Rosedale – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s quickie visit to Rosedale and his meeting with the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee at the Cheam multiplex, went almost according to plan.
A touch late but no major incidents.
The PM spoke to the committee more on reconciliation rather than the controversy surrounding First Nations concerns over the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Federal purchase of the current pipeline and future project from Kinder Morgan.
Ottawa is spending $4.5B to buy the pipeline from Kinder Morgan to ensure the expansion goes ahead.
Sto:lo elder Ernie Crey was part of that discussion, but he had to make it clear on social media that the meeting was not just between the two. Crey is a staunch supporter of the project. While some FN’s support Crey’s stance, others call him a sellout. Crey stated that his group envisions First Nations to be “on the inside of the fence” with Ottawa so that land claims, concerns as well as fiances and respect to First nations are maintained through the process and that everyone shares in the outcome.
The PM was in Rosedale Tuesday morning then off to Kinder Morgan’s Edmonton facility for the afternoon. Vancouver media paid lip service to the visit by only sending cameramen to shoot what turned out to be a photo op.
In a separate media release, The Indigenous Caucus raised five key concerns, with respect to the government’s intended purchase of the Trans Mountain system.
The Indigenous Caucus’ key messages to the Prime Minister:
1. The government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain system will have huge impacts on Indigenous nations in the pipeline corridor and shipping lanes. Some Indigenous Caucus members come from nations that support the pipeline, others who are opposed. But all have a shared interest in minimizing the impacts of the TMX expansion and existing pipeline.
2. The IAMC must be transformed from advising government to truly co-managing with government, in a manner consistent with United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We urged the Prime Minister to work with us on regulatory changes and protocols in order to make co-management a reality.
3. If the government is going to build the TMX, then it must build it better than Kinder Morgan would have – safer, more respectful of Indigenous rights and title and treaty rights, and fairer in its distribution of economic benefits to affected Indigenous nations.
4. The IAMC must be improved to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and to support the work of the Indigenous Caucus.
5. Although IAMC is not a consultation body, we took the opportunity to urge the Prime Minister that Indigenous nations must be consulted and accommodated regarding the government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain system.
We appreciated the opportunity to have an open and forthright discussion with the Prime Minister. If the Prime Minister wants to bring about real change in the nation-to-nation relationship, we want him to work with us.
Some 30 anti pipeline demonstrators, most from PIPE UP Network greeting the PM with the chant “No Means No”.
Chris Gadsen with the PIPE UP Network, who are staunchly opposed to the deal and the pipeline, posted video of the arrival and departure.
To no ones surprise, Chilliwack Hope MP Mark Strahl slammed Trudeau: “The Prime Minister’s visit to Chilliwack—Hope was a thinly-veiled attempt to try to change the channel on his decision to pay $4.5 billion taxpayer dollars to Kinder Morgan to buy out their 65 year old pipeline. He has failed to acknowledge that Kinder Morgan didn’t ask for one dollar of taxpayer money from the Government of Canada. All the company wanted was certainty that they would be able to build their new pipeline using their own money. The Prime Minister is forcing Canadian taxpayers to pay billions of dollars for his failure to provide that certainty, and what’s worse, the Prime Minister has nationalized a 65 year old pipeline and he can’t tell Canadians how much more it will cost them to build a new one.”
“Justin Trudeau would have Canadians believe that the only way to build the Trans Mountain pipeline is to use billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s not. Four pipelines were built under the previous Conservative government without spending one cent of taxpayers’ money.”
“Justin Trudeau approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project over a year and a half ago. Since that time, instead of providing certainty, Justin Trudeau has offered one delay after another, and he’s failed to champion this project in British Columbia.”
“Canada’s Conservatives understand that by setting the conditions for success, low taxes and less redundant regulations, important energy projects like Trans Mountain can be built without a burden to the taxpayer.”
“We continue to support meaningful consultation with Indigenous communities impacted by natural resource development. We are encouraged by communities like the Cheam First Nation being engaged, signing benefit agreements and actively participating in the monitoring of the Trans Mountain Expansion project. We are disappointed that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have chosen to ignore the concerns of other Indigenous communities in Northern BC and Alberta who lost over $2 billion in economic benefits when the Liberals killed the Northern Gateway project – a decision that was made without consulting affected Indigenous communities.”
“Canada’s Conservatives will continue to stand up for Canada’s natural resource sector, and most importantly, the men and women whose livelihoods depend on it.”