Since 2012, the United Church crest has included the Mohawk words Akwe Nia'Tetewá:neren, meaning “All My Relations.” These words capture a crucial principle for the church: that all of creation is connected, and that we have a responsibility to respect all with whom we share the earth—other people, other beings, the lands and the water.
Throughout 2016, the National Energy Board held hearings into proposed pipelines that will carry oil from the oil sands. Despite opposition from Indigenous leaders, environmental groups, and community advocates, the government approved the Trans Mountain (Kinder Morgan) pipeline on November 29. In the same announcement, the government also approved an expansion of Line 3, but said it would not approve the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
“We fail to see how Canada will be able to fulfill its fair share of carbon emission reductions under the [COP 21] Paris Agreement, as the Trans Mountain Pipeline increases emissions,” wrote Moderator Jordan Cantwell in a letter to United Church members and communities of faith. The Moderator is also concerned about the implications of Trans Mountain to Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), as well as the path forward to a just transition for those working in the fossil fuel industry.
- Pray for creation, for reconciliation, and for all—especially the most vulnerable and marginalized among us—who are impacted by this decision.
- Write to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express your concern about the Trans Mountain pipeline decision. Feel free to use the Moderator’s letter as a model, but use your own words to craft a personal missive. If possible, send your letter by post rather than as an e-mail.
- Share this Take Action on your social media networks. Use the hashtags #UCCan, #UNDRIP, #FPIC, #TransMountain, #pipeline.
- Participate in solidarity and awareness-raising events in the coming days and weeks. Watch the United Action for Justice and Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools Facebook pages for further updates.
The Kinder Morgan decision came less than two weeks after the Conference of Parties (COP) 22 took place in Marrakech, Morocco. Environmental advocates attending COP 22 called out Canada's competing policy priorities—the pursuit of greenhouse gas cuts at the same time as fossil fuel expansion.
For more background on this issue, refer to:
- KAIROS Canada’s response to the Kinder Morgan decision
- The United Church responds to Call to Action on UN Declaration
- Prayers for Standing Rock
- How even the most ambitious climate action plan is unlikely to overcome damage caused by pipelines, from United Church partner Citizens for Public Justice
- KAIROS Canada’s briefing paper Huge Challenges for Canada after the Paris Climate Conference
Send your letters and e-mails to:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Or send an e-mail through the Prime Minister’s website.
Send copies of your letters and e-mails to: