.

http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/Canada/2016/04/28/22628151.html

 

Trudeau Attacked From All Sides Over Pipeline Stance

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons. Photo from PMO

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons. Photo from PMO

April 12th 2016

This article was originally published by nationalobserver.com

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was criticized from all sides on Tuesday in response to a published news report that alleged he had instructed key officials to prepare a strategy to approve major new pipeline projects.

While opposition Conservative MPs criticized Trudeau in the House of Commons for not doing more to cheerlead for the oil and gas industry, a leading climate change scientist and several environmental groups reacted to the news with disbelief.

John Stone, a former climatologist with Environment Canada, and vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II, said that building more pipelines is scientifically incompatible with meeting Canada’s climate change commitments.

“If you build a pipeline, you’re going to fill it with tar sands that’s going to increase our emissions and that’s not going to allow us to meet our climate change commitments,” said Stone, in an interview with National Observer.

He said it was impossible to burn the fossil fuel reserves currently available and meet the government’s objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Industry woes

Canadian industry advocates have said that new pipelines are now more important than ever to help them reach new markets and compete with other producers from around the world. They say the needs are particularly pressing for Alberta’s oilsands producers, which face higher costs to extract oil compared to most of their competitors.

The industry has been hammered in recent months and some tens of thousands of workers have lost jobs in Alberta since the fall of 2014 when global oil prices began to plummet. The bad economic news continued on Tuesday with Calgary-based Cenovus, a major oilsands producer, announcing that it was eliminating 250 jobs as it completed a wave of layoffs.

But environmental groups, who have warned about the consequences of rising heat-trapping carbon pollution from the industry, say new pipelines – such as Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project to British Columbia and TransCanada Corp’s cross-country Energy East project – are not the solution.

“I think ultimately the thing I can’t get my head around is why they think these pipelines make any economic sense,” said Adam Scott, climate and energy program manager for Environmental Defence.

“If you look right now, there’s very little economic case for the construction of these projects.”

Coy and shy

In the Commons, Conservative MPs, led by natural resources critic Candice Bergen, attacked Trudeau for not doing more to promote more oil and gas expansion. Bergen also suggested that some of Trudeau’s advisors should not be trusted since have publicly taken strong positions that show they care about the environment.

“The people in Alberta are looking for a government that will proudly stand up for Canadian oil and gas, not act coy and shy when it becomes convenient for it,” Bergen said.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr responded in the Commons by stressing the importance of improving market access for producers and slamming the federal Conservatives for suggesting that projects should be approved without a federal review.

“The prime minister has said there is no contradiction between building wind turbines and pipelines,” Carr said. “He has said it is a principal responsibility of the government of Canada to move our natural resources to market sustainably. That is why we are following a process that will consult with Canadians and give people the chance to understand that in this day and age we develop the economy sustainably with one eye on the environment and the other on job creation. That is the way we will move forward sustainably.”

The criticism followed a column published by the National Post on Monday that reported the prime minister has ordered staff to draw up plans to push the pipelines through.

Finance minister Bill Morneau and others in cabinet convinced Trudeau that the pipelines must be built to achieve the government’s ambitious economic growth targets, John Ivison reported in the National Post.

Government won’t prejudge any project

Following a morning federal cabinet meeting, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna dismissed the National Post report, without explicitly denying it. She noted that the government had already announced new measures to improve the review process for pipeline projects, including efforts to improve consultations with all affected communities and First Nations peoples and a review all evidence.

“For the projects that are already under review, we have a process – a process where we will make decisions based on the facts and evidence. This includes pipelines,” she told reporters. “So I don’t know where this (National Post) story came from, but it’s not what our process is.”

McKenna said the government won’t prejudge any project. It understands that resources need to get to market, she said, but recognizes that this will only happen if it’s done in a sustainable manner.

“I don’t get the feeling that we have to do this fast. We have to do this with a process that respects science and evidence. And we must take the time to evaluate each project and that’s what we’ll do.”

