Nation reaffirms opposition to proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain
NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, July 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Tsleil-Waututh Nation is
expressing disappointment in yesterday's announcement by the government
of British Columbia of its five minimum requirements for oil pipeline
construction and operation. The Nation, which is opposing Kinder
Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, says the
requirements do nothing to reduce the environmental risks of pipeline
expansion, nor do they acknowledge the full extent of First Nations'
legal rights in the process.
"As People of the Inlet, it is our birthright and obligation to care for the lands and waters of
our territory. Our rights and title give us a voice. And we will use
our voice to ensure our rights are fully upheld," says Chief Justin
George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. "We remain resolute in our
opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, and we will be not
be swayed by the provincial government's announcement."
In its announcement, the government of British Columbia says that oil
companies must "address" legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and
treaty rights. However, addressing these rights is not enough. They
must be fully met.
"We expect informed, meaningful government-to-government consultation on
the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal," says Chief Justin
George. "No consultation has yet happened with Tsleil-Waututh."
In its list of five requirements, the Province refers to B.C.'s
"world-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery
systems." This is particularly troubling to the Tsleil-Waututh
community, which is still dealing with the effects of a 2007 Kinder
Morgan oil spill, which discharged approximately 234,000 litres of oil
into the Burrard Inlet and adjacent areas.
"Our community was deeply affected by the 2007 spill. Our inlet has been
scarred by the impacts of oil spills," says Carleen Thomas, elected
Councilor of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. "We have seen firsthand the
inadequacies of emergency response and clean up efforts."
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is also gravely concerned about the repealing
of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act through Bill C-38. It
will significantly change the rules about how, and if, federal
environmental assessment will occur on the proposed expansion of the
Trans Mountain pipeline. The reduction of science personnel across
government and the closure of the Pacific Coast's oil-spill response
centre will diminish capacity to prevent, monitor, and respond to
"We are convinced that pipeline expansion is the wrong thing for the
Inlet, the Lower Mainland, and the province. All of the risks are here
and none of the benefits," says Thomas. "And the risks are simply too
great to accept."
About Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive and vibrant Coast Salish
community of approximately 500 members located along the shores of
Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For more information
please visit www.twnation.ca.
SOURCE: Tsleil-Waututh Nation
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