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Squamish Nation reacts to Federal Government Kinder Morgan purchase

Spokesperson Khelsilem called the purchase a "betrayal of promises" by the Prime Minister

The Squamish Nation is coming out strong against the federal government’s decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets for $4.5 billion.

“This is a continued betrayal of promises made to us by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,” said Khelsilem, elected councilor and spokesperson for Squamish Nation, in a news release.

“He told Canada’s Indigenous people that our rights would be respected and upheld. He has broken that promise. He promised us he would put the pipeline expansion through a brand new review. He has broken that promise, as well,” he said.

The news release states that the pipeline project threatens Squamish Nation territory and people. Of primary concern is the additional tankers that would pass communities on the Burrard Inlet and the risk of a spill, according to the news release.

“Regardless of who owns the project our position has not changed,” said Khelsilem.

“We have a right to practice our culture, our way of life, and to continue our right to self-determination in our territories. This is a right that we have never surrendered, and it is a right we will continue to defend,” Khelsilem said.

The government made their announcement on Tuesday detailing the plan to rescue the proposed expansion of the oilsands pipeline. Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said the pipeline must go forward and is the “best way to protect thousands of well-paying jobs and the safest and most effective way to get our resources to world markets.”

Once the sale is complete, Canada will continue the construction on its own, with a view to eventually selling the whole thing once market conditions would allow it to get the best price.

– With files from The Canadian Press