B.C. and Quebec unlikely to support pipeline development

Last week, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told the province in a televised plea for approval of Energy East that every Canadian benefits from a strong energy sector.

“But we can’t continue to support Canada’s economy unless Canada supports us. That means one thing: building a modern and carefully regulated pipeline to tidewater,” Notley said.

She also stressed that her government had introduced a comprehensive climate change plan that would introduce an economy-wide carbon tax, shut down the province’s coal power plants, and set a limit on the annual carbon pollution allowed from oilsands producers – Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“We now have a balanced framework to develop our industry, and every government in Canada understands this issue must be dealt with. We must get to ’yes’ on a pipeline.”

Scott said it’s unlikely either British Columbia or Quebec would support pipeline development and the federal government would face a challenge to win their support.

“I don’t know how they’re going to get either of those governments onside when there’s overwhelming opposition to both projects in those provinces.”

From Quebec, Steven Guilbeault, co-founder of the environmental group, Equiterre, wrote on his Facebook page: “If the contents of this article are true, the Trudeau government will find an awful lot of people on his trail, and I will be one of those.”

The Quebec group, along with Toronto-based Environmental Defence and the Alberta-based Pembina Institute are co-hosting a reception, Thursday night on Parliament Hill, with McKenna, the federal environment minister.

The purpose of the reception is to “celebrate a new era of climate change in Canada” as well as a new alliance between the three environmental groups.

Public trust

Graham Saul, executive director of Ecology Ottawa said that if the allegations in the National Post column are accurate, it would “fundamentally undermine” the “sincerity of the Trudeau administration when it comes to climate change and environmental integrity.”

Saul’s non-profit group – a group opposed to TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline – sent out letters to all local Ottawa-area Liberal MPs on Tuesday, including McKenna, who represents the Ottawa Centre riding.

The letter asked the Liberal MPs to publicly deny the allegations in the National Post column to reassure Canadians that the government hadn’t already made up its mind to approve new pipelines.

“If true, this initiative brings into question the sincerity of the federal government’s statements regarding its intention to apply a meaningful climate test to fossil fuel expansion, and to ensure that the environment is adequately taken into consideration,” Saul’s letter read.

Trudeau’s government has pledged to help Canada move toward a low-carbon economy. He has also said that the country must make strategic investments in clean growth and new infrastructure, while continuing to “generate wealth from our abundant natural resources to fund this transition to a low-carbon economy.”

As well, Trudeau gave Carr a mandate letter last November with instructions that noted that the federal government had a “core responsibility” to help get Canadian resources to market.

“But that is only possible if we achieve the required public trust by addressing environmental, Indigenous Peoples’, and local concerns,” Trudeau told Carr in the mandate letter.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Climate and Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada, said if Trudeau wants to be a climate leader, he can’t approve more pipelines.

“I think Trudeau has a big job ahead of him if he actually wants to act on what he’s saying, and what he has said, and what he was actually elected upon.”

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/04/12/news/trudeau-attacked-all-sides-over-pipeline-stance


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No Trudeau Veto For Site C

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Alaska Highway News‎, Feb 24, 2016

Little evidence of a change in course

According to Alaska Highway News,The Liberal government looks unlikely to block the Site C dam, after months of speculation over whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would reverse the Conservative government’s decision to approve the project.

In the House of Commons this week, Green Party and NDP MPs prodded the new government to further review Site C, citing concerns from local First Nations and landowners. But so far, it appears the previous government’s decision to issue federal permits for the project will stand.

Two Liberal ministers were asked about the $8.8 billion dam in question period, but avoided mentioning the project by name.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who put a question to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, said the project was “highly controversial and manifestly opposed,” saying federal construction permits were issued quietly during the last election.

But McKenna gave little evidence of a change in course.

“In the fall of 2014, the former government approved the project and set legally binding conditions with which the proponent must comply,” McKenna said. “The project is now at construction phase and BC Hydro must meet the requirements set out in the environmental assessment decision as well as other regulatory requirements.”

[READ MORE]