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Canada: Indigenous people plan to own Trans Mountain pipeline

Canada: Indigenous people plan to own Trans Mountain pipeline

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 18 Jan 2019, 12:53 am

Toronto, Jan 17 (IBNS): A group of First Nations' plans to buy Trans Mountain pipeline and its controversial expansion plan from the federal government could boost Indigenous people's economy, media reports said.

But reportedly price tag for the First Nations is very steep considering that $4.5 billion was spent by federal government last summer to buy the existing pipeline and related infrastructure.

It is also reportedly expected that more than $7 billion would be spent on constructing the expansion pipeline.

In addition, National Energy Board (NEB) had been instructed to study the potential impact of the existing pipeline on the the marine environment.

The energy industry also recognized that indigenous communities need equity ownership in pipelines and other projects in order to proceed  and that companies need to work directly with them, Questerre Energy Corp. president and CEO Michael Binnion said.   

“I believe that in order to create real economies on reserves, real progress must be made on real indicators,” said Marlene Poitras, the influential Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations adding that projects needed to boost wages for Aboriginal people, educational opportunities and ownership opportunities. 

Ken Coates, a University of Saskatchewan professor and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute's senior fellow in Aboriginal and Northern Canadian issues was in favor of Indigenous People's proposal of owning the pipeline.

When asked by CBC News about the significance of the First Nations's proposal of owning the project one day and how it will change landscape for Indigenous groups, Coates had replied that the First Nations with their determination and confidence could own the project and have better control with oil and gas reserve and would boost their economic independence.

Coates added that it would also improve Canada's much-promised new relationship with Aboriginal people and that Canada should go out of its way, continued Coates, to create openings for Indigenous folks.

But, Coates added, that a lot of this possibility would depend on what price the government of Canada would charge for the pipeline and what the financial arrangements could be.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

Canada: Indigenous people plan to own Trans Mountain pipeline

India Blooms News Service
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