• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Canada’s federal government purchased the pipeline two years ago from Kinder Morgan Inc.

    Canada’s federal government purchased the pipeline two years ago from Kinder Morgan Inc. | Photo: Trans Mountain Corporation

Published 15 June 2020
Opinion

"We cannot continue to have our land desecrated by oil spills," Chief Dalton Silver of Sumas First Nation said Sunday in a statement.

Indigenous leaders are demanding that the Canadian government immediately stops the ongoing expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline after the leakage Saturday of some 50,000 gallons of crude oil at a pump station in British Columbia (BC).

RELATED: 

Canada: Court Dismisses Challenge to Trans Mountain Pipeline 

"We cannot continue to have our land desecrated by oil spills," Chief Dalton Silver of Sumas First Nation said Sunday in a statement.

"The proposed Trans Mountain expansion route would see an additional pipeline crossing one of our sacred sites, Lightning Rock, at two spots," said Silver. "We will do absolutely everything we can to prevent this from happening - an oil spill at Lighting Rock would be horrific for our people."

Chief of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Leah George-Wilson, said spills from the Trans Mountain pipeline are "inevitable, can't be fully cleaned up, and have devastating effects."

"This most recent spill is another reminder that the risk is too great to accept," said George-Wilson. "The Trans Mountain pipeline has already spilled more than 80 times since it began operating. This is why we continue to fight the Trans Mountain Expansion in the courts."

Trans Mountain Corporation, a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation, claimed in a statement late Sunday that the spill has been fully contained and does not pose a threat to "the public or community."

The pipeline, which carries about 300,000 barrels of crude oil each day over 1,100 km from Alberta to Vancouver, resumed operation Sunday after it was halted for just over 24 hours following the spill.

The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) said in a joint statement that the June 13 spill "occurred just south of the Lightning Rock site—a cultural site and burial grounds of great significance to the Sema:th First Nation and Stό:lō Coast Salish Peoples."

President of UBCIC, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop "investing in old technology for a fossil fuel product that is toxic to our environment."

"The broken and aging Trans Mountain pipeline is a potent symbol of economic uncertainty at a time when Canadians are desperate for recovery from Covid-19," said Phillip. "This is a pivotal moment demanding strong leadership that understands the need for a drastic shift to clean energy development."

Canada’s federal government purchased the pipeline in 2018 from Kinder Morgan Inc. after the company threatened to abandon a planned expansion. The move had been met with lawsuits and opposition from the BC government, environmental groups, and Indigenous communities.

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.