Energy

Report: Trudeau Government Considers Giving Pipeline To Natives After Buying It

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

After buying the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline with taxpayer money, the Trudeau government may have plans to give it to First Nations groups. According to sources close to Postmedia, the Federal Government is actively discussing the possibility of walking away from the pipeline instead of appealing a federal court ruling that construction must stop until Native groups are better consulted.

“The possibility of giving the pipeline to First Nations has come up at cabinet level,” the Toronto Sun quotes a senior Liberal government source as saying Tuesday.

The pipeline would be placed in a trust that Native groups could access for program spending.

The source indicated the problem with the plan is that First Nations groups are divided over the construction of the pipeline, with some seeing it as an environmental threat and others as an investment and employment opportunity.

“So, what do you do? Ignore the agreements with those who live along the line while rewarding the bands that aren’t on the route and who have been the most active in stopping the pipeline?” the source asked.

On Tuesday, the Trudeau government said it would begin consultations with all 117 First Nations groups in the province of British Columbia as per the federal court’s insistence.

“That’s one of the things that we laid out for them early on,” said Whispering Pines Chief Michael LeBourdais told Postmedia. “We put that forward very early but we never developed that model, how that would work,” he adds.

“I won’t say no to the pipeline, whether it’s a gift or purchasing some of it,” said LeBourdais.