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Golden chapter donates to legal challenge fund vs Kinder Morgan pipeline

The Council of Canadians Golden chapter.

The Council of Canadians Golden chapter is making a donation to the ‘Pull Together’ fund to challenge in court the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

The Pull Together website says, “Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project poses unacceptable risks to our oceans and waterways, our climate, economies, and communities. It must never be built. First Nations have vowed to stop it in the courts, so people, businesses, and community groups are raising funds to support them.”

So far $89,703. has been raised and all funds donated go entirely to First Nations legal defence.

The website highlights, “Multiple lawsuits have been filed since the project’s approval in late 2016. The Tsleil-Waututh and Coldwater First Nations have agreed to work with Pull Together.”

The Coldwater Indian Band is situated about 90 kilometres south of Kamloops. They have filed a judicial review challenge of the Trudeau government’s approval of the pipeline citing their concerns about the proximity of the pipeline to their aquifer which provides drinking water to 90 per cent of the nation’s 800 residents. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation, whose traditional territory includes the lands and waters in the Burnaby area where Kinder Morgan would export bitumen in about 400 tankers a year, is also moving forward with a legal challenge against the pipeline.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Maureen Thomas says, “The federal government’s consultation process was disappointingly flawed. We do not consent to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project in our territory. We are asking the court to overturn the federal cabinet’s decision to approve this project.”

The Trudeau government approved the proposed expansion of the 1,150 kilometre Alberta-British Columbia pipeline on November 29, 2016. While it has argued that 39 Indigenous communities are supportive of the pipeline, it neglects to say that there are 120 First Nations along the pipeline route meaning two-thirds of the potentially impacted independent and sovereign Indigenous nations have not given their free, prior and informed consent as required under Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

If Kinder Morgan can secure the financing needed for the $6.8 billion pipeline, it says it will start construction on the pipeline this September.

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline since August 2011.

In 2014-15, the Golden, Chilliwack, Victoria, Vancouver-Burnaby and Mid-Island chapters donated $6,970 to the Pull Together fund for the legal challenge against the Northern Gateway pipeline. In June 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the Harper government’s approval of that pipeline saying Canada had fallen short of its duty to consult with Indigenous people before approving the project.