Signatories from environmental, health, tourism, faith-based and social justice organizations

VANCOUVER — Seventy-plus civil society groups throughout the country are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change course and halt the contentious Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Representing environmental, health, tourism, faith-based and other social justice organizations — and spanning the country from B.C. to Saskatchewan to Quebec — the groups penned a letter to the prime minister urging him to reconsider federal approval of the project. They join more than 450 businesses urging B.C. Premier John Horgan to stand strong in opposition to the project and 40 groups from Quebec asking the prime minister to cancel it.

“The national division this project has created throughout the country — not to mention the economic, environmental, public safety and democratic risks — demonstrate the need for solutions that move us toward clean energy and help meet our climate commitments while also spurring economic activity,” said David Suzuki Foundation CEO Steve Cornish. Civil society organizations care about addressing the climate crisis and leaving our children a safer, more prosperous society. We can do this by modernizing our economy and seizing Canada’s unparalleled opportunity to be a global leader on renewable energy.”

The letter highlights risks associated with the project, from economic, environmental, public safety and Indigenous rights perspectives.

The organizations expressed concerns that increased tanker traffic would mean a greater likelihood of a bitumen spill and damage to marine ecosystems and endangered orcas. The letter also details information gaps about how bitumen behaves in marine environments. The groups shared concerns that a spill would have a disastrous effect on ocean-dependent activities. A single spill could cost Vancouver alone $1.2 billion in economic activity and result in the loss of more than 12,000 jobs.

The groups agreed that the federal government’s insistence that approval of the pipeline is based on science rings hollow on the climate front. While strong steps have been taken to phase out coal, bring in a carbon market and introduce federal methane regulations, all accounting estimates show that expanding fossil fuel infrastructure puts Canada at risk of missing its international climate commitments.

The letter also reminded the prime minster that pushing the pipeline through in the face of strong Indigenous opposition runs counter to Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and undermines claims that this project is in the national interest.

“In the midst of a deeply divided moment that has pitted sectors and governments against one another, we hope you hear these concerns and step away from this contentious project, making the long-term well-being of all citizens your top priority,” the letter said.

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Click here to read the letter and full list of signatories.

For more information, please contact:

Brendan Glauser, David Suzuki Foundation, 604-356-8829,