Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – 30 August 2018) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is celebrating the Federal Court of Appeal verdict on the Trans Mountain approval and calls on Prime Minister Trudeau to immediately stop construction and shut the project down.
The UBCIC congratulates the following litigants: Tsleil-Waututh Nation; Squamish Nation; Coldwater Indian Band; Aitchelitz, Skowkale Shxwa:y Village, Soow Ahlie, Squiala First Nation, Tzeachten, Yakweakwioose, Skwah, Kwaw-Kwaw-Aplit & Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe et al (Sto:lo); Upper Nicola Band; and Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc, Living Oceans, Raincoast Conservation Society, represented by Ecojustice and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby and the province of British Columbia.
“Canada is buying Kinder Morgan’s assets for a dirty fossil fuel expansion that just got quashed and is left the owner of an antiquated pipeline in need of repairs. This verdict is one in a long line of recent Canadian court decisions that carve out the new legal space around Indigenous Title and the Rights that derive from them, for which we’ve been fighting relentlessly— and winning— for decades,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC. “Smothered by choking wildfire smoke this summer, we’ve experienced a taste of what climate change is bringing. This environmentally destructive project should never have been approved and the Trudeau Government must stop construction immediately.”
“This is a major win with impacts that will be felt across the country. Our wild salmon and the orcas that they support are critically under threat. The increased tanker traffic that the TMX project proposes is entirely unacceptable,” said Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the UBCIC. “Risking the lands and waters of Nations along the pipeline and tanker route without their consent should have doomed this project from the get go. The project should never have been approved, and we are greatly encouraged that the Federal Court of Appeal has recognized the need for Canada to uphold Indigenous Title and Rights on projects on their territories, and fulfil their commitments to true reconciliation.”
Chief Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC stated “On June 30, 2016, the approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway was overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal because of the lack of meaningful consultation with First Nations. On October 5, 2017, TransCanada canceled Energy East. On August 30, 2018, the approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain was quashed by the court, respecting Indigenous Title and Rights. Justin Trudeau told oil executives in Texas “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and leave them there,” but to survive as a species, we must. This is a hopeful day for the world. No decision should be made about resource development in Canada without the free, prior and informed consent of the proper title holders.”
Opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project includes the Province of British Columbia, the state of Washington, the cities of Burnaby, Victoria, Vancouver and 19 other municipalities, more than 350,000 petition signers, and 25,000 people who have vowed to do “whatever it takes” to stop the pipeline.