It’s unbelievable and it’s reckless.

Yesterday the federal government poured $4.5 billion dollars of public money to buy Kinder Morgan’s failing pipeline and tanker project. $4.5 billion dollars for a project that violates the Prime Minister’s own commitments to climate action, to Indigenous rights, to end fossil fuel subsidies, and to protect the coast.

It is nothing short of a colossal mistake that will punish the Liberals in the next election and will haunt them everyday in between.  

I don’t think Justin Trudeau has realized what it will do to his International reputation when it is the federal government ordering in police to arrest Indigenous elders, teachers, seniors and students who are just trying to protect the things they love but it will sink in soon. Already over 22,000 people have pledged to put their bodies on the line to stop this project and those numbers are likely to grow after today.

The world saw Justin Trudeau stand-up in Paris to commit to climate action, they applauded when his government endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and held out hope that in the darkness that is Trump, Trudeau would become the voice of hope, and reason that the world so desperately needs to see.

With today’s announcement I think it’s fair to say that hope is gone (or at least faded). While other world leaders chart their path to a 100% renewable energy future, Canada’s ‘sunny ways’ Prime Minister bought a dirty oil pipeline to one of the largest carbon bombs on the planet.

There is no climate leadership to be found down a pipeline and no Indigenous reconciliation to be found their either. The majority of Nations impacted by this project have not given their consent and seven are already suing the federal government over it. Despite pledging to respect Indigenous consent Trudeau continues to violate it compounding over a century of broken promises to First Nations people.

Photo Credit: Liz McDowell

You can buy a lot of things for $4.5 billion dollars.

For $3.2 billion, we could provide safe, clean drinking water for every Indigenous Nation in Canada. The full $4.5 billion  could pay for the salaries of 60,000 nurses or 88,156 teachers. It could cover the average tuition costs of 684,827 students, put solar power systems on 180,000 homes, build 2045 wind turbines, or build the world’s largest solar power plant 16 times over.

These are the opportunities lost with yesterday’s announcement. Opportunities that could have saved lives, cleaned our air, or powered our cities. Instead the government put that money in a broken pipeline for export that will never even get built.

This pipeline still faces a litany of lawsuits, crumbling economics - that seemed to scare everyone but the federal government, and a growing resistance movement that yesterday’s announcement just supersized.

None of those dynamics are going away.

As the government attempts to move forward on its ill fated decision we will be there standing shoulder to shoulder with Indigenous leaders to stop them. We will confront them on the land, on the sea, and in the boardrooms because the things this pipelines endangers are too much to stand by and let happen.

1 National Park.

1300 streams and waterways.

130 Indigenous Nations.

76 Southern Resident Killer Whales.

200,000 jobs in BC alone.

1 already overwhelmed climate.

1 beautiful ocean.

Make your voice heard, let’s make it resound around the world, and together let’s stop this pipeline once and for all.

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