On November 29th 2016, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, announced the approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipelines. His actions are reneging on his commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous communities, as well as undoing the work that has been done thus far to make Canada an international leader in environmental justice. In response, on Sunday December 4th, the SFUO’s Board of Administration voted to formally oppose the construction of these pipelines.
The SFUO stands in solidarity with the numerous Indigenous communities along the proposed routes, whose still unceded land and treaty territories will be directly affected in the case of an oil leak or pipeline burst, without mentioning the direct impacts that this construction will have on the communities themselves. Indigenous communities, already facing the burdens of colonization and historical mistreatment, cannot continue to be ignored in matters of environmental justice and pipeline construction.
While the SFUO understands that job creation and economic development are core driving factors behind the decision to build these pipelines, we would instead encourage the Prime Minister to invest in clean, renewable energy. Effectively, building infrastructure and investing in carbon-free and sustainable energy would not only create the jobs we seek, but would also solidify Canada’s place at the international scale as a world leader in climate and environmental justice. The approval of the construction of these pipelines will not only inevitably imperil the environment, but also breaks Canada’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
Students are therefore calling on the Canadian government to demonstrate true climate leadership and to respect the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous communities by reversing its decision to approve the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines.
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