We, the undersigned student societies representing over 220,000 students from across British Columbia, are deeply disappointed in the federal government’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The decision ignores the opposition of First Nations, represents a reckless endangerment of the fragile environment and economy of the Salish Sea, and fails to take responsibility over Canada’s climate change emissions, thus ignoring the dangers of climate change.
The current government has spoken of a renewed relationship with the First Nations in Canada. This decision railroads the opposition of many First Nations, continuing a history of paternalistic colonial attitudes. It is vital the government of Canada follow through on the commitment Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made about a new relationship; approving this pipeline is not a new relationship.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline will bring about a six-fold expansion in oil tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, passing through the Burrard Inlet, under the Lions Gate Bridge, around Stanley Park and through waters inhabited by one of the most diverse and treasured ecosystems in the world. The threat of a spill, and as we have recently seen, the complete failure of spill response, place our treasured environment at a risk that we believe is too great to justify. One major spill would result in disaster to the environment, irreparably harm our tourism industry and destroy our fishing and wildlife industries. For economic and environmental reasons, this pipeline should not be approved.
Lastly, the world is severely threatened by accelerating climate change. This pipeline represents an expansion to fossil fuel emissions that will fatally harm Canada’s ability to live up to our Paris climate emissions targets, and thus fail to live up to our collective responsibility to leave a planet that is still habitable for future generations. As students, we are the youth of today, and we demand better from our government – not just for the environment, but for the future that we must live in.
We are frustrated and angry that the federal government has so thoroughly ignored the needs of British Columbia, and we continue to stand in opposition to the development of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
Simon Fraser University Graduate Student Society, Capilano University Students’ Union, Kwantlen Student Association, Alma Mater Society of the University of British Columbia, Selkirk College Students’ Union, College of New Caledonia Students’ Union, Douglas Students’ Union, Okanagan College Students’ Union, Vancouver Island University Students’ Union, Northwest Community College Students’ Union, North Island Students’ Union, Students’ Union of Vancouver Community College, Camosun College Student Society, Emily Carr Students’ Union
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