Follow Biden’s Lead and Cancel TMX Say Collection of Groups Representing More Than 3.5 Million Canadians

Tuesday January 26, 2021

Unceded Coast Salish Territories (VANCOUVER, BC) — A collection of labour, faith, health, science, youth, environmental, community, social justice and Indigenous groups representing more than 3.5 million Canadians have sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and his entire cabinet asking for him to cancel the taxpayer-funded $12.6 billion and counting Trans Mountain pipeline project (TMX) because it directly conflicts with the federal government’s recently announced climate plan and it does not have permission or consent from affected Indigenous Nations.

Groups, including Mères au front, British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union, Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice, Amnesty International Canada, Le Front commun pour la Transition énergétique, Leadnow, the FTQ and Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment are among the close to 100 signatories of the letter, which states:

As the Biden administration prepares to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate and unveil the most ambitious climate plan in America's history, Canada will be left behind if it does not reconcile the contradiction it has systematically ignored since 2015: you can't solve the climate crisis while expanding the oil sands by building new pipelines.

Signatories contend that all the same conditions and realities that made President Biden cancel Keystone – a low oil price, a worsening climate emergency, a quickly developing green economy – apply to the Trans Mountain pipeline. They are asking Prime Minister Trudeau to take a hard look at these realities and his government’s own analysis that shows TMX is not needed with even minor climate action.

###

MEDIA CONTACTS 

Chief Judy Wilson, Neskonlith First Nation, (250) 320-7738

Eugene Kung, lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law, (604) 601-2514

Jean Laverdière, Directeur des communications, Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses du Québec, (514) 893-7809, jlaverdiere@ftq.qc.ca

Peter McCartney, climate campaigner, Wilderness Committee, (778) 239-1935

QUOTES

Biden and his team have clearly heard the Trudeau government make the case that a carbon tax somehow justifies new pipelines — and they’re literally not buying what the Prime Minister is selling. Canadians shouldn’t either," said Peter McCartney, climate campaigner at the Wilderness Committee. "If Trudeau wants to convince his base that climate change is a top priority, he is going to have to abandon the Trans Mountain pipeline and instead pass a Just Transition Act for workers."

 "As a family physician in Vancouver, I am concerned about the direct impact of the Trans Mountain Expansion on the health of my patients and the local environment. Continuing to invest in new fossil-fuel infrastructure that increases carbon emissions is the wrong choice. There is no better time for a great Canadian climate reset - and with new leadership in the United States, we risk falling behind. We must seize this moment and move forward into a brighter, healthier future that prioritizes renewable energy,"  said Dr. Melissa Lem, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

"TMX will never be built," said Chief Judy Wilson, Neskonlith First Nation. "The pipeline has already been delayed five years, only a fraction of it has been built and the world is a different place. For the pipeline to proceed, all First Nations along the route would need to provide their consent- this will never happen.”  

"It was easy for Prime Minister Trudeau to play the role of climate leader with Trump in the White House over the past four years. However, on his first day in office, President Biden has now passed Trudeau by cancelling an unnecessary oil sands pipeline, while Prime Minister Trudeau continues to cling to Trans Mountain and support KXL. These positions will forever tarnish his reputation as a leader on climate and reconciliation,” said Eugene Kung, lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law. “Trans Mountain Corporation’s President Ian Anderson stated that the fate of KXL has no bearing on TMX - the exact opposite of what oil industry lobbyists are saying. Even the Canadian Energy Regulator’s own forecasts demonstrate that with any climate policy, neither KXL nor TMX, nor Line 3 are needed to meet projected supply.”

"I believe in working to ensure a safe and happy future for my child. Climate change poses a huge threat to that future. We need our government to act on climate change. We need an emergency federal framework that works. TMX cannot be part of that plan. We can't build new fossil fuel infrastructure or lock into continued fossil fuel extraction. That is an absolute betrayal to the youngest generation, and to the ones to come. Instead, we must transition to clean energy in a way that supports the workers currently employed by the fossil fuel industry. We can do this, we just need true, audacious leadership and action with foresight and conviction," said Jinhwa Hwong-Ambrose, Vancouver-based mother with For Our Kids.