NDP MP Rachel Blaney speaks during a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs on Friday. Screenshot from ParlVu

NDP MP Rachel Blaney speaks during a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs on Friday. Screenshot from ParlVu

Island MP calls for study on duty to consult First Nations about pipeline

Special meeting called after Federal Court of Appeals halts pipeline expansion

A federal committee has defeated an Island MP’s motion that called for a study on the government’s duty to consult First Nations over plans to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

The motion, put forward by NDP MP Rachel Blaney, followed a decision by the Federal Court of Appeal last week that put the brakes on the controversial project, ruling that consultations with Indigenous communities about the pipeline were insufficient.

“What we have heard repeatedly from Indigenous communities is that there is no serious consideration of their concerns,” said Blaney during a televised meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

Citing the federal court’s decision, Blaney said that consultations with Indigenous communities consisted of “bureaucrats going out to listen to concerns and relay[ing] those concerns back to Cabinet.”

Blaney, who represents the North Island-Powell River riding, said that First Nations want direct engagement with decision-makers.

The motion put forward by Blaney called for the committee “to study the efficacy of the federal government’s fulfillment of the duty to consult Indigenous peoples with respect to the Trans-Mountain pipeline purchase and the Trans-Mountain expansion project.”

READ MORE: Trudeau says he won’t use ‘tricks’ to ram through pipeline construction

READ MORE: Pipeline buy-out sparks protest in Campbell River

Blaney, who serves as co-chair of the committee, was the only member to vote in favour of the motion.

A separate motion calling for a study on the consultations put forward by Conservative Party member Cathy McLeod was also defeated. McLeod and two other Tory members voted for that motion, along with Blaney, while Liberal Party members voted against it.

The committee convened in Ottawa ahead of the new Parliamentary session after Blaney and other committee members called for a special meeting in response to the federal court’s ruling.

Earlier in the week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called for the government to cancel the expansion of the pipeline, which the Liberal government purchased this year for $4.5 billion. Singh also called on the government to overhaul the process for reviewing energy projects and to create clean energy jobs.

The expansion project would triple the carrying capacity of the pipeline, which extends from the Edmonton area to Metro Vancouver. The project has encountered resistance from some First Nations, environmentalists and the B.C. government.

The Canadian government bought the pipeline from the Texas-based company Kinder Morgan after the company halted new investment in the project in April. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to see the project to completion, saying it’s in the national interest.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Oak Bay High students Mimi Hill and Aine O’Donnell run along the Jack Wallace Memorial Track. The old track is due to be resurfaced. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay track resurfacing delayed

Oak Bay commits $50,000 towards renewed Jack Wallace track

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

The Oak Bay Police Department has announced plans to purchase the municipality’s first electric marked police vehicle. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Electric police vehicle could soon be patroling Oak Bay streets

Oak Bay police plan to purchase first marked electric police vehicle in 2021

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read