If Kinder Morgan thought they’d have an easier time than Enbridge getting broad community support for its oil pipeline project, they were wrong.
Enbridge was a greenfield project crossing great swathes of iconic and untouched wilderness.
Kinder Morgan’s is a brownfield project—a twinning of a 62-year-old pipeline in, for the most part, an existing right-of-way. Dig up the ground next to the old pipe, put in a new one, and call it a day, right?
There is, however, the fear of a catastrophic oil spill with increased tanker traffic once the oil gets to Burnaby. Then there is worry over pipeline leaks or ruptures all the way up the line where it crosses a great number of waterways, including the Vedder River.
The National Energy Board (NEB) heard from elders in First Nations community this week how this project is another example through history of the Xwelitem—a Halq’emeylem word for non-natives—displacing people, taking land and taking resources.
From the point of contact, the Sto:lo have been hit with smallpox, fur traders, the gold rush, the Indian Act, the Fisheries Act, the railroad, the Trans-Canada Highway, forestry, and, in 1952, the existing pipeline was built.
Never mind support from non-native citizens and environmental groups, Kinder Morgan is in the middle of discovering whether or not B.C.’s First Nations community are willing, after centuries of it, to take one more incursion, one more displacement, one more disruption.
– Black Press