Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claims that buying the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline is acting in the national interest. Ben Parfait put his feeling about the $4.5 billion purchase to music: “Broken hands on broken ploughs, Broken treaties, broken vows, Broken pipes, broken tools/ People bending broken rules.” Economist Robyn Allan estimates Canadian taxpayers will spend $20 billion before the controversial pipeline expansion is finished; If it is finished. Would Kinder Morgan sell a money making pipeline?
Alberta’s oil industry won a symbolic victory. President Trump calls his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline “a great day for jobs and energy independence” in the United States. Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) admits the industry is not using its’ current pipeline capacity1 and adding more pipelines is “not consistent with the Paris Accord’s commitment to keep (Global) warming to two degrees Celsius, or its aspirational goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”2 Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline is about our future on a planet where the scale and pace of extreme weather events is increasing.
“Canadian crude oil export pipelines are utilized at 85 to 90 per cent of their capacity … based on respective historical utilization rates.” – Canada’s Energy Future 2016, National Energy Board, p 92 ↩
The mining sector may be struggling, but it is still big business in British Columbia. According to the Northern Miner,mining is “one of the hottest sectors of the Canadian stock market.” At the beginning of this year, there were 702 British Columbia based mineral exploration and mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSXV exchanges. Some of the A BC Liberal party’s biggest campaign contributors are mining companies. Though KGHM Ajax Mines is not one of them, having forked out a mere $55,450,1 a new mining start would definitely bolster Premier Christy Clark’s image within the industry. Only there is more at stake than money when it comes to a proposed 2,500-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine on the outskirts of the city of Kamloops. This is an area that local first nations consider sacred and after careful deliberation, the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation says no to Ajax Mines.
Canada’s new government faces tough challenges. They were elected on a wave of frustration with the previous regime’s petro-politics. Understandably, the oil and gas industry was “very concerned.” Up until now, corporate concerns have taken a priority over the welfare and desires of ordinary Canadians. Yesterday, the government announced a comprehensive review of environmental and regulatory processes. Will Trudeau protect Canada’s environment?