PM makes first B.C. visit since TMX pipeline purchase

Justin Trudeau meets with members of the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee in Chilliwack

Security was tight as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the federal government’s Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee for the Trans Mountain pipeline project in Chilliwack on Tuesday.

The meeting marked his first foray into B.C. since his government announced it was buying the troubled pipeline for $4.5 billion.

Meeting at a hall on the Cheam reserve, Trudeau was greeted by about 40 protesters, who called the pipeline purchase a betrayal and a threat to the environment and their way of life.

Inside, Trudeau spoke briefly about the work being done by the monitoring committee and the importance of the pipeline to indigenous prosperity before moving into private discussions.

While he agreed the project has generated strong opinions on all sides of the debate, he said it was important to keep the dialogue going.

Trudeau also emphasized the importance of the project to reconciliation, and “how to turn the page on decades, generations, centuries of broken relationships.”

Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee was established by the government to provide environmental and cultural oversight for the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

It is co-chaired by Cheam Chief Ernie Crey, who was an outspoken advocate for the project even before the federal government’s purchase. He says the pipeline offers an unprecedented opportunity for indigenous people to escape crippling poverty.

He’s not alone in that support. Also on board is the Simpcw First Nation, formerly known as North Thompson Indian Band. Like the Cheam, they’re among the 40 aboriginal groups along the pipeline route that have signed mutual benefit agreements with Trans Mountain.

Those outside the meeting are not convinced. They said that many Cheam band members do not support the pipeline.

Others called for a move away from fossil fuels. “We must move as quickly as we can to a green energy economy,” said Sto:lo elder and wild salmon advocate Eddie Gardner.

Trudeau’s visit comes a day after nationwide protests against the pipeline purchase.

Trudeau left the meeting without talking to the protesters. His next stop is Sherwood Park, Alta., where he’ll visit the Kinder Morgan Edmonton Terminal South.

 

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Purchase of barge brings total to five for Wichito Marine Services in Tofino

Local crew spent countless hours restoring the old piece of infrastructure.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Most Read