Ernie Crey said he welcomes the news of the $4.5B federal buyout plan for Kinder Morgan and the Trans Mountain Pipeline project. (Black Press Media)

B.C. Indigenous leader welcomes Trans Mountain pipeline buyout by feds

Bailout bodes well for those depending on pipeline project’s success, says Chilliwack-area chief

Cheam Chief Ernie Crey welcomed the news Tuesday of the $4.5 billion federal buyout of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Kinder Morgan Canada’s assets.

“There was a promise made, and obviously it’s going to be a promise kept, that one way or another this pipeline would be built because it’s in the national interest,” Crey said.

The livelihood of the Cheam community “also depends on it succeeding,” and the deal injects a stabilizing element into a project that was teetering on collapse.

“I am happy with this morning’s announcement,” said Crey, who has been very supportive of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) in light of the potential economic spinoffs for the Cheam. “It bodes well.”

Once the KM sale is complete, Canada will continue the TMX construction on its own, with a view to selling it down the road once market conditions are more favourable.

The Chilliwack-area chief has been vocal on social media and in the mainstream press for several months trying to shoot down the notion that B.C. First Nations were united in lockstep in opposition to the expansion.

READ MORE: FN not in lockstep on TMX

It’s not black and white, he argued, and there is no homogeneity on the pipeline issue, despite how it is being portrayed.

Crey wasn’t completely surprised either by the bailout decision announced by Liberal government Ministers Bill Morneau and Jim Carr.

“I knew the potential options they were facing, I just didn’t know which one they would settle on,” Crey said.

For those opposed to the pipeline twinning, including Indigenous leaders and environmentalists, the bailout probably came as a “big surprise, if not a shock,” he said.

READ MORE: Local bands say no to KM benefits

“Some felt this was in the bag, and that it would be not built after all, but sadly for them it has been made clear this thing is going to be built,” Crey said.

As co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory & Monitoring Committee, a committee to undertake the monitoring of the pipeline during and after construction, as well as elected chief of Cheam First Nation, which has signed mutual benefit deals and employment agreements, Chief Crey has a decidedly different viewpoint than some pipeline opponents.

“Cheam formed partnerships with 13 companies involved in the pipeline construction process, and during the post-construction phase,” Crey said, adding some are national companies, while others are local.

Construction could get underway by this summer, and that would be welcome.

The training, the full-time employment, and the earnings the Cheam will realize as a result of TMX will be “driven back into the businesses” operated by individual band members, and band-owned ventures, Crey noted.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Could Thunder in the Valley roar at Alberni’s airport once more?

City of Port Alberni offered Stamp Avenue as a temporary solution

John Douglas looks forward to a “healthier” Port Alberni

Douglas has resigned from his position at the Port Alberni Shelter Society to run for mayor

Alberni weightlifter heads to world championship

Dhaliwal is ranked second in the Pan Americas and fifth overall in the world

Wildfire crews gain upper hand on Arbutus Ridge fire

Controlled burning helping to contain fire: Coastal Fire Centre

D.O.A. brings punk rock to Port Alberni’s Rainbow Room

New generation of punk bands help D.O.A. celebrate 40 years of performing

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read