Tag Archives: Pipelines

Alberta’s Bill 1 Is ‘Racially Targeted’: First Nations Leaders

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, left, sits with Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, centre, Grand Chief Arthur Noskey, right, during a meeting in Edmonton with First Nations leaders about increasing Indigenous participation in the economy on June 10, 2019.

The Critical Infrastructure Defence Act bans protests at pipelines, oilsands sites, and railways

First Nations leaders are outraged the Alberta government is rushing to pass Bill 1, which would outlaw protests and other disruptions to “critical infrastructure.”

Arthur Noskey, Grand Chief of the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, said the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act violates Indigenous and treaty rights, calling it a “racialized bill,” and one that will aggravate tensions between police and Indigenous people.

“We knew this bill was enacted because of Wet’suwet’en protests,” said Noskey, referring to the First Nations-led demonstrations that lasted several weeks this year across Canada. The protests drew thousands of supporters, with some blocking highways and railway infrastructure in opposition to Coastal GasLink’s LNG pipeline slated to run through traditional Wet’suwet’en territory in B.C.

“The intent of this bill is racially targeted towards First Nation treaty partners in this country. With all of the racial tension happening today, the [United Conservative Party] government should realize this bill is not going to work,” said Noskey. “Under treaty, we have collective, inherent rights. When people come together to protest, it’s because of their collective rights.”

Hundreds of protesters occupy the Macmillan Yard in Vaughan, Ont. on Feb. 15, 2020 in solidarity with traditional Wet’suwet’en leaders opposed to an LNG pipeline through their territory.

The bill bans demonstrations at “critical infrastructure” areas, described as pipelines, oilsands sites, mining sites as well as utilities, streets, highways, railways, and telecom towers and equipment. Violators who protest, trespass, interfere with operations, or cause damage around that kind of infrastructure will face fines as high as $10,000 or six months in jail or both. Further offences will garner fines of up to $25,000 and jail time.

Bill 1 passed its third reading on May 28 and now awaits royal assent from the lieutenant-governor that would make it a law.

This is a desperate move by Premier Jason Kenney to save a “completely failing economy and energy system,” said Eriel Deranger, a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in northern Alberta and executive director of Indigenous Climate Action.

“Bill 1 seems like it’s out of the same playbook as [U.S. President Donald] Trump. It’s fascist, anti-democratic, anti-civil rights and completely annihilates the rights of Indigenous communities,” she said.

“I think people will protest this bill given where we are in the world with the Black Lives Matter movement, and this bill has impacts across the nation. I hope the federal government intervenes and sees the true colours of this unconstitutional move by Alberta.”

Federal government says it remains committed to UNDRIP

The office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General said in a statement to HuffPost Canada that it wouldn’t be “appropriate to speak to provincial legislation.”

“We remain fully committed to introducing legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) by the end of 2020,” it said.

One of UNDRIP’s authors, Cree lawyer, Indigenous rights expert, and former Alberta MP Wilton Littlechild said the declaration plays a crucial role in protecting and upholding Indigenous rights when it comes to Bill 1.

He says the bill is wide in scope and wonders if the Critical Infrastructure Act also applies on reserve and in traditional Indigenous territories.

“Utility lines, roads, railways, pipelines all go through reserves and nothing mentions this in the bill,” said Littlechild. “There’s no mention of us at all. It’s a complicated matter and we weren’t at the table for free, prior and informed consent on these serious issues.”

Jonah Mozeson, senior press secretary to the Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General, saidthe province ”will work collaboratively to ensure that input from Indigenous and Metis Albertans are heard and are scheduling additional outreach to receive additional feedback and discuss the concerns being raised.”

Alberta Regional Chief Marlene Poitras, left, stands with activist Greta Thunberg, centre, at a climate rally in Montreal in 2019.

But Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief of Alberta, Marlene Poitras, who has participated in countless demonstrationsf or Indigenous rights in Canada and around the world, said the discriminatory elements in government law-making has to stop.

“We have a human right to voice our concerns. In our case, we have a treaty right and that’s not being respected,” explained Poitras, who marched alongside Greta Thunberg in Montreal last fall to bring awareness to climate change.

“Our people are concerned about the environment. Alberta is deregulating everything and doing whatever it can to open it up for oil and gas development without consulting our people — but our people will respond.”

There’s no chance of reconciliation with the UCP government with this.Arthur Noskey, Grand Chief of the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta.

Noskey said he thinks Bill 1 further strains the relationship between police and Indigenous Peoples, mirroring an international narrative that’s dominating headlines. Protests have swelled in the U.S. and around the world against anti-Black racism and police brutality.

“Now, Alberta will be asking the peacekeeping police officers to arrest us. This is anti-racial law. So the racially motivated police in the force will say ‘I can do this’ (arrest and brutalize).”

Last week, his friend and colleague Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation told a news conference that he was beaten and his wife “manhandled” during an arrest by RCMP in Fort McMurray. Alberta’s independent police watchdog is investigating the allegations.

Prime Minister Trudeau said he was “deeply alarmed” by the incident and vowed to “do more” to address systemic racism in policing.

As for reconciliation in Alberta, Noskey believes the move by Kenney to implement Bill 1 abolishes reconciliation.

“You’re going to criminalize the First Peoples of this land who agreed to share the lands with foreigners that came in. This impacts our way of life. There’s no chance of reconciliation with the UCP government with this.”

By Brandi Morin, On Assignment For HuffPost Canada

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‘We want to be owners’: Fort McMurray First Nations and Métis unite on pipelines

The Fort McMurray regions’s 10 First Nations and Métis community say they want to be pipeline owners. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

‘Let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil’

First Nations and Métis communities in the Fort McMurray region are expressing interest in becoming business partners in the pipeline industry.

The indigenous communities want to either buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline or partner and build another future line.

“We want to be owners of a pipeline,” Allan Adam, chief of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, said in an interview. “We think that a pipeline is a critical component to the oil and gas sector, especially in this region.”

“If Fort McMurray and Alberta are going to survive, the Athabasca Tribal Council has to be alongside.”

Adam, a board member with the Athabasca Tribal Council, an umbrella organization that represents the regions’s five First Nations, admitted, the details still need to be worked out.

Ron Quintal, president of the Athabasca River Métis, the organization that represents five Métis communities in the region, confirms it too is on board with the proposal.

But, Quintal said, he expects they would need backers to help guarantee loans to help fund the multi-billion dollar project.

Tired of fighting oil companies

The announcement happened on the heels of the groups’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the basement of a Fort McMurray hotel on Friday.

Participants say it was the first time region’s Cree, Dene and Métis communities met together with the head of the federal government. Typically such high level meetings don’t take place together.

Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, says the Fort McMurray region’s First Nation and Métis communities back pipelines and they want to own one. (The Canadian Press)

Also in the background is the uncertainty over the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion which would ship bitumen from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

On Sunday, Kinder Morgan announced it will halt “non-essential activities” and related spending on the project and set a May 31 deadline to decide whether the project will proceed. The company declined to comment for this story.

Premier Rachel Notley said the May deadline is a serious concern and suggested Alberta may become a co-owner in the pipeline’s construction.

The announcement from Adam is a change in position for the chief who is no stranger to pipeline opposition. The chief has posed with celebrities and activists critical of the oilsands’ environmental legacy.

Most recently, Adam was pictured with Hollywood actress Jane Fonda who described the oilsands on a 2016 trip to Fort McMurray as if “someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a very large surface.”

Adam denied he was ever anti-pipeline or against the oilsands, rather the chief said he is critical of the feverish pace the oilsands developed without environmental considerations.

But, Adam also admitted fighting oil companies and industry has been tough and it’s time for a change.

“The fact is I am tired. I am tired of fighting. We have accomplished what we have accomplished,” Adam said. “Now let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil that’s here already.”

Archie Waquan, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, also supports a pipeline partnership.

“No disrespect to the other First Nations that are against the pipeline in B.C.,” Waquan said.

“From our end — from this northern territory where the oilsands comes from — we would like to see more things happen and hopefully this will go ahead.”

Ultimately we are the keepers of the land

The region’s Métis communities say their Indigenous pipeline ownership would help alleviate the roadblocks the oil and gas infrastructure have been facing lately.

Elaborating, Quintal said, First Nations and Métis would provide ease of access for the pipeline route on their traditional territory.

Also, he said, Indigenous owners would take the upmost care to ensure the pipeline route would avoid sacred or sensitive areas and the infrastructure is maintained to the highest standards to prevent spills.

Chiefs and heads of the Athabasca Tribal Council and the Athabasca River Métis Council pose after a meeting Tuesday at Fort McMurray’s Raddison Hotel where they announced they are willing invest in pipelines. (David Thurton/CBC)

“From our perspective, the Métis have always for the most part been pro-pipeline,” Quintal said. But, “I am not saying that it’s an open book or a blank cheque for the industry to develop pipelines.”

“Ultimately we are the keepers of the land and it is of the upmost importance that lands are protected as much as possible.”

Quintal also said, Indigenous owners behind a pipeline, might also lend credibility that could quell some of the opposition.

This article was originally published by David Thurton  · CBC News · Posted: Apr 15, 2018

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Keystone XL, Line 3 and Trans Mountain ‘More Vital Than Ever’ as Energy East Cancelled: Analyst


An analyst says the shelving of TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline means it’s more vital than ever that three other pipelines to oil export markets proceed as planned.

AltaCorp Capital analyst Dirk Lever said Friday that Canadian producers will have to transport any new oil production over the next year or so using railcars because the pipelines leaving Western Canada now are essentially full.

He said the next capacity increase is expected to come with Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement project, which is under construction and will add 370,000 barrels per day of capacity to the United States by early 2019.

But that additional room will only just accommodate new output from oilsands expansions and the situation will remain tight until the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline to the West Coast proposed by Kinder Morgan is in service, which is expected to add 590,000 barrels per day by late 2019.

TransCanada hasn’t yet approved its Keystone XL pipeline into the U.S., but Lever said its 830,000-barrel-per-day capacity will likely provide enough room for Canadian oil production growth until about 2030, when the industry expects Canadian production to reach five million barrels per day.

He said Energy East could come off the shelf if any of the other pipelines don’t go ahead, or if market conditions change to encourage higher production growth.

The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

Treaty Alliance Vows to Fight Other Projects After TransCanada Ends Energy East Pipeline

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

[SOURCE]

TransCanada Won’t Proceed With Energy East Pipeline

The pipeline would have transported more than a million barrels of oil every day. (Reuters)

Pipeline company opts to kill 2 eastern-based energy projects

TransCanada says it won’t proceed with its Energy East pipeline and Eastern Mainline proposals.

Russ Girling, the Calgary-based energy company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement that National Energy Board and Quebec officials will be informed TransCanada won’t go forward with the applications.

“We appreciate and are thankful for the support of labour, business and manufacturing organizations, industry, our customers, Irving Oil, various governments, and the approximately 200 municipalities who passed resolutions in favour of the projects,” Girling said in a release.

“Most of all, we thank Canadians across the country who contributed towards the development of these initiatives.”

The proposed Energy East project would have carried more than one million barrels of oil every day from Alberta and Saskatchewan across the country to be refined in Quebec and New Brunswick and then exported. It would have added 1,500 kilometres worth of new oil pipelines to an existing network of more than 3,000 kilometres, which would have been converted from carrying natural gas, to carrying oil.

The company says it will take a $1-billion charge to write down the project on its books in its next quarterly results. But the full price tag for the project would have been much higher, with some estimates at as much as $16 billion.​

The company first proposed the project in 2013, when oil prices neared $100 a barrel. But the project’s future had come in doubt since then as the economics changed, and regulatory and environmental hurdles started piling up.

As recently as last month, TransCanada suspended its application to the National Energy Board (NEB) and hinted it might decide not to pursue the project in light of the regulator’s new, tougher review process.

TransCanada shares were slightly higher on Thursday, an indication that investors weren’t surprised by the news, considering TransCanada announced last month it would undergo a “careful review” of the process.

“We were not assigning much of a probability of the project proceeding as scheduled,” TD Bank analyst Linda Ezergailis said in a note to clients after the cancellation was announced.

Energy East was an oil pipeline, but the Eastern Mainline project, which was also killed on Thursday, would have transported natural gas along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said in a statement that the company’s decision not to move forward with Energy East is “not good news” for those who wanted to see the pipeline built, including the provincial government.

“Like many New Brunswickers, we are disappointed. The project would have created jobs in New Brunswick and helped the Canadian economy,” Gallant said.

His counterpart in Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley, echoed those sentiments, saying, “We are deeply disappointed by the recent decision from TransCanada. We understand that it is driven by a broad range of factors that any responsible business must consider. Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate outcome for Canadians.”

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association expressed its disappointment with the decision, and blamed governments for forcing the company’s hand.

“The loss of this major project means the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for Canada, and will significantly impact our country’s ability to access markets for our oil and gas,” CEPA said.

“Pipelines are the only viable way to move large quantities of oil and natural gas to markets, safely and responsibly. With global demand for energy expected to rise and extensive supply potential in Western Canada, Canada will be missing out on a significant economic opportunity if governments do not see value in pipeline projects such as Energy East.”

CBC News Posted: Oct 05, 2017

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