After an overwhelming number of people spoke, wrote, or presented their opinions on Kinder Morgan’s proposed oil pipeline, the Ministerial Panel has released their report to Cabinet.

The Ministerial Panel received the highest-ever response rate to a government of Canada questionnaire. 35,259 people responded to the questionnaire, and the panel’s online portal drew over 20,000 email submissions from people expressing their views on the proposed project. There were 2,500 people who took time out of their day to participate in person at a panel meeting in Alberta or BC.

The report includes verbatim comments and general themes heard during the public engagement period. It also identifies six high-level questions that the panel heard repeatedly and commends to the Government of Canada for serious consideration.

The six questions are as follows:

  1. Can construction of a new Trans Mountain Pipeline be reconciled with Canada’s climate change commitments?
  2. In the absence of a comprehensive national energy strategy, how can policy-makers effectively assess projects such as the Trans Mountain Pipeline?
  3. How might Cabinet square approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline with its commitment to reconciliation with First Nations and to the UNDRIP principles of “free, prior, and informed consent?”
  4. Given the changed economic and political circumstances, the perceived flaws in the NEB process, and also the criticism of the Ministerial Panel’s own review, how can Canada be confident in its assessment of the project’s economic rewards and risks?
  5. If approved, what route would best serve aquifer, municipal, aquatic and marine safety?
  6. How does federal policy define the terms “social licence” and “Canadian public interest” and their inter-relationships?

CRED can answer some of these questions. No, it is not compatible to build the Kinder Morgan pipeline and still meet Canada’s climate commitments.

In addition, CRED finds that the pipeline would create few jobs, minimal tax revenues and would not impact energy security. The Kinder Morgan pipeline also comes with the additional concerns (and costs) of an oil spill. Beyond the direct cleanup costs, the indirect economic impacts would be long lasting, impacting sectors from tourism to agriculture.

Look for our specific findings to be published in the coming days.

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