Canada declares a Climate Emergency, then the very next day, approves a tar sands oil pipeline. The cognitive dissonance would be laughable, if it weren’t putting all of our lives at stake.
How on Earth did we get here?
By some seriously twisted logic.
Using that same magical thinking, when one of the richest oil companies in the world abandons a flailing pipeline project, it also makes perfect sense to use taxpayer dollars — first to bail the project out, then sell it to a consortium of Indigenous investors and call it ‘A Pipeline to Reconciliation’. We weren’t fans of Trans Mountain for all of the reasons a person who has been paying attention during a climate crisis would be. But now?
Consider the process around this re-approval of the TransMountain pipeline. Hