Construction on Trans Mountain pipeline to proceed “along every section of the route” despite UN resolution

Published by Brent Patterson on

On May 11, the CBC reported, “Next month, [Trans Mountain Corporation] expects to break ground along the 1,147-kilometre route and begin pipeline construction near Kamloops, B.C. …Trans Mountain officials expect construction to be underway along every section of the pipeline route by the end of the year.”

The Trans Mountain Corporation is a federal Crown corporation. The Canadian government bought the pipeline for $4.5 billion in May 2018.

The company says, “It will create a pipeline system with the nominal capacity of the system going from approximately 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.”

It also has plans for that pipeline to cross 518 kilometres of unceded Secwepemc territory situated in British Columbia, Canada.

On December 13, 2019, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination passed a resolution expressing its concern about “the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Extension project without free, prior and informed consent by all the indigenous peoples affected.”

The UN Committee also said it was “alarmed by escalating threat of violence against indigenous peoples, such as the reported violent arrest and detainment of a Secwepemc defender against the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project, on 19th October 2019.” You can read more about that in this APTN news report.

It then called upon the State party (Canada) “to immediately cease construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project and cancel all permits, until free, prior and informed consent is obtained from all the Secwepemc people, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.”

The full resolution from the UN Committee can be read here.

José Francisco Cali Tzay (Maya Kaqchikel), a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination when this resolution was passed, is now the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Peace Brigades International has highlighted that defenders of land rights, culture and natural resources can find themselves facing powerful interests and brutal opposition. PBI accompanies Indigenous land defenders in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico and makes the connections to land rights struggles in Canada.

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