What happened: From east to west, left to right, and pro- and anti-pipeline positions, Canadian leaders react to the federal government's decision to proceed with the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
Why it matters: Government may have announced its intentions, but debate on the controversial project rages on.
“Today I am announcing that our government has newly approved the Trans Mountain expansion project going forward," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "At the end of the day, we listened. And we are acting on what we heard."
"The Government of Alberta appreciates the second federal cabinet approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion," tweeted Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. "We never should have been put in the position of depending on one coastal pipeline project."
Jody Wilson-Raybould, Member of Parliament for Vancouver-Granville, tweeted: "Today’s #TMX decision by the federal government is as expected – 'newly approved'." In a blog post, Wilson-Raybould wrote that, "to date, in my view, the necessary prerequisites for building TMX have not fully been met."
“The Squamish Nation met with federal officials as they conducted their court-ordered Phase III consultations with First Nations. What we experienced was a shallow attempt at consultation that resulted in a failure to address our concerns. The failure to meaningfully engage with rights holders means this government is either not serious about building this pipeline or not serious about respecting Indigenous rights," said Squamish Nation spokesperson Khelsilem.
“Today’s decision by the federal government sends a clear message to John Horgan and the NDP: The time for obstruction is over – their government needs to get out of the way and support this project," said BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson.
“The Trudeau government does not have the right to put a pipeline through unceded Secwepemc land,” said Kanahus Manuel, a spokesperson for the Tiny House Warriors. "Today, we are calling on all of our Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies to join us in this battle to ensure the man-camps are not built and the Trans Mountain pipeline will not pass.”
“What stunning hypocrisy for Prime Minister Trudeau to approve a massive tar sands oil pipeline the day after his government declared a climate emergency and reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement. This is like declaring war on cancer and then announcing a campaign to promote smoking. But this is far from a done deal. First Nations and Canadian environmentalists will continue to fight this project and their international allies will support them in whatever way they can," said Patrick McCully, climate and energy program director at the Rainforest Action Network.