What’s up with Canada’s pipelines? Or should I be saying what’s been going down with the whole situation? In all seriousness, this battle is one that has divided Canadian people on so many different levels. Many beliefs and values have become evident and its quite nearly impossible to dismiss any one system of beliefs.

First, we need some background. The Trans Mountain Pipeline System is known to carry crude and other refined oil from Alberta to the West Coast of British Columbia. This started when large oil deposits had been newly discovered in Alberta in the late 1940s and everyone wanted to profit from this newfound natural resource. Put in use since 1953, it was the only pipeline to run between the two Canadian provinces at the time. It hasn’t been until recently that there have been various disputes over it and its wanted expansion.

In 2013, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the company that had owned the pipeline, filed an application with the Canadian National Energy Board to add another pipeline. This one was to run parallel to the existing pipeline and it would carry other oils. It wasn’t until 2016 that BC did not agree with the proposed expansion project for Trans Mountain. They claimed that not enough information was given about specifics for the new undertaking from the Kinder Morgan company.

However, in November of 2016, the federal cabinet of Canada approved of the project and it wasn’t until a couple months after that that BC’s premier also gave her approval on behalf of her government. It should be noted that BC’s approval is not the only hindrance in the project’s completion. The project was a large one and with it came valid arguments for both sides of the debate.

It wasn’t until 2018 that many protests sparked peoples attention in BC as well as across the nation to the voices many chose to silence. While there were economical benefits of the operation, people has not paid much attention to the intrusion and destruction of land that belongs to our own people of the First Nations community. Disputes went on for weeks as expected and here there was no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to the problem.

As 2018 went by, consultation with First Nations on the prevalent issue had not been carried out as claimed they would. This was upsetting for many people across Canada and was a wrongful act on the part of the Kinder Morgan company. Due to their lack of fulfilling the needs of such a discussion, the federal government drew in their own hands and addressed their intent of acquiring the privately owned pipeline at a ransom of $4.5 billion. Now it should be stated that the government will not operate in their own hands but by an appointed corporation with strict deadlines on other aspects of the project. In other words, I guess you could say that sacred land had been saved and the First Nations people had finally been heard.

Now that the project has been halted, many are upset over the fact that hundreds of potential jobs have been lost. The same party is also critical of the other methods of transporting the oils which would have been transported via the new extension of the project. While both sets of people and their demands can’t be agreed upon or given, I think that the outcome of the whole discussion was positive. After all, do you really want to give up land for more industrialization and destruction of land, sacred or not? I think not.

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