VANCOUVER — Dozens of Order of Canada members from British Columbia are urging the federal government to cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Bonnie Sherr Klein, Dorothy Grant, Gabor Mate and Raffi Cavoukian are among 42 members who signed a letter asking the federal government to use the Federal Court of Appeal's ruling as an opportunity to rethink the project.
In the letter, the signatories say they are concerned about the deep divisions that have been created by how the "economy vs. climate" debate is framed.
They say they want to see investment in clean energy and a diversified economy as rapidly as possible, and retraining for those who would suffer immediate job loss.
In a recent decision overturning approval for the pipeline expansion, the court said the federal government failed to meaningfully consult First Nations and to consider the impacts of tanker traffic on marine life in its approval process.
Ottawa purchased the pipeline for $4.5 billion and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is considering options to get the project restarted.
In place of the pipeline expansion, the Order of Canada members say in the letter released Thursday that the country needs to develop a comprehensive energy transition plan that is commensurate with the crisis of climate change.
"As members of the Order of Canada, whose motto is 'They Desire a Better Country,' we believe it is our role as citizens to speak out about our government's purchase and building of the Trans Mountain pipeline," the letter says.
"We call on the government to create an energy transition plan that respects First Nations land, resources and economic development issues, honours Canada's commitments to the Paris Accord and includes opportunities for dialogue among Canadians to reduce divisiveness and create a future that is sustainable for all."
The Canadian Press