First Nations And Allies United and Resolved to Stop Kinder Morgan As Federal Court of Appeal Hearings Begin

First Nations Leaders


For Immediate Release - Monday October 2nd 2017

First Nations And Allies United Against Kinder Morgan As Federal Court of Appeal Hearings Begin

Vancouver (Coast Salish Territory) -- Representatives of communities fighting the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project in the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) gathered before the hearing in a demonstration of unity and resolve to have the Courts quash Canada's approval for the controversial project.

The FCA will hear the 15 consolidated challenges to the National Energy Board (NEB) recommendation of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Project and the Federal Cabinet approval of the proposal. The case has the potential to stop the pipeline by reversing Cabinet’s decision which is what happened with Enbridges’ Northern Gateway in Gitxa’alaa vs. Canada<>, , heard by the FCA in early October 2015.

The Federal government’s decision relied extensively on a controversial and flawed NEB process, and adopted the NEB’s 157 conditions without change, while ignoring critical questions raised by its own ministerial panel. Its approach to First Nations consultation was also far from adequate – poorly organized and rushed, and not set-up to seek or obtain the consent of affected First Nations.

In this new case, there are 10 applicants, including 7 First Nations, the City of Vancouver, the City of Burnaby, and environmental organizations. The Province of BC is also an intervenor in the case.

Litigants highlighted a number of reasons they have rejected the proposed pipeline:

“We continue to have substantial concerns about this proposed pipeline and tanker project and its effects on the region. This is an issue that affects everyone, it’s great to see such a wide range of concerned communities coming together to ensure the safety of the inlet and everyone who lives in harms way.”  Chief Maureen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

“The federal government has not met its constitutional duties to First Nations and is forcing this pipeline through without consent. That is not what reconciliation looks like.” Chief Ian Campbell, Squamish Nation

“The protection of our water is an issue that unites us all. This pipeline affects our drinking water as well as the source of much of our traditional foods. Our health and our way of life are threatened by Kinder Morgan. Water is life.” Chief Lee Spahan, Coldwater Indian Band

Canada authorized this Project before adequately understanding Syilx Title and Rights, the effects of the proposed project on Upper Nicola/Syilx Territory, including our lands, waters, and resources, and the impacts it will have on the continued exercise of our Title and Rights.  Prime Minister Trudeau and his Cabinet made the premature decision to approve the Project. We are going to Court today to make sure that Syilx Title and Rights are properly recognized and respected in a meaningful way.  As the Courts have already said, a premature authorization is not in anyone's best interest.”  Chief Harvey McLeod, Upper Nicola Band

“The Species at Risk Act requires regulatory bodies to ensure that effects to species at risk are either mitigated or avoided when assessing project proposals. The NEB’s report on Kinder Morgan’s pipeline did not do that. These whales are already endangered, and this unlawful report further jeopardizes their survival.”  Misty MacDuffee - Biologist, Raincoast Conservation Foundation

“Climate change is happening right now, from the forest fires that devastated BC to the hurricanes in the Atlantic and flooding in Bangladesh. Canada cannot be a climate leader while building new tar sands pipelines.” Karen Wristen, Living Oceans Society


For more information or to arrange interviews contact:

Ben West, Communications Coordinator, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative - 604 710 5340

Eugene Kung, West Coast Environmental Law - 604-601-2514

Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative

2280 E Hastings Street

Vancouver, BC