Controversies over pipelines transferring fossil fuel or gas products have become a daily part of Canadian politics. In the past, we have seen many pipeline projects being scrapped like the Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline that was to connect Alberta to the port of Kitimat.
Recently the Trudeau government sparked off fresh controversy by deciding to buy out the Trans Mountain pipeline project entirely for $4.5 billion. The government also agreed to invest the necessary sum required to expand and complete the project- a sum which can run to billions!
The move received opposition and the Conservatives slammed the government for nationalizing a private pipeline project. The New Democrats also expressed their criticism for neglecting environmental concerns and failing the future generations. On the other hand, there are some who believe that since the Federal government now has control over the project, the pipeline will be able to be built without any further delay.
The buyout has been received negatively by many people and protest campaigns are slowly brewing up all over Canada. Last week, the chief of the Chippewas, Myeengun Henry belonging to Thames First Nation joined other protestors against the government’s decision. They organized a rally which comes after a short time when we saw Henry welcoming Trudeau for a town hall gathering and honoring him for his commitment to indigenous people by giving the Minister an eagle feather.
Henry expresses his discontent as he feels the government is just throwing money at an American company. He said the money for the deal could be better spent on some indigenous communities who are not doing well enough in Canada instead. Many Green Party candidates with other protestors logged their petitions showing their protest.
Another round of protest was carried out in Burnaby last week. The protestors showed their anger directly against Trudeau government instead of the Texas-based Kinder Morgan energy company. On June 4 they arranged 75 events to show their protest at the MP’s office. More than 100 rallies were also conducted at countrywide constituency for the National Day of Action against the buyout plan of the government.
At the same time, the ‘coastal people’ from Halifax showed their protest by chanting slogans and taking out a rally as a part of the same program. Around 80 people took part in the rally that ended at the MP Andy Fillmore’s office. They were protesting against the pipelines project which will pass through areas where they live increasing environmental risks. Their survival as a fishing community may also be harmed by the project- something which is not considered by the government.
The project if finalized will produce around 900,000 barrels of bitumen per day. The total expenditure will rise to $15 billion and could have the disastrous economic impact if the government can’t find any buyer. The indigenous people were apt in their protest as they posted posters with “Pipeline Sold” written on them on gates of Kinder Morgan.
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