Press Release: Government of Canada Conflict of Interest Threatens Worlds Greatest Salmon River and Pushes Global Warming

Protect the Planet/Stop TMX
Climate Crime Scene
For Immediate Release Feb. 1, 2022
Conflict of interest: CER overrules concerns about Fraser River re-drilling by Trans Mountain

Unceded kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Territory (Coquitlam, BC) The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has approved Trans Mountain Canada’s request to re-route a failed
drilling tunnel under the Fraser River. The decision to rubber stamp the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline ignores the concerns of Members of
Parliament, environmental groups, citizens and First Nations. The decision did not address the letter of concern submitted by six Members of Parliament. Nor
did it consider the Statements of Opposition filed by numerous environmental groups and several citizens. CER passed its decision without granting discussion
nor response to concerns filed by a local First Nation about the proposal’s impact to ancestral lands.

Dr. Tim Takaro, spokesperson for Protect the Planet, said: “CER represents a serious conflict of interest when regulating the TMX pipeline. CER is an arm of
government that reports to and regulates this government owned energy project.. Many of it’s members have a revolving door to positions of power in the industry.
This conflict of interest has been entrenched ever since the Mulroney government moved the CER head offices from Ottawa to Calgary in 1991.” At
that time it was the National Energy Board..

The conflict of interest is deeper than most Canadians realize. In an article published in The Energy Mix last month, Marc Eliesen, former BC Hydro
CEOrevealed that 90% of CER’s funding is derived from fees paid by oil and gas companies. Moreover, since settling in Calgary, the CER has been staffed with a
revolving door that between industry and government. After the government shut down the economic analysis unit at the department, Ottawa became dependent
on opinions that originate largely within the industries the CER is supposed to regulate.

CER's bias is evident along all segments of the TMX pipeline route. Rod Marining, Chair of the BC Environmental Network, notes: “In the last two years,
Trans Mountain applied 78 times to the CER for exemptions to the conditions set by the federal cabinet when TMX was approved. Of those 78 applications, 77
were approved. This does not pass the smell test." He continues: “Whereas private companies get fined millions of dollars for pipeline leaks, in 2018 the
Canadian government bought the pipeline from the previous owner, Kinder Morgan. In this arrangement, who will get fined for a failed or leaking pipeline
when the regulator is also the owner? Taxpayers should be seriously concerned.”
 The Tsleil Waututh First Nation (TWN) also expressed concern to the CER about Trans Mountain’s proposal to re-drill the Fraser River in their January 21st submission,
stating it had not been consulted and was very concerned by theimpact of the proposal on ancestral lands. Trans Mountain admitted that TWN approached it about
the project first, rather than vice versa. Concerningly, it seems CER did not wait for Trans Mountain to respond appropriately to TWN before announcing its ruling,
nor to the numerous statements submitted.

Dr. Takaro concluded: "CER is a quasi-judicial body that ought to be impartial, but that is not what we are seeing. We asked Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister
responsible for the CER, to bring in new people independent of the oil and gas industry, who understand Canada’s climate commitments, fair process and who
acknowledge aboriginal title and rights. We need the Trudeau government to act to protect our rivers, streams and salmon, because relying on this regulator is like
asking the fox to guard the chicken coop."


Media Contacts
Dr. Tim Takaro: (604) 838-7458
Rod Marining: (604) 219-3424
Technical Briefing:
Peter Vranjkovic: (604) 359 5274
For more information:
Our Engineers Report: Detailed Problems with the CER decision of January 28,

1) CER is relying on preliminary reports submitted by Trans Mountain
CER should have made its decision based on finalized reports from the Company, however,
finalized reports were not filed. Trans Mountain's reply on January 13 relied on two reports
(BGC and Hatch Mott McDonald), which it provided to the CER in 2015. Both those reports
were “preliminary”. The Hatch Mott MacDonald report (2015) also discussed the state of the