Thought for the Day

Imagine if decades from now a student of Canadian political history is digging into the Kinder Morgan pipeline saga. What kind of picture would she get from scanning the news databases from April 2018?

A frustrated project proponent, Kinder Morgan, puts the development of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on hold, amid a pitched jurisdictional battle between the governments of BC and Alberta. The prime minister vows the pipeline will be built, because it’s in the national interest. There is much speculation about how Ottawa might ultimately exert its constitutional authority in the matter. There are protests and people are arrested.

But this media coverage circa April 2018 has one big hole in it.

Somehow First Nations and their constitutional issues with the pipeline gets no inches, no airtime.

The Crown has an obligation to consult with the First Nations whose constitutionally protected land and other rights could be impacted by the pipeline. This fact now routinely fades in and out of our public discussions of Kinder Morgan like an inconsequential character in a daytime soap.

But the government’s duty to consult isn’t some secondary story arc.

“Indigenous rights aren’t a subplot of pipeline debate”, Policy Options

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