Sep. 6, 2019

The federal government's crass silence on the pipeline

The Federal Government of Canada’s lack of intervention in the latest Federal Court of Canada hearings on the Trans Mountain Pipeline makes a mockery out of their so-called position that they are in favour of the expansion of the pipeline.

It seems this whole affair is driven by politics in the extreme. 

It is clear that the Government spent $4.5 billion on buying the existing line and the expansion project from Kinder Morgan out of politics. At the time the Federal Government was dancing with the former NDP Government of Alberta as they twisted themselves in all manner of shapes to be for the environment but also for the pipeline expansion. Remember also that this was at the time when in the Federal Government was looking for Provincial partners in their determined efforts to introduce a carbon tax and they needed all the help thy could get.

I mean let’s just break this down.

A Federal Government gets defeated by the court in its efforts to advance the expansion of their pipeline project. The Court ruled that improper, insufficient consultation was held with affected indigenous groups. So the Government proceeded to have more consultations with these groups. Then the Government approves the project for the second time. 

The indigenous groups file with the court objections to the approval saying these latest consultations were still inadequate. The court hears this case where the indigenous groups, especially six of them, continue to outline how the Federal Government consultations did not meet the standards for such consultations, again.

And what does the Federal Government do in the court hearing? It remains silent, it does not defend its own behaviour, second time around!

So where does this leave the judge in his consideration of the case? Of course, to order more consultations and further complicate project advancement.

Oh, there’s an election just around the corner, let’s not ruffle indigenous sensitivities. How can one interpret this any other way?

If this is not the most crass thing you ever heard of, I don’t know what is.