Calgary, June 17—An Indigenous-led group that wants to buy a majority interest in the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project says the federal government must let the expansion proceed. A decision is expected to be delivered tomorrow.
Project Reconciliation says the government should also ensure Indigenous Peoples are included when the time comes to sell the pipeline.
“The Trans Mountain pipeline can become a pipeline to reconciliation,” said Delbert Wapass, Executive Chair & Founder. “Step one is approving the expansion tomorrow, and step two is making sure Indigenous Peoples are represented among eventual buyers. That’s how we’ll put words about reconciliation into action.”
He said there’s growing interest among Indigenous Peoples in taking ownership positions in energy projects. Indigenous decision-making power will limit risk and increase certainty for investment in pipeline and resource projects, which benefits not just the owners, but the whole of Canada’s economy.
“All Canadians will benefit if the Trans Mountain expansion is approved. Indigenous Peoples haven’t always shared in the benefit from resources found under traditional lands. But every day, more of us are saying we want in and this is the perfect time for Ottawa to agree,” he said.
Wapass, a former chief, founded Project Reconciliation to facilitate Indigenous ownership of TMX. Almost 340 First Nation and Métis communities across Western Canada are eligible to join the ownership structure.