#Canada, #IndigenousPeople, #TransMountainPipeline
Toronto, Jan 17 (Canadian-Media): A group of Indigenous people plan to buy Trans Mountain pipeline and its controversial expansion plan from the federal government of Canada, media reports said.
Trans Mountain Pipeline. Image credit: Pixaby
It is reportedly believed that this could boost the economy of the Indigenous people.
But considering that federal government last summer spent reportedly $4.5 billion to buy the existing pipeline and related infrastructure, price tag for the Indigenous people is high.
On top of that it is reportedly expected that more than $7 billion would be spent on constructing the expansion pipeline.
The approval of the National Energy Board (NEB) which studies the potential impact of the existing pipeline on the the marine environment is also required.
Indigenous communities need equity ownership in pipelines and other projects in order to proceed, suggested energy industry 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.
But Ken Coates, a University of Saskatchewan professor and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute's senior fellow in Aboriginal and Northern Canadian issues favored Indigenous People's proposal of owning the pipeline.
When questioned by CBC News about the significance of the First Nations's proposal of owning the project and its impact on the landscape for Indigenous groups, said Coates that the First Nations were determined and confident that once they own the project, their economic independence would be boosted.
It would also improve Canada's much-promised new relationship with Aboriginal people, continued Coates, and that Canada should go out of its way 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)