Calls Increase For Trudeau To Scrap Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Review

For the second time in two days Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been called on to suspend the regulatory review process for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project in British Columbia. Final hearings for the project begin next week.

“You are going to break your campaign promise to overhaul Canada environmental regulatory regime because of your refusal to suspend or cancel the reviews of the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline,” Cam Fenton,’s Canadian tarsands campaigner, said in a letter sent to Trudeau Wednesday.

“If you will not show the necessary leadership to stop these reviews, people will.”

Yesterday, Burnaby, B.C. Mayor Derek Corrigan made headlines with his letter to Trudeau requesting the review of the Trans Mountain project be suspended on the grounds the current federal regulatory framework is “deeply flawed” and “inadequate.”

Trudeau’s Liberals campaigned on restoring public faith in the National Energy Board (NEB), Canada’s pipeline regulator, during last year’s federal election. Under the previous federal government, the board went through extensive changes that resulted in limited public participation in regulatory hearings and restrictions on what public concerns were considered relevant to the process.  

The federal government insists it still plans on overhauling the NEB to ensure “robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments,” but pipeline projects like Trans Mountain and Energy East will continue to proceed under the ‘old rules’ established by the Harper government.

“….You are asking us to accept a broken, illegitimate pipeline review process," Fenton stated in his letter. "You are asking us to accept a process that ignores climate change, community voices and the rights of Indigenous peoples."

Adding to the frustration of the City of Burnaby, and groups like is a statement from Trudeau during a campaign stop in Esquimalt, B.C. last August where he claimed on camera the NEB overhaul would apply to “existing projects” currently under review like Trans Mountain.

“No, they’re not going to approve it in January. Because we’re going to change the government,” Trudeau told Kai Nagata from the Dogwood Initiative in response to questions about the Trans Mountain pipeline project. “And that process needs to be redone.”


Trudeau on Kinder Morgan

Justin Trudeau says if he's Prime Minister, Kinder Morgan will have to go back to the drawing board, saying "the process needs to be redone." Find out where candidates in your riding stand:

Posted by Dogwood Initiative on Friday, August 21, 2015


Increasing public calls for immediate NEB reform could bring an end to Trudeau’s ‘honeymoon period,’ at least on the environment profile.

The Trudeau government’s performance in Paris at the UN climate summit in December far outshone any showing by the previous federal government. Trudeau has also pledged to meet with premiers to hammer out a national framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the next two months.  

Failing to quickly overhaul the National Energy Board could undermine the Trudeau government’s intentions of rebuilding the strained relationship with indigenous peoples in Canada.

The influential Assemblies of First Nations in Quebec and Labrador, Manitoba and British Columbia have all requested the Trudeau government cancel the current reviews of Trans Mountain, Energy East and the Line 3 pipeline.  

“Our First Nations in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec call for the establishment of a new pipeline review and assessment process, to be developed and implemented in collaboration with First Nations, that will enable a thorough and objective environmental assessment of these pipelines,” a letter signed by all three assemblies states.

The letter is part request, part ultimatum. The organization says it will use a “People’s Injunction” if the reviews of Trans Mountain and Energy East are not cancelled or at least suspended by this Friday, January 15.

According to the group’s website, a People’s Injunction is a “plan to use creative, non-violent means to ensure that the Prime Minister and the new federal government keep their promises to overhaul pipeline reviews to include climate change and community voices.” 

You can click here to read more about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and climate change.

Image Credit: Mark Klotz via flickr

New title

You’ve read all the way to the bottom of this article. That makes you some serious Narwhal material.

And since you’re here, we have a favour to ask. Our independent, ad-free journalism is made possible because the people who value our work also support it (did we mention our stories are free for all to read, not just those who can afford to pay?).

As a non-profit, reader-funded news organization, our goal isn’t to sell advertising or to please corporate bigwigs — it’s to bring evidence-based news and analysis to the surface for all Canadians. And at a time when most news organizations have been laying off reporters, we’ve hired eight journalists over the past year.

Not only are we filling a void in environment coverage, but we’re also telling stories differently — by centring Indigenous voices, by building community and by doing it all as a people-powered, non-profit outlet supported by more than 2,900 members

The truth is we wouldn’t be here without you. Every single one of you who reads and shares our articles is a crucial part of building a new model for Canadian journalism that puts people before profit.

We know that these days the world’s problems can feel a *touch* overwhelming. It’s easy to feel like what we do doesn’t make any difference, but becoming a member of The Narwhal is one small way you truly can make a difference.

We’ve drafted a plan to make 2021 our biggest year yet, but we need your support to make it all happen.

If you believe news organizations should report to their readers, not advertisers or shareholders, please become a monthly member of The Narwhal today for any amount you can afford.

Derek was born and raised in Brooklin and now lives in Ottawa. He worked in Germany for eight years as…

Saving the salmon: why the Gitanyow are creating a new Indigenous Protected Area

When the sun sets in a bowl-shaped basin on Ana’miso mountain on Gitanyow lax’yip (territory) in northwest B.C., that means the sockeye salmon are running...

Continue reading

Recent Posts

Help power our ad-free, non‑profit journalism
Get The Narwhal in your inbox!

People always tell us they love our newsletter. Find out yourself with a weekly dose of our ad‑free, independent journalism