Engaging in the Perpetuation of Genocide for 152 Years

Structures are ideology made manifest

Your government. It’s how white supremacy works. Photo: Alex Maclean / The Narwhal

NEB seeking public comment on the approach to resume the regulatory processes for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The comment period extends from June 21 to July 9, 2019.

On June 18, 2019, the Government of Canada approved the Project. As directed, the NEB issued a Certificate and amendments to existing Certificates to Trans Mountain. The issuance of Certificates does not automatically reinstate previous NEB decisions or orders required for Trans Mountain to begin or resume construction of the Project. The NEB must now decide how regulatory processes for the Project will resume.

An Open Letter to the National Energy Board

File OF-Fac-Oil-T260–2013–03 60

Submitting Comment on:

  • A Condition compliance
  • B Detailed route approval

I am a resident of the Auguston neighbourhood adjacent to the Trans Mountain Sumas Terminal in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

A Green New Deal for All — Vancouver

According to the Trans Mountain site, as part of the expanded pipeline system, Sumas Terminal will receive one new tank with a capacity of 175,000 barrels. This will bring the total number of tanks to seven and a total storage capacity of 890,000 barrels. An estimated crew of 30–40 workers, during peak construction times, will install the new tank and associated infrastructure.

This represents a clear and present danger to our community and the health and safety of our residential neighbourhood.

It is also an irresponsible expansion of the distribution of fossil fuels in the face of the overwhelming evidence that such activity will exacerbate the climate emergency that the whole world faces according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

Questions regard oil spills and impacts on marine wild life in Georgia Straight as a result of spills and increased tanker traffic have not been addressed.

Neither are the governments, the corporations, and the people of Canada being held to account for the Canadian Genocide that is being perpetuated by the development of projects that disenfranchise Indigenous Peoples. The Trans Mountain Pipeline is morally equivalent to the railroad expansion that is part of the Canadian legacy of genocide documented by Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

If the Trans Mountain Pipeline is approved and built, we will hold the National Energy Board liable for the perpetuation of systems of genocide.

“Canada’s past and current policies, omissions, and actions towards First Nations Peoples, Inuit and Métis amount to genocide, in breach of Canada’s international obligations, triggering its responsibility under international law.”

Structures Are Ideology Made Manifest

Nice Try! podcast episode — Germania: Architecture in a Fascist Utopia

“Spier was handily able to distance himself from an evil system he was not just participating in, but perpetuating. It’s chilling.”

“It spells out so clearly that Nazi Germany’s worst atrocities and many atrocities the world over were not only the ideas of singular evil men. They were supported and enacted by systems, by groups of people who woke up in the morning and went to offices to work on it.”

“We try to recount these stories in monuments and plaques, as though history is a grandiose series of battles and not something enacted in nine-to-fives.”

“And in the meantime, more buildings go up. Land is moved. A patchwork of monuments and plaques can’t keep up. Because we are all surrounded by so much new development, so many rising towers are transforming the faces of the cities around us. It’s difficult to keep track of all the forces at play, to know who they were built for and who paid for them and which ones intend to do good. Because at the end of the day, all structures are, in some ways, ideology made manifest. They’re so much bigger than any of us. We just look around and feel so small.”


Coast Protectors on the Trans Mountain Expansion

The following is the letter recommended by the Coast Protectors in their fax campaign, which I agree with and endorse.

When the NEB issued the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (Certificate) OC-065 for the Trans Mountain Project on June 21 it stated, “The Board reminds Trans Mountain that the issuance of Certificates does not automatically reinstate previous Board decisions or orders required to commence or resume construction activities,” and asked for public comment on “how the NEB should proceed with regulatory processes for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project), including compliance with Project conditions and approval of the detailed route.”

Trans Mountain should not rely on previously issued decisions and orders to start or resume Project-related construction activities and they should not be authorized to restart where they left off on August 30, 2018. The detailed route hearings should be re-started from the beginning and improved notifications to affected landowners, reserves and territories should be issued, remedying the deficiencies of the original process.

In terms of consultation with Indigenous Peoples, Trans Mountain proposes to build a staging site for pipeline construction at a site located within the City of Abbotsford at the base of Sumas Mountain, called Lightning Rock. There is already a tank farm for the existing pipeline on the site. Lightning Rock and its surrounding area have been sacred to the Stó:lō people for centuries. The area has been home to the people of the Sumas First Nation for 10,000 years, and represents a spiritual centre with a rich oral history.

The consultation of the Sumas Nation concluded without NEB condition 77 for “Archeological and Cultural Heritage Assessment — Lightning Rock” being completed and is deficient on its face. Without the consent of the Sumas Nation, this project must not proceed through their lands.

The Federal Court of Appeal verdict that quashed the NEB report found that: “Canada failed in Phase III to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the real concerns of the Indigenous applicants [plaintiffs against the Trans Mountain approval] so as to explore possible accommodation of those concerns. The duty to consult was not adequately discharged.”

“[M]eaningful consultation is not simply a process of exchanging information. Where, as in this case, deep consultation is required, a dialogue must ensue and the dialogue should lead to a demonstrably serious consideration of accommodation. The Crown must be prepared to make changes to its proposed actions based on information and insight obtained through consultation. [para 564]

Building a pipeline through their lands without Indigenous peoples’ free, prior and informed consent violates Aboriginal rights and contradicts Canada’s commitment to upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, including the imperative to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Since Canada’s purchase of the project in 2018, its ministers have spoken publicly many times that the project must and will be built. There was never any chance there would be a “no” on a project purchased for $4.5 billion.

Natural Resources Minister Sohi, December 21, 2018, “Nothing has demonstrated our government’s support for the energy sector more than our decision to purchase the Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion. A $4.5 billion dollar investment in our province’s future and our country’s future.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, February 1, 2018, “That pipeline is going to get built,” Trudeau said. “We will stand by our decision. We will ensure that the Kinder Morgan pipeline gets built.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, May 7, 2019, “The only way to do it is to do it responsibly, and that’s what we’re doing. The need for it, and the national interest, is clear.”

At no time has there been a reasonable apprehension that the federal government might cancel the project based on consultation with Indigenous peoples if they could not be accommodated, rendering the entire consultation exercise a return to the “note-taking” style of consultation noted as a fatal deficiency in Gitxaala Nation v. Canada, 2016 FCA 187.

Detailed Route Hearings Must be Re-Started from the Beginning

At a minimum, hearings that had not concluded at the time of the court ruling should go back to the notification stage. Since the approval was quashed, there have been leadership changes in affected Indigenous communities, and municipal elections in October 2018 mean there are new elected representatives in local and regional governments and school boards. In the 10 months or so since everything stopped landowners may have changed or their circumstances may have changed.

It’s not enough just to notify people who had a hearing, they should try to reach people who did not have a hearing but should have the opportunity for one now. To attempt to address some of the many deficiencies in the first process, all segments of the route should go back to notification stage.

Any application by Trans Mountain Corporation to carry on where they left off on August 30, 2018 should be rejected and route hearings and permit applications should start again with deficiencies of the previous process remedied.

Fax the NEB on Trans Mountain

The National Energy Board is asking for public input on the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project within very specific guidelines, so we’ve made it easy to participate.

Use or edit our letter below or write your own. More information on guidelines here.

Numbers count — we don’t want them to use the lack of input against us and the NEB pays attention when you do. Once you’ve sent your fax, please share this action.

Canadian Genocide

They Did It With Our Labour

For 152 years, Canada has run unchecked, causing havoc, destroying civil discourse, democracy, ruining personal relationships, running marketplaces of harassment and abuse, all to line their pockets. The very worst part is that they did it with our labor.

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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