Earlier this morning I sent this letter to the Prime Minister and the Ministers responsible for overseeing pipeline reviews detailing our plans for the People’s Injunction. Find out more about the People’s Injunction here.
January 13, 2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
cc: Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau.
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
Next week you are going to break your campaign promise to overhaul Canada environmental regulatory regime because of your refusal to suspend or cancel the reviews of the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline.
Thousands of people across Canada listened to you explain, while currying our votes, that “governments can grant permits, but only communities grant permission.” Yet you are now are choosing to ignore the dozens of communities across Canada who have already rejected these pipeline projects and have voiced their opposition over years. You are choosing to ignore the over 100,000 messages that called for climate change to be included in the review of Energy East. Perhaps most importantly, you are choosing to ignore the Indigenous communities who have opposed both the Energy East and Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipelines, and have clearly told your government that the National Energy Board has failed to meet the duty to consult. By not starting these reviews over from square one, you are already breaking your promise.
During your acceptance speech on October 19, 2015 you told us that “in Canada, better is always possible” and yet you are asking us to accept a broken, illegitimate pipeline review process. You are asking us to accept a process that ignores climate change, community voices and the rights of Indigenous peoples.
This is something that we, the people, will not accept.
You have set some laudable goals when it comes to climate change and Indigenous rights. Whether it’s the pledge that Canada will act in line with meeting a 1.5ºC climate target, or the implementation of the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights, we support these goals. But, by allowing these reviews, the rules of which were set by Stephen Harper, to proceed, you are undermining your own ability to meet your own ambitious goals.
That’s why if you don’t cancel or suspend the NEB reviews of these tar sands pipelines by January 15th, we will be forced to enact a People’s Injunction.
You no doubt know what an injunction is. Legal injunctions are a tool that government and industry have used time and time again to trump people’s objections to projects and decisions. This time around, we’re flipping the script. If you will not show the necessary leadership to stop these reviews, people will.
Cameron Fenton, on behalf of the thousands of people who have pledged to join the People’s Injunction.