The provincial media’s attention was briefly on a First Nations reserve in Chilliwack on Tuesday as the Prime Minister rolled in under heavy security for a brief meeting.
Justin Trudeau met with the Trans Mountain pipeline’s Indigenous Monitoring and Advisory Committee (IAMC) on the Cheam reserve for a little more than an hour to discuss the pipeline project and the role of the committee.
After the meeting, the committee released a statement saying that the government’s decision to spend $4.5 billion to buy the pipeline will have “huge impacts on Indigenous nations in the pipeline corridor and shipping lanes.”
“Some Indigenous Caucus members come from nations that support the pipeline, others who are opposed. But all have a shared interest in minimizing the impacts of the TMX expansion and existing pipeline.”
They went further, stating that the IAMC must be transformed from an advisory role to “truly co-managing with government, in a matter consistent with United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
The committee said that if the government is indeed going to build the pipeline, it has to do it better, safer and more respectful of Indigenous rights than Kinder Morgan would have.
About 40 protesters, some from the Cheam First Nation and some from other nearby Indigenous bands, showed up to rally in opposition to a number of things ranging from the government bail out of Kinder Morgan to the existence of the oil sands pipeline at all.