Tsleil-Waututh Nation: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would affect culture

West Vancouver Ambleside Beach Burrard Inlet Lions Gate Bridge / Shutterstock

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation in North Vancouver has released an independent report of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain (TMEX) pipeline and tanker project.

The report, conducted by a number of Tsleil-Waututh Nation members, experts, consultants and research groups, concluded that the consequences of spilled oil in the case of a pipeline expansion would be dire to their cultural economy and activity.

By analyzing the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal, the report stated that the expansion would triple the volume of crude oil moved along the pipeline route, increasing the likelihood of oil spills in the Burrard Inlet — a risk the Tsleil-Waututh are not willing to take.

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SEE ALSO: Burnaby mayor says he's ready to be arrested for pipeline opposition

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation said it has an ancestral, legal obligation to protect the resources of its territory, which includes the right to benefit from the territory, have access to clean water free of pollution, and the right and responsibility to steward the territory for future generations.

The pipeline expansion proposal would increase the amount of bitumen carried to 890,000 barrels a day by adding a new pipe sized at 1,000 kilometres.

With the release of this analysis, the First Nation group will not be giving its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline project ahead of the National Energy Board’s decision on whether or not to approve the expansion.

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.

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