Still fairly fresh from his decision to make every Canadian taxpayer the involuntary owner of a 65-year-old pipeline, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in British Columbia last week to announce a new marine co-management and protection regime affecting two-thirds of the province’s north coast.
The release in Prince Rupert, timed for National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21, was conducted in partnership with 14 North Coast First Nations, CBC reports. The agreement will be funded under Ottawa’s C$1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan.
“This is a very big day for both reconciliation and the environment for Canada,” Trudeau said.
“Oceans protection must be Indigenous-led,” stressed Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett, whose community was affected by the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill. “Those with a relationship to the ocean should be charged with responding to threats to the ocean.”
In other news last week related to the soon-to-be-former Kinder Morgan pipeline, the National Energy Board issued a call for an outside contractor to “monitor online chatter en masse and aggregate the data in an effort to detect security risks ahead of time,” CBC reports. The Board’s Request for Information (RFI) sought companies with “real-time capability to algorithmically process vast amounts of traditional media, open source, and public social media data.”
NEB communications officer Karen Ryhorchuk said the tender call was “not specific to any project, application, or issue,” but the Board’s attempt “to ensure we are getting the services we require to proactively manage security threats, risks, and incidents to help protect its personnel, critical assets, information, and services.” But digital security specialist Tom Keenan was convinced the request was tied to the continuing fight over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
“You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that pipelines are controversial, that there have been threats to construction of pipelines,” he told CBC. “And that may have accelerated the timing.”
Also in the last week the NEB approved modified plans for Trans Mountain’s Burnaby terminal, and 70-year-old grandmother Laurie Embree faced a possible week in jail for her part in the Burnaby Mountain blockade.