The Trans Mountain Pipeline was in operation in 1953 and its lines run from Alberta to British Columbia and Washington State.
The expansion project, initially approved in 2016, would create a new line that would carry crude oil from tar sands development in Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, Westridge Marine Terminal in British Columbia. The project is expected to triple the transportation of diluted bitumen and other oil products and to increase oil tanker traffic from 5 to 34 a month (sevenfold).
In 2018, a federal court halted the project because it did not adequately consult First Nations nor did it fully account for its impact on the region’s endangered Orcas.
In August 2018, the Canadian government purchased the pipeline project from a failing Kinder Morgan with Trudeau claiming that profits from the pipeline were to be funneled into green energy projects.
In June 2019, British Columbia file an appeal to their Supreme Court, stating that they had the authority to restrict the flow of oil based on concerns for the environment. In July 2019, Alberta has filed an appeal to intervene stating that BC does not have the authority to restrict the flow.
In July 2019, the National Energy Board granted the necessary permits for construction of major portions (73%) of proposed pipeline expansion and construction materials are being transported to the construction sites.
Status: (check here for direct participation in review processes, otherwise check the “Take Action” section below)
September 17, 2019: Squamish Nation received a favorable response from the BC Court of Appeals ordering ministers to reconsider the Provincial Environmental Certificate issued to Trans Mountain under the previous provincial government. This means the British Columbia will need to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of the TMX Project under the new Environmental Assessment Act.
Impacts and Responses from First/American Indian Nations:
First and American Indian Nations on both sides of the Canadian border are opposing the pipeline citing climate change, environmental damage by construction and shipping, inadequate consultations, destruction of sacred sites, and potential adverse impacts to Orcas and salmon populations. There are also First Nations, including those on the the Indian Resource Council, who support the pipeline project citing pathways to “reconciliation,” economic opportunity and long-term employment for their communities. The project is pitting Alberta and Saskatchewan First Nations and British Columbia First Nations and US Coast Salish Nations against each other.
Some of the indigenous groups opposing the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion:
- Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, BC, Canada
- Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation, BC, Canada
- Shxw’owhamel First Nation, BC, Canada
- Lummi Nation, Washington State, US
- Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
- Tulalip Tribes, Washington State, US
- Tiny House Warriors (InterNational)
- Secwepemc First Nation (Shuswap), BC, Canada
- Squamish Nation, BC, Canada
- Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe, BC, Canada
- Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Washington State, US
- Coldwater Indian Band, BC, Canada
- Sumas First Nation, BC, Canada
- Neskonlith Indian Band
- Suquamish Tribe, Washington State, US
First Nations and US Coast Salish Nations in opposition to the project have substantial support from the Premier (BC) John Horgan and such organizations like Stand.earth, Ecojustice, Georgia Straight Alliance, Protect the Inlet, Stand Up to Oil, Mosquito Fleet, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, 350.org, Cities of Burnaby and Vancouver-BC, West Coast Environmental Law, Youth Stop MX, David Suzuki Foundation, several hundreds of business across Canada and even WA Governor Jay Inslee has now condemned the project. Faith communities (well over 70) such as the Vancouver Unitarians and the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice with support from many WA State Unitarian congregations and national organizations, have expressed opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project. The faith groups like Citizens for Public Justice, Metro Vancouver Jewish Community, Anglican Church of Canada, the Sisters of Sion have also expressed their opposition.
There is a wealth of information regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project and here are a few articles to get you started.
Trans Mountain Pipeline (Company site)
Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (Company site)