May 31, 2018
Business leaders issued a scathing response to the Trudeau government’s announcement that it has agreed to spend over $17 billion to purchase Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline and build the beleaguered pipeline expansion.
To date, over 800 businesses in British Columbia and across the country have spoken out against the government bail out and in support of BC Premier John Horgan’s stance opposing the pipeline.
“We’ve had serious concerns about the impact this proposed pipeline would have on the coast, the land, the animals and all people who call it home, since the beginning,” says Tricia Stevens, Manager of Charitable Givings forVancouver-based Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.”We want our government making decisions that protect the environment, move us to renewable energy, support our economy and take care of people and the planet. This decision to subsidize the oil and gas industry with a multi-billion dollar handout does none of this.”
After hearing news of the government bailout, Nature’s Path, North America’s largest organic breakfast food company, shut down their website for the day, replacing it with a special homepage prompting visitors to speak up against the bailout.
“We believe the expanded pipeline deepens our dependency on fossil fuels and further contributes to climate change, plus it presents an increased risk of a catastrophic leak impacting the health of our precious agriculture land and water systems,” says Jyoti Stephens, Nature’s Path Vice President of People, Culture and Mission.
“Not a single private investor wanted to buy the pipeline, which shows that this is a terrible investment,” says Michael Tippett, CEO of Wantoo. “Now as taxpayers we get to be on the hook for the environmental and economic cost of this boondoggle.”
Mike Rowlands, the President and CEO of Junxion Strategy, feels the Trudeau government’s decision puts taxpayers’ hard-earned money into a deal that no other investors in the world want to touch.
“That’s not the ‘national interest.’ That’s pandering to a sunset industry,” says Rowlands, “when we need to be investing in clean energy, a national pharmacare program, teachers and classrooms…. The list goes on. Trudeau’s priorities are utterly out of step with what Canada needs.”
Tim Bray, co-founder of Textuality Services, Inc., and OPenText, Canada’s largest software company, feels that with this transaction, “Canada is choosing to be part of the climate change problem, rather than investing in the clean, green, life-saving economy of the future. It’s a grave mistake; our children will shake their heads and wonder what we were thinking.”
The full price tag of the pipeline bailout remains still uncertain, but is likely to include $4.5 billion for the existing assets, more than $9 billion to build the expansion, $2.1 billion financial assurances for spills, and $1.5 billion for a national Ocean Protection Plan, for a total of $17.1 billion, as noted on twitter by economist Robyn Allan.
The LetsMoveForward.ca campaign is hosted by the Board of Change, Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED), Junxion Strategy, New/Mode and over 800 business leaders who have supported the campaign.
More information on the campaign: https://www.letsmoveforward.ca/