Tag Archives: Canada

UN Orders Canada to Halt Work on Trans Mountain Pipeline

UN Orders Canada to Halt Work on Trans Mountain Pipeline

Blue River BC — A new United Nations report orders Canada to cease construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline until informed consent is obtained from the Secwepemc people. 

“Now it is clear to the whole world every minute that Canada continues construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline is a violation of the basic human rights of Indigenous people.”

That was how land and water defender Kanahus Manuel responded to the newly released United Nations report that has denounced Canada’s major resource projects on Indigenous lands saying they could “cause irreparable harm to indigenous peoples rights, culture, lands, territories and way of life.”

The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) was also, “disturbed by the forced removal, disproportionate use of force, harassment and intimidation by law enforcement officials against indigenous peoples who peacefully oppose” the large-scale development projects and committee members were “alarmed by escalating threat of violence against indigenous peoples.”

“What is different about this UN report” says Manuel, “is they are not only condemning Canada, they are ordering that Canada cease major resource developments on Indigenous lands.”

Manuel, whose Tiny House Warriors have set up a village on the Trans Mountain Pipeline route near Blue River B.C., says this UN report clearly sets out Canada’s criminal actions against us.

The report orders Canada to cease construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and to cancel all pipeline permits and permission, until free, prior and informed consent is obtained from all the Secwepemc people. The UN body also ordered Canada to cease work on the Site C dam and on “the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet’suwet’en people, until they grant their free, prior and informed consent, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.”

The Human Rights Committee also condemned the “violent arrest and detainment” of Kanahus Manuel herself when her wrist was broken during a violent assault and arrest by RCMP officer at her home and protest site along the pipeline route.

The Committee further demanded that Canada refrain from using force against Secwepemc and Wet’suwet’en peoples and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and associated security and policing services will be withdrawn from their traditional lands.

Responding to the recent revelation that the RCMP was preparing to use “lethal force” against land protector, the UN ordered Canada to explicitly prohibit the use of lethal weapons by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, against indigenous peoples.

“This condemnation by the United Nations it a first step,” Manuel said. “We will now be calling on Human Rights organizations from around the world to come to our territory to monitor the situation. We are asking for the world to step in to help us to oppose the dirty oil pipeline on our land and to fight against Canada’s criminal behaviour.”

Read the UN CERD Report HERE 

Transmountain Pipeline

Secwempemc Activists: ‘Despite Government Approval the TMX Pipeline Will Never be Built’

Blue River, BC — The Tiny House Warriors responded to today’s official approval of the Transmountain Pipeline by insisting that it will never be built on Secwempemc land, which includes 50% of the proposed pipeline route.

The Tiny House Warriors are a group of Secwepemc land and water defenders who for the past year, have been gathered in a new village of tiny houses on Secwepemc territory near Blue River. Their village site is along the proposed pipeline route and just across from a planned thousand man camp for pipeline construction workers and they are insisting that they will not allow either the man-camp or the pipeline to be built on their territory.

Secwempemc land comprises 50% of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline route.

“The Trudeau government does not have the right to put a pipeline through unceded Secwepemc land,” says Kanahus Manuel, a spokesperson for the Tiny House Warriors. “To try to legitimize this illegal act, Canada uses what legal scholars call its “cunning misinterpretation of “consent” which is inconsistent with Indigenous, constitutional and international law.””

“The fact that they have a few sellout Indian Act chiefs supporting their pipeline in no way legitimizes it. The salaries of these sellouts are directly paid by the Department of Indian Affairs and they have no right to speak for the people who are the rightful titleholders of the land.”

“The same goes for the idea of selling this worthless pipeline to Indigenous people and using Indian Trust monies to back this up. This is merely trying to put a brown face on the rape of our land. We will not allow that to happen.”

And while the United Nations is today looking into the genocidal murders of Indigenous women and girls uncovered by the MMIWG Report, we will not allow Trans Mountain pipeline to insert a man camp of a thousand white men into our territory to continue and even accelerate the genocidal rape and murders of our women and girls.”

“Today, we are calling on all of our Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies to join us in this battle to ensure the man-camps are not built and the Trans Mountain pipeline will not pass.”

