Last week -- with groups from all over the Salish Sea -- we sent more than 66,400 faxes calling on the National Energy Board to respect Indigenous Rights and Title and to take real action to save the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales.
“The Trudeau government’s slick, quick and dirty NEB process is a kick in the teeth to the Federal Court of Appeal ruling which quashed the federal approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project,” says Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).
“There is absolutely no chance that the impossibly short time frame and under-resourcing of the current NEB process will allow Canada to properly address the marine impacts of Trans Mountain. We continue to demand that this ill-conceived, dirty, garbage oil fuel expansion project be completely scrapped, and that Canada invest in real clean energy development projects.”
The public comment period of Trudeau’s rushed Trans Mountain “Reconsideration” closed last week after allowing only a few weeks for submissions.
When we learned the NEB would only accept comments by fax (or using an 8-page online portal and then mailing a hard copy!) we flooded the NEB with faxes protesting the limited opportunity for public engagement, using a special internet tool developed by friends of ours. 66,400 people (who don't have home fax machines) were able to send a fax to the NEB, along with Prime Minister Trudeau and key Cabinet ministers.
Secretary Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Chief Judy Wilson said, “I sent my fax with tens of thousands of other concerned people to make it clear that Canada cannot get away with a shoddy re-do of the already flawed NEB process. I am still shocked that the NEB attempted to completely ignore the impacts of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline on our marine environment, and with the current whirlwind re-do, it’s like they are almost still ignoring the impacts.”
While we were faxing, the NEB decided they would limit the scope of their investigation into the effects on endangered whales to 12 nautical miles from shore, instead of the 200 nautical miles recommended by every intervenor except Trans Mountain, the Government of Canada and the province of Alberta. For more details on what’s been going on at the NEB, please read Eugene Kung of West Coast Environmental Law’s latest blog post.
On Wednesday November 28, Canadian First Nations and U.S. Coast Salish Tribes will hold a press conference prior to the Indigenous Oral Testimony NEB session that is part of the “Reconsideration”, from 1:00 - 1:45 pm in Victoria, BC. We will share the livestream on the Coast Protectors Facebook page or you can watch here.