Trans Mountain Purchase: Moderator Responds

Trans Mountain Purchase: Moderator Responds

The Moderator expresses concern about Canada’s pipeline purchase with regard to Indigenous rights and fossil fuel subsidies.
Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell, Moderator
Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, 42nd Moderator of The United Church of Canada
Wolf Kutnahorsky
Published on: 
June 5, 2018
Last modified on
May 6, 2019

In her June 1 letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Moderator wrote to express deep concern at the federal government’s decision to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Bill C-262, an act to harmonize Canadian law with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), passed third reading on May 30. However, Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline decision is inconsistent with its support of UNDRIP, particularly Indigenous Peoples’ rights to free, prior, and informed consent and participation in decision-making, noted the Moderator. “These principles have been absent from recent discussions of the pipeline among your government, Alberta, British Columbia, and Kinder Morgan,” she wrote. “First Nations along the path have been excluded from the conversation.”

“In light of your June 21, 2016, statement that ‘no relationship is more important to our government and to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples,’ I urge your government to rethink its definition of national interest.”

Canada’s commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies dates back to 2009; however, the Trans Mountain purchase equals billions of new dollars in subsidies to this industry. “Canada can and must do better in tackling climate change and improving the health of the world’s oceans,” the Moderator stated.

Read the full letter below.


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