NDP MPs Sheila Malcolmson and Nathan Cullen Host Town Hall on Trans-Mountain Pipeline Expansion

NANAIMO – NDP MPs Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo–Ladysmith) and Nathan Cullen (Skeena–Bulkley Valley) hosted a town hall on Tuesday, October 9th to discuss the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion and risks of its increased oil tanker traffic.

A federal court ruling recently halted construction on the expansion, citing serious concerns with marine impact and consultation with First Nations. However, the Liberal government is pressing ahead with the expansion, having just spent $4.5 billion to purchase the existing pipeline from Kinder Morgan.

“The Court affirmed what so many have been saying: that First Nations were not consulted in good faith, that a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic is the biggest risk to us and shouldn’t have been excluded from the flawed Conservative assessment process Trudeau okayed, and that tanker traffic poses a direct threat to the survival of our endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales” said Malcolmson.

“Last night’s town hall shows just how strongly British Columbians feel about Trudeau's reckless attempt to force through this pipeline expansion. We cannot allow even more money to be wasted on a pipeline which threatens our coast and disregards Indigenous rights,” said Cullen.

Snuneymuxw Councillor Douglas White III spoke to the crowd about the lack of meaningful consultations with First Nations in the wake of the government’s promise to recognize Indigenous rights, while Torrance Coste of the Wilderness Committee addressed the harmful environmental impacts of the pipeline expansion.

“The reality is that every drop of oil that would move through that pipeline and be put onto tankers will spill. Some of it might spill into the waters around Vancouver Island in a catastrophic oil spill, but the rest of it will spill into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide when it’s burned. That is going to help raise global temperatures to a level that the salmon and orcas won’t withstand, whether here’s an oil spill or not,” said Coste.

Constituents aired a broad range of concerns with the project during the town hall, and urged Malcolmson and Cullen to keep up the pressure on the Liberal government to halt the pipeline expansion, commit to meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and show real leadership in the fight against climate change.

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Link to video of town hall: https://www.facebook.com/SheilaMalcolmsonNDP/videos/171362957120059/