VANCOUVER, May 30, 2018 /CNW/ - This morning, business leaders issued a scathing response to the Trudeau government's announcement that it has agreed to spend over $17 billion to purchase Kinder Morgan's existing Trans Mountain pipeline and build the beleaguered pipeline expansion.
To date, over 800 businesses in British Columbia and across the country have spoken out against the government bail out and in support of BC Premier John Horgan's stance opposing the pipeline.
"We've had serious concerns about the impact this proposed pipeline would have on the coast, the land, the animals and all people who call it home, since the beginning," says Tricia Stevens, Manager of Charitable Givings for Vancouver-based Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. "We want our government making decisions that protect the environment, move us to renewable energy, support our economy and take care of people and the planet. This decision to subsidize the oil and gas industry with a multi-billion dollar handout does none of this."
After hearing news of the government bailout, Nature's Path, North America's largest organic breakfast food company, shut down their website for the day, replacing it with a special homepage prompting visitors to speak up against the bailout. "We believe the expanded pipeline deepens our dependency on fossil fuels and further contributes to climate change, plus it presents an increased risk of a catastrophic leak impacting the health of our precious agriculture land and water systems" – Jyoti Stephens, Nature's Path Vice President of People, Culture and Mission
"Not a single private investor wanted to buy the pipeline, which shows that this is a terrible investment. Now as taxpayers we get to be on the hook for the environmental and economic cost of this boondoggle." – Michael Tippett, CEO of Wantoo.
"The Trudeau government's decision puts taxpayers' hard-earned money into a deal that no other investors in the world want to touch. That's not the 'national interest.' That's pandering to a sunset industry, when we need to be investing in clean energy, a national pharmacare program, teachers and classrooms.... The list goes on. Trudeau's priorities are utterly out of step with what Canada needs." – Mike Rowlands, President and CEO of Junxion Strategy
"With this transaction, Canada is choosing to be part of the climate change problem, rather than investing in the clean, green, life-saving economy of the future. It's a grave mistake; our children will shake their heads and wonder what we were thinking." – Tim Bray, Co-Founder of Textuality Services, Inc., and OpenText, Canada's largest software company.
"Trudeau got elected on promises of climate leadership, a transition away from oil and gas subsidies, and a promise to respect Indigenous rights. This decision is a slap in the face to all of these commitments. For the $17 billion the government will spend on this pipeline, Canada could solve the national housing crisis, implement 15-dollar-a-day daycare across the country, or cover nearly all the costs of a national pharmacare program." – Sarah White, co-founder and COO of promotional products company Fairware
The full price tag of today's government announcement is still uncertain, but is likely to include $4.5 billion for the existing assets, more than $9 billion to build the expansion, $2.1 billion financial assurances for spills, and $1.5 billion for a national Ocean Protection Plan, for a total of $17.1 billion, as noted on twitter by economist Robyn Allan.
The LetsMoveForward.ca campaign is hosted by the Board of Change, Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED), Junxion Strategy, New/Mode and over 800 business leaders who have supported the campaign. More information on the campaign: https://www.letsmoveforward.ca/
The open letter to Premier Horgan is online here: https://www.letsmoveforward.ca/horgan
SOURCE Let's Move Forward
For further information: Sarbjit Kaur, [email protected], 416-274-5324