Hundreds Rally Outside NEB Pipeline Hearings: Citizens and First Nations Call on Trudeau to Scrap Kinder Morgan Review
by Wilderness Committee
January 23, 2016
BURNABY, BC - Local residents, First Nations representatives and environmental groups gathered today outside the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project to call on the Prime Minister to keep his promise and scrap the flawed federal review process.
Affected communities voiced their opposition to a review that has been widely criticized for ignoring climate change, failing to pursue Indigenous consent, flouting proper procedures and shutting hundreds of people out of the process.
They criticized the makeup of the NEB panel whose members come almost exclusively from the oil and gas sector, and the review process that excludes citizen participation and allows no cross-examination of Kinder Morgan.
"Prime Minister Trudeau needs to hear the voices of the British Columbians whose health and safety are threatened by this project – the same people who he promised new hearings," said Peter McCartney, Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner.
"Railroading this project through the process over the united opposition of this region will not be forgotten."
"The project would bring over 400 tar sands tankers each year to BC's south coast, putting marine life and coastal communities at grave risk of a disastrous spill," said Sven Biggs, ForestEthics Campaign Organizer.
"These ships would carry enough oil to release 100 megatonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year – a larger climate impact than many countries."
Indigenous voices from Coast Salish territories threatened by the proposed pipeline spoke at today's rally about how the pipeline and its process violates their rights.
"This current process is fundamentally flawed," said Carleen Thomas from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative.
"It does not reflect the importance of Indigenous laws or obligations to protect the lands, air and waters. It does not allow the grassroots citizen an avenue to voice their concerns. It is in no way, shape or form a public process, when those who will be 'directly affected' are left to stand OUTSIDE the hearings. How transparent and democratic is that?"
The rally was held outside the site of the NEB hearing, the Delta Burnaby Hotel & Conference Centre on unceded Coast Salish Territories.
For Immediate Release - January 23, 2016
For more information contact:
Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner, Wilderness Committee