BC Premier Christy Clark
The Vancouver Sun reports, “[Stand.earth, Dogwood Initiative, and Leadnow] have identified $771,168 in donations to the BC Liberals from Kinder Morgan and related companies based on Elections B.C. records. The figure could be higher if lobbyists associated with the project also made donations under their names.”
That article also highlights, “In February, Democracy Watch and PIPE UP Network filed a court challenge to overturn the provincial government’s Kinder Morgan decision [to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline] due to alleged conflicts of interest between [Premier Christy Clark] and project proponents, who have given $560,000 in political contributions over six years to the Liberal party.”
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline in November 2016, while Clark’s Liberal government gave its approval in January 2017 after a financial deal was reached in which the company will pay the province a minimum of $25-million per year over the 20-year lifespan of the deal.
The 890,000 barrels per day Trans Mountain pipeline would carry diluted bitumen from the tar sands through Jasper National Park (where it has spilled six times), across the drinking water supply for the Coldwater Indian Band near Kamloops, across Chilliwack’s Sardis-Vedder aquifer, and into the Lower Mainland area to the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby for export on 400 supertankers a year.
Overall, the pipeline would cross 1309 water courses in Alberta and British Columbia. Notably, the bottled water giant Nestle extracts 265 million litres of water a year from a well in the Kawkawa watershed in Hope (about 50 kilomtres north-east of Chillliwack) in Sto:lo Territory. Our Chilliwack-based ally WaterWealth recently reported, “Nestle asked for and got a route change to move the new pipeline further from their wells. The old pipe may also get moved in that section. Chilliwack residents have been asking for the route to be moved off the aquifer we get our water from. Does Nestle have some pull that we don’t?”
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be on a five-city speaking tour in British Columbia next month. She will be speaking about water protection (and against the pipeline and bottled water takings) in Courtenay (April 6), Nanaimo (April 7), Victoria (April 8), Williams Lake (April 10), and Kamloops (April 11).
The writ for the provincial election is expected to drop on April 11 and people will go to the polls on May 9.
Public opinion surveys suggest that it is a very tight race, with one seat projection saying the Liberals could win 42 seats on election night (down from their current 48 seats), that the NDP would win 40 (up from 35 seats), and the Green Party could win 5 seats (up from the 1 seat they now hold).