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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta heritage committee signs off on request to commemorate Komagata Maru victims

The Descendants of the Komagata Maru Society proposed renaming a park, street or other civic asset

Clothing donation bins in Surrey are crucial for hospital auxiliary

Program is the organization’s only source of income not greatly affected by pandemic

COLUMN: Me to We Scandal – Should Teachers Be Recruiters?

Classrooms must be centres for education, not indoctrination

VIDEO: Body found after ‘suspicious’ fire near Langley/Surrey border

No cause of death announced; investigation continues, say RCMP

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

RCMP searching for culprit behind needle-filled lemons left on Coquitlam-area trails

The two lemons found were thrown away leaving police with little evidence

Most Read