News / Canada

Some quotes on the federal government's Tuesday pipeline decisions

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has approved Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., and Enbridge's lesser-known Line 3 pipeline expansion from Alberta to Wisconsin, but will kill the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across northern British Columbia. The decisions have sparked a lot of comment for and against. A sampling:

"This is about leaving a better country for our kids than the one we inherited from our parents. Today we are taking a strong step in that direction." Trudeau, in making the announcement.

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"We know that there are people who feel very strongly on either side of this decision. Regardless of the decision we were going to take today, there would be people upset. The decision we took today is the one that is in the best interest of Canada, the best interests of Canadians." Trudeau.

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I don't think that this pipeline will be built." Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose on Kinder Morgan.

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 "Approval is the beginning and yes is the beginning, but now he needs to use his political capital to see this project built and I don't think he has enough of it. ... The fight is on." Ambrose.

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"Justin Trudeau didn't just break his promise today, he broke the trust of many Canadians." NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, focusing on the Kinder Morgan ruling.

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"Many in B.C. and across the country voted Liberal because they were led to believe that this pipeline would not go forward under a Liberal government. It's clear today that they were misled." Mulcair.

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"To begin, I want to thank Prime Minister Trudeau and his government for approving these energy infrastructure projects, which are critically important to the economic future of the people of Alberta." Premier Rachel Notley.

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"Our province has been brutally slammed by the collapse in commodity prices. It has been a long, dark night for the people of Alberta as a result. Today we are finally seeing some morning light." Notley.

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"The government has taken a difficult decision, but one that is in the best interests of Canada. These pipelines will diversify our international energy markets, create much-needed jobs for Canadian families and benefit every region of the country." Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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"So-called sunny ways have turned out to be an illusion to cover up a Harper-like agenda in support of an ailing fossil fuel industry. Trudeau's claim to climate leadership is no more." Daniel Cayley-Daost, Council of Canadians energy and climate campaigner.

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 "Defending our way of life and the Great Bear Rainforest from the danger of oil spills has been exhausting work and yet it's a fight we would take up tomorrow in a heartbeat. We look forward to putting Enbridge behind us and sitting down with government to begin implementing an oil tanker ban on the North Coast of B.C." Arnold Clifton, chief councillor of the Gitga'at First Nation and opponent of the Northern Gateway project.

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"It doesn't mean that we will stand down. The struggle will simply intensify. It will become more litigious, it will become more political and the battle will continue." Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Chiefs, opposing the Kinder Morgan decision.

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"The Northern Gateway Pipeline was a dangerous proposal and we applaud the government's decision to deny it, however it does not justify the prime minister's decision to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline." Sven Biggs, energy and climate campaigner for Stand.earth (formally ForestEthics).

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"Now's our opportunity to send a clear message that we demand that we're listened to. The standard of consent is one of consensus amongst our people. And I don't see a day where our people will consent to destruction of the land, to destruction of the water. I just don't see it." Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

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"We can't go on as Mr. Trudeau is going on right now, this very moment. ... And our job now — or our task, our challenge — is with the leadership of the indigenous people around the world saying 'No, it's a different kind of discussion about our place on this planet and how we're going to live on Mother Earth." David Suzuki, environmentalist.

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"This is a defining moment for our project and Canada's energy industry. ... We're confident we will build and operate this project in a way that respects the values and priorities of Canadians." Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan.

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"I am profoundly disappointed with today's decision. ... The federal government's decision on Kinder Morgan is a missed opportunity for Canada, as there's never been a better time to aggressively shift to a clean energy future." Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

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"In anticipation of a federal decision, our government has been consistent in fighting for British Columbia with the five conditions for any new or expanded heavy-oil pipeline. That remains the case today, and we will work to ensure each of our conditions are met." B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak

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"Right now Prime Minister Trudeau is approving a project that is a violation of our stewardship policy and our law. ... This issue is as black and white as the killer whales they endanger. This is about our survival and the protection of our home, this inlet and the planet. They are making a big mistake, we will not allow this pipeline to be built." Charlene Aleck, spokeswoman for the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation's Sacred Trust Initiative, on Trans Mountain.

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"Our organization applauds the federal government for approving this project, which has undergone a comprehensive scientific and technical assessment and is subject to conditions that will ensure it is built to the highest safety and environmental standards." Iain Black, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, speaking about Trans Mountain.

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"Today's announcement may as well have said that Canada is pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. By approving the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 pipelines, there is no way Canada can meet those commitments. Justin Trudeau has broken his promises for real climate leadership, and broken his promise to respect the rights of indigenous peoples." Aurore Fauret, campaign co-ordinator with environmental group 350.org.

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"Let's be clear, though: Prime Minister Trudeau has picked a fight with British Columbians by approving Kinder Morgan — and it starts now. ... Today is the beginning of an epic battle to decide the kind of future we want for our communities, our country, and our climate." Caitlyn Vernon, director with the Sierra Club BC, on Trans Mountain.

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"In the courtroom or at the ballot box, First Nations and British Columbians will stop this Texas tanker project peacefully and democratically, just like we stopped Enbridge. Prime minister (Stephen) Harper learned the hard way what happens when you try to ram a pipeline through to the coast without consent." Kai Nagata, communications director with Dogwood Initiative, speaking about Trans Mountain.

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"From the beginning, the mere idea of supertankers carrying crude oil in Heiltsuk waters was horrifying. Today, we celebrate that this project is no longer a prospect. ... Our culture and economy are dependent on a healthy ecosystem. We count this announcement as a clear win for all coastal communities." Marilyn Slett, chief of the Heiltsuk First Nation, on Northern Gateway.