Tag Archives: Trudeau Government

Kinder Morgan Warns of ‘Significant’ Delay After Court Urged to Consider Release of Trudeau Government Secrets

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives at the House of Commons in Ottawa on April 25, 2018 for the daily question period. Photo by Alex Tétreault

This article was originally published by National Observer

A lawyer for energy giant Kinder Morgan is warning that its Trans Mountain expansion project is facing “significant and unwarranted delay” following an unexpected legal letter filed Thursday in the wake of dramatic revelations reported by National Observer about the project’s approval by the Trudeau government.

Maureen Killoran, a Canadian lawyer for the Texas-based company, drafted the warning in a letter filed Friday with the Federal Court of Appeal in response to a request filed on Thursday by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in B.C..

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is challenging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval of the Kinder Morgan project at the Federal Court of Appeal, arguing that the government failed in its legal duty to consult First Nations prior to making its decision. In a letter sent to the court on Thursday, Scott Smith, a lawyer representing the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN), wrote that two recent reports by National Observer confirm allegations it had previously raised that Trudeau’s government acted in “bad faith” and is withholding documents that show what happened during its internal review.

As a result, Smith sent a letter to the court, giving notice that it intended to introduce a motion to compel the Trudeau government to cough up its secret records about the review of the pipeline project.

“It is TWN’s position that such new evidence of bad faith and dishonorable conduct by Canada… would be directly relevant to the Court’s consideration of whether Canada discharged its duty to consult TWN,” Smith wrote in a letter to the court dated April 26.

The request from Smith is unusual, given that the case had already been heard last fall with a decision expected by the court this spring. But Smith argued in his letter that there was a legal precedent for the court to address the new allegations raised in reports from National Observer.

In his submission, Smith cited a report published by National Observer on April 18 that revealed federal officials sped up their timeline for the review of the Trans Mountain project following a phone call from Kinder Morgan Canada’s president Ian Anderson. He also cited a report published by National Observer on April 24 that quoted public servants who said they were instructed to find a way to approve the project during an internal meeting

“In short, it would appear that this evidence, which was not disclosed and in regard to which TWN had no prior knowledge, corroborates TWN’s allegation and suggest, in the words of the relevant media coverage, that internal federal government employees were instructed ‘at least one month before the pipeline was approved, to give cabinet a legally-sound basis to say ‘yes’ to Trans Mountain… at a time when the government claimed it was still consulting in good faith with First Nations and had not yet come to a final decision on the pipeline,” Smith wrote.

The court responded to Smith’s letter promptly, asking the federal government and other stakeholders to provide their responses to the request by the end of the day on Friday.

In her response, Killoran said it was too late.

“Based on information contained in two articles published in the National Observer, TWN now seeks to gather additional evidence more than six months following the close of submissions,” she wrote. “The relief sought by TWN will introduce significant and unwarranted delay.”

Killoran also noted that the Tsleil-Waututh Nation had previously requested the release of documents through a motion that was rejected by the court in June 2017 “because (among other things) it was not persuaded that Canada withheld any information that was required to be produced. The Court also noted that TWN had an opportunity to test Canada’s document production, and/or seek additional documents, on cross examination.

“Finally, there are no exceptional circumstances that justify reopening the evidentiary record for the consolidated proceedings,” Killoran wrote. “On the contrary, it is highly unlikely that the motion will uncover additional producible evidence; even if such evidence exists (which is denied), it has no influence on the outcome of this case.”

Justice Department proposes two-week process to handle Tsleil-Waututh motion

The federal government responded at the end of the day with a statement that didn’t address any of the allegations raised in the National Observer reports directly. It also proposed a two-week process to deal with the motion and responses from the affected parties.

“Canada takes no position on whether TWN ought to be permitted to bring this motion at this late date, over six months after the hearing of these proceedings has concluded,” wrote Jan Brongers, senior general counsel from the B.C. regional office of the federal government’s Justice Department.

“That said, on the basis of the description of the proposed motion set out in the TWN Letter, Canada does not agree that it is the type of ‘urgent motion, such as requests for emergency injunctive relief’ that the Court contemplated would be governed by… the Procedural Order. Rather, the motion appears to constitute a further attempt by TWN to seek supplemental evidence.”

Brongers letter also echoed concerns raised by Kinder Morgan that the motion could lead to more delays.

“Canada notes that TWN’s proposed motion has the potential to delay adjudication of the consolidated proceedings, which, as noted above, have already been under reserve for a considerable time,” Brongers wrote. “Accordingly, Canada submits that if TWN is permitted to bring this motion at this late date, it ought to be filed and served forthwith.”

April 27th 2018

[SOURCE]

Trudeau Government Built Pipeline Website During ‘Consultation’ With First Nations, Court Told

Indigenous representatives at a news conference in Vancouver addressing the legal challenge to Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion. Photo by Dylan Waisman

The federal government was already building a website announcing approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion when it “consulted” with First Nations in November 2016, according to lawyers at the opening day of a court challenge in Vancouver.

“We had no choice but to go to court,” Coldwater Indian Band Chief Lee Spahan told a news conference in downtown Vancouver about the proposed Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

The legal challenge, which includes seven First Nations, the City of Vancouver and Burnaby, as well as two environmental groups, is seen as a major legal test for an oil pipeline project that has the support of the federal and Alberta governments, but has been met with fierce opposition in British Columbia.

The B.C. and Alberta governments both have status as intervenors in the case. If built, the project would triple the capacity of the existing pipeline, allowing it to transport up to 890,000 barrels of diluted bitumen per day from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C..

Standing in front of a large green and white banner with the words “United against Kinder Morgan,” Indigenous representatives spoke to reporters, saying that the Texas-based oil giant didn’t properly consult First Nations about their proposal.

“Our efforts may be seen as a nuisance,” Tsleil-Waututh First Nation Chief Maureen Thomas said, her voice heavy with emotion. “But I see it as survival for our future generations.”

Large-scale legal challenge

The Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver began hearing arguments on Monday from 10 applicants challenging Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Lawyers for the Tsleil-Waututh, Coldwater, and the Upper Nicola band argued that First Nations consultations weren’t done in earnest because the government was already preparing to give the green light, even as discussions were underway.

“Canada was preparing a website to announce the approval of the project plan, while at the same time were still undertaking consultation with First Nations,” Tsleil-Waututh counsel Scott Andrew Smith argued in court.

“It has been found that no alternative version of the site was being prepared. [On] November 29th, a mere day after Minister Carr promised Chief Thomas that Tsleil-Waututh’s submissions would be taken into account by the cabinet and his colleagues, the pre-prepared website was published. The Governor in Council did not consider or take Tsleil-Waututh’s final considerations into account, and proceeded with consultations with a mind that was already made up.”

Lawyers also pointed to the exclusion of marine shipping concerns from the National Energy Board’s report, the alleged failure to address this error, and Canada’s alleged breach of duty to consult First Nations and obtain consent.

Environmental groups strongly opposed the pipeline on the basis of climate and environmental impacts. The expanded pipeline would increase the current number of oil tankers into Burrard Inlet, which scientists argue will be a major risk to whales and marine wildlife on the coast.

Karen Wristen, executive director of the Living Oceans Society, said she was especially disturbed by news that Kinder Morgan has been putting anti-spawning mats across rivers to prevent salmon from spawning near the pipeline route:

“We learned this week that the lack of protection has become even more concerning — spawning deterrent mats have been placed in advance of construction, before it’s been approved.” she said.

A Kinder Morgan spokeswoman, Ali Hounsell, told The Canadian Press last week that the spawning deterrents were considered a “preventative measure” to minimize environmental impacts of constructing the pipeline. The National Energy Board has since issued an order for the company to stop unauthorized construction activities.

A spokesperson for for Kinder Morgan commented Monday on the court proceedings, saying that the company “… will be providing our legal argument through the court process and are confident in that process and our position.”

Around noon, Indigenous and environmental leaders spoke outside the courthouse to oppose the pipeline.

“We know when push comes to shove we will be on the front lines standing in solidarity, protecting our children and grandchildren,” Grand Chief Stewart Philip said. “We will get arrested if that’s what it takes.”

Grand Chief Philip Stewart at rally to support legal challenge against the Kinder Morgan pipeline approval on Vancouver on October 2, 2017. Photo by Dylan Waisman

“The exceptional support from the cities of Victoria, Vancouver, and Burnaby, show the deep commitment we all share to protecting and defending our natural values,” he said in a later interview with National Observer.

“Indigenous people are not standing alone. In every sense of the word, we are standing together. The fact that we can successfully stand up to both a large scale corporation and the Canadian government, is powerful. I’m convinced our cause will prevail. Otherwise, there will be mass unrest and we are prepared to do whatever we have to.”

The Government of Canada will respond in court on Oct. 12 and 13 next week. The Province of Alberta and the federal National Energy Board will present their cases on Oct. 13th.

By Dylan Waisman in National Observer, Oct 2nd 2017

[SOURCE]

 

Deeds, Not Words ~ Indigenous Day of Action – Oct10

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Indigenous Day of Action #DeedsNotWords

Justin Trudeau. It is time for DEEDS, Not WORDS, that truly respect Indigenous Rights. 

First Nations in Canada are waking up to the reality that the Trudeau government has a big smiley face for a front man, but when it comes to business, nothing has changed. This government approved the Site C mega-Dam in Treaty 8 (BC Peace River region), against the objection of First Nations whose lands will be devastated by flooding, destroying access to their food, medicines, and sacred sites. Just this week, they approved the dangerous and climate-destroying Lelu Island Liquid Natural Gas plant against the wishes of local First Nations. Now under review in Alberta by a system that has never denied a tar sands mine is the Teck Frontier tar sands mine, which would be the largest ever. The federal government, which campaigned on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, has since informed chiefs from across Canada that adopting UNDRIP is unworkable. Now they have backtracked on their obligations under the Paris climate accords, too.

It is already clear what needs to be done. Canada needs a leader with political integrity and courage to do it. We demand that the Trudeau government to take credible action to:

  • Implement UNDRIP in Canadian law.
  • Clearly indicate it respects Indigenous Peoples’ right to say no to development on their land. (This means Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, not manipulated sham consultations).
  • Stop the Site C dam.
  • Close the funding deficit for First Nations now.
  • Stop pipeline, gas, and oil megaprojects: build green energy, transit, and houses.
  • Introduce a climate plan that respects the 1.5-2 degree temperature target that Canada helped negotiate in Paris. Adopting Harper’s emission reduction targets is a betrayal of that commitment.
  • Fully fund Indigenous-owned and controlled renewable energy projects.

Accordingly, this Thanksgiving, Indigenous communities and supporters will be conducting actions, holding ceremonies, and gatherings across Canada to protect land and water and to demand the Trudeau government stop pretending, and start acting like it respects our rights. It is high time for deeds, not words. We ask First Nations and allies on both sides of the medicine line, on the land or in cities, to respond to this call by undertaking action, in accordance with their own capacities, responsibilities, and their protocols.

To join us please email indigenousdayofaction@gmail.com.

Background

On matters of substance, this government is pursuing the same assimilation agenda as previous governments. There has been no change to the disastrous comprehensive claims policy. 150 years of Canada trying to terminate and extinguish Indians has not worked. We are still here and we will still be here hundreds of years from now. Until Canada reckons with, recognizes, and respects Indigenous Peoples’ rights and title, and make legitimate redress for past wrongs, there will be no lasting peace.

This government has still not committed to a plan to undo the deliberate cultural genocide that targeted Indigenous languages and traditions. No serious commitment to Indigenous language revitalization has been put forth. The important recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples have been ignored.

Optimists believed this government would deliver more money for programs and services. Yet the much vaunted spending announcements of this government will not kick in for years, and will still leave First Nations gasping, at poverty-level funding below funding for the average Canadian, after decades of an arbitrary 2% funding cap that has scrimped First Nations into a $60 billion funding gap. The lack of clean water, safe housing, and adequate education, coupled with abusive government and failure to redress the legacy of cultural genocide, have produced a profound mental health and suicide epidemic in many communities.

In the face of government indifference or hostility, Indigenous Peoples across Canada and the United States have had to protect their waters and lands from abusive development that violates their duties to protect the land: from hydro dams at Site C in British Columbia, Keeyask in Manitoba, and Muskrat Dam in Labrador, Newfoundland, to Mi’kmaq people and their allies in Stop Alton Gas protecting the waters of the Sipekne’katik district of the Mi’kmaq Nation; the Algonquins of Barriere Lake in their decades long struggle for their rights against government abuse, now fighting a Copper One mine being developed on their territory without consent; Neskantaga First Nation, trying to stop Noront’s Ring of Fire drilling on its land; and Indigenous peoples and allies fighting toxic, reckless pipeline and oil development in places like Aamjiwnaang, Kanehsatake, Unist’ot’en, Tsleil-Waututh, Secwepemc territory, and Standing Rock, North Dakota. For legitimate defense of their rights, many Indigenous land and water protectors are criminalized or targeted with legal harassment and intimidation by big corporations, like Vanessa Gray of Aamjiwnaang, currently facing expensive court proceedings.

As part of this day of action, we call on Canada to take seriously its obligations under international law, the Canadian constitution, and the principles of justice, and once and for all reconcile itself to our continued existence on this land as Indigenous Peoples. The government has ignored the excellent recommendations of Commission after Commission. Will it ignore the recommendations of the Murdered and Missing Women and Girl’s Inquiry too? Now is the time for Deeds, not Words.

Event Listings Updated as Information Is Received:

Stand for Indigenous Peoples Day – Arcata/Wiyot Homelands:http://bit.ly/2dyTFJz – FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/138960843232274/

Treaty 6 Check Stop Idle No More: http://bit.ly/2dLRJM9 – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/352892858387822/

Roundy at the Square, Toronto: http://bit.ly/2dtyMTg – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/706487162841062/

Treaty Truck House Rally: http://bit.ly/2dBbmXV

Long Beach Gathering: http://bit.ly/2dVmpPg – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/1749530795308191/

Picnic for the Peace: http://bit.ly/2cUZRgB – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/550122018513298/

Regina Action: http://bit.ly/2dVsMlP – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/1094679317285025/

Algonquins of Barriere Lake: http://bit.ly/2dVDqc1

Fort Qu’appelle SK: http://bit.ly/2dvMViO – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/712907362205845/

Victoria: http://bit.ly/2cXfNdp – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/210372236043694/

Red Nation New Mexico: http://bit.ly/2dI9Qp1 – FB event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/189734328127097/

We will be adding local events on our website. Check here to see if something is happening around you: http://www.idlenomore.ca/events & http://www.defendersoftheland.org/story/325.

ENDORSED BY:

Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines
ALBA Canada
Algonquins of Barriere Lake
BorealAction -Treaty 6 Idle No More
Chippewas of the Thames
Ellen Gabriel, Kanehsatake Mohawk
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
FightC
Greenpeace Canada
Idle No More
Idle No More Duluth
Idle No More Duluth Wolf Action
Idle No More Toronto
Idle No More Ontario
The Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
Leap Manifesto
Long Beach Gathering
No One is Illegal – Toronto
No One is Illegal – Coast Salish Territories
Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaq Nation
Red Nation – 2nd Annual Indigenous Peoples Day
Rising Tide Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories
Say “No” to Site C Dam
Secwepemc’ulecw Grassroots Movement
Stop Alton Gas
Tears 4 Justice
350.org
Unist’ot’en – People of the Headwaters
Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network
Womens’ Committee of the Defenders of the Land network

For More Info: indigenousdayofaction@gmail.com

Poster Artist: Tannis Nielsen
Find more of Tannis’ art supporting the Idle No More Movement here:
http://www.idlenomore.ca/tannis_nielsen

WHEN: October 10, 2016 at 6am – October 11, 2016

WHERE: Turtle Island

By Idle No More (Posted Oct 02, 2016)

The Trudeau Government Has Betrayed Us

PM Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Reader Submission:

Whistler Question (Opinion) | October 3, 2016 

Stephen Harper must be chuckling in his beer. The Trudeau government has managed to approve two LNG pipelines and plants in record time: Woodfibre LNG in Squamish and Pacific Northwest (Lelu Island) on the north coast. Increased fracking in northern B.C. will supply this industry, and the gas, after energy-intensive liquefaction, will be shipped in LNG tankers down Howe Sound and out from Lelu Island to Asian markets.

Indications are strong that the Trudeau government will also approve the Kinder Morgan/TransCanada pipeline to Vancouver, to be filled with increased bitumen extraction from the oil sands. If approved, bitumen-carrying tanker traffic to Asia out of Vancouver harbour will increase by nearly seven times.

The Trudeau government has succeeded in accomplishing what Harper tried to do for 10 long years and failed. The light between the Conservatives and the Liberals has disappeared.

These decisions make the grandstanding of the Trudeau government at the climate gathering in Paris last fall a joke and a lie.

New research states (again) that the world must NOT build any new fossil-fuel infrastructure or increase extraction if we want to avoid run-away climate change. First World countries must help developing countries deal with this reality. Retraining for those who have relied on the fossil-fuel industry for jobs must take place. Renewables must be encouraged. Investment in fossil fuels must not increase, lest that money be wasted. (See Oil Change International’s 60-page report at priceofoil.org.)

We are on track to set a dangerous and alarming new precedent: 400 parts per million of green house gases in our atmosphere for 12 months in a row, according to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Ridiculously, the Trudeau government is still acting as if we have a choice regarding new fossil fuel development.

Scientific facts make no difference to the Trudeau government as it presses on to prop up a dying industry desperate to save itself from the inevitable. Canadian banks, which are on the hook for enormous sums of money they lent to the industry, are surely having their say. The Trudeau government is demonstrating who really runs the show, and it’s not us. We don’t stand a chance against the Eastern Establishment.

Maybe the Trudeau Government is betting the fossil fuel projects they approve won’t actually be built due to economic conditions and coming climate change. How dare they take that risk and make disingenuous and cowardly decisions that could prove disastrous, just to please the people who did not vote for them.

The actions of the Trudeau government are shameful, hypocritical, deceitful, and in the end, harmful to us all.

The Trudeau government has shown no courage, no leadership, no vision and no attempts to move on to a future reality.

The Liberals will pay for this cynical “follow-the-money” policy at the ballot box. The rest of us will pay for it with climate change.

The Trudeau government has betrayed us completely.

Sincerely,
Jane Reid

Whistler

http://www.whistlerquestion.com/opinion/letters/the-trudeau-government-has-betrayed-us-1.2357039#sthash.MBlGxXZ3.dpuf


Red Power Media contains copyrighted material. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair dealing” in an effort to advance a better understanding of Indigenous – political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to our followers for educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair dealing” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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


Red Power Media contains copyrighted material. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair dealing” in an effort to advance a better understanding of Indigenous – political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to our followers for educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair dealing” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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