Trans Mountain Pipeline Faces Untenable Risk for Failing to Recognize Indigenous Jurisdiction

Trans Mountain Pipeline Faces Untenable Risk for Failing to Recognize Indigenous Jurisdiction

Secwepemc Territory, BC — The Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) pioneered an Indigenous risk assessment of Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP), demonstrating that failure to take into account Indigenous jurisdiction and land rights constitutes too great a risk for large projects seeking access to Indigenous lands and resources.

This was confirmed by Kinder Morgan Limited (KML) Canada this weekend, when following another mobilization by Indigenous Peoples against the TMEP, KML announced that it is suspending non-essential spending on the TMEP because the risks to investors are too great.

The announcement took investors by surprise and shows that the TMEP has come to a breaking point, where there will either be a decision to cut the losses and stop the project now, or provoke further conflict and confrontation, which will only increase risks.

Though much attention has been focused on inter-jurisdictional struggle between the federal and provincial governments over regulation and environmental assessment, the company and governments have both failed to dispense their legal duties of obtaining consent from the proper title holders of the land. The failure to take into account Indigenous jurisdiction and land rights continues cannot be remedied. There is no recovering from this failure to properly assess risks and from the announcement by KML.

Secwepemc land defender, Kanahus Manuel stated:

“Kinder Morgan is misleading investors by suggesting they have secured the land base and Indigenous consent for the Trans Mountain pipeline.  They do not have consent from the Secwepemc and failure to recognize Secwepemc title, land rights and indigenous jurisdiction, will only result in more conflict, direct actions, blockades and Indigenous land occupations which will increase the risks and economic uncertainty for Kinder Morgan and its construction deadlines.”

Map highlighting Secwepemcul’ecw Nation along proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline route. Read the Risk Assessment Brief by the Indigenous Network on Economies & Trade HERE

As the updated INET summary brief, released, today, April 13, 2018,  “Standing Rock of the North” states:  “Despite the company’s insistence that the threats to the pipeline come from the provincial government, it is Indigenous jurisdiction that poses the greatest threat. Indigenous Peoples from across B.C., as well as non-Indigenous allies, have shown their opposition to the project, and its violation of Indigenous jurisdiction, through physical blockades. Kinder Morgan’s failure to take into account indigenous land rights and jurisdiction, including failure to obtain the prior informed consent of Indigenous Peoples, constitutes the greatest risk to the proposed development and investments. The surprise announcement from Kinder Morgan came on that same weekend that the company refrained from having high-profile Indigenous leaders arrested that joined in a blockade at its facility in Burnaby. This indicates the company recognizes the risks posed from rejection of the project by Indigenous Peoples. The failure of KML to yet again disclose those risks should be deeply disconcerting to investors and lenders.”

Over half of the proposed pipeline route of Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) passes through Secwepemc territory in the south-central Interior of British Columbia.

In the fall of 2017, INET prepared the Secwepemc Risk Assessment of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project that detailed the risks to investors, including Secwepemc land defence risk, legal risk, economic risk, political risk, reputational risk, regulatory risk and climate risk. It was tabled with investors in North America and Europe. Since then these risks and opposition to the TMEP project led by Indigenous Peoples has only grown.

Ska7cis Manuel, Acting Director of INET stated:

“Kinder Morgan’s announcement of a work stoppage is a win for land and water defenders and their dedication to environmental protection. There is a clear opposition to the tripling of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and the extraction of fossil fuels from the tar sands. Kinder Morgan’s announcement was not only irresponsible from an investors’ perspective, it is even more irresponsible since it calls on Canada to use executive force, while failing to take into account Aboriginal Title and Rights. This is a fundamental human and indigenous rights issue. INET has raised concerns about Canada’s oppressive tactics, including use of court injunctions to access Indigenous peoples’ resources, with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The stoppage reveals that Indigenous peoples’ rights have weight and there is a clear need for the full recognition of Indigenous peoples’ rights, anything else, including the use of force, will just result in increased uncertainty and risk.”

Related Documents

  1. Read the Risk Assessment Brief by the Indigenous Network on Economies & Trade HERE
  2. Read the Risk Summary by the Indigenous Network on Economies & Trade HERE

About the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) 

The Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET) is a network of Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous supporters who work toward promoting the economic dimension of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.  We have prepared legal arguments that Canadian policies that fail to recognize Aboriginal and Treaty rights and our decision-making regarding access to our lands and resources, constitute a subsidy under international trade law. Our submissions have been accepted by World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tribunals during the last round of the Canada USA Softwood Lumber Dispute.