The Canadian government is in a race against the clock to secure the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. They’re gunning so hard for this archaic crude oil project that Finance Minister Bill Morneau promised Wednesday in a press conference the federal government would cover the dollars developer Kinder Morgan has lost during the current construction suspension due to a local province that just won’t let the pipeline in.
Good job, British Columbia. Shame on you, Canada.
The federal and provincial government have been bumping heads over this proposed 715-mile long pipeline since the federal government approved it in 2016. British Columbia wasn’t so keen on having a pipeline carrying bitumen, a highly toxic crude oil whose thick consistency makes it difficult to clean up, run through its communities. So both the province itself and local First Nations, who worry about environmental impacts like spills, have unified with protests and several lawsuits aimed at stopping the project.
The drama’s gotten so real that Kinder Morgan gave both parties a deadline of May 31 to get their shit together, before the company pulls the project altogether. This came after the province of Alberta, the exporter of this oil, imposed a ban on wine from British Columbia. Yes, wine that people drink. These are the times we live in.
Anyway, that end of May deadline? It’s good news for the indigenous activists who’ve been actively halting construction. It could be their only hope to stop the project from running through their lands once and for all. The looming deadline has become an apparent cause of distress for the Canadian government, however, which hopes to keep Kinder Morgan on board past this date. Even if the company decides to leave the project behind, Morneau said Kinder Morgan would be properly compensated, which goes to show the government’s support of this type of development.
The irony of it all is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has championed himself as both a leader in the fight against climate change and a staunch supporter of indigenous rights. Yet he’s ignoring the pleas of First Nations in favor of further fossil fuel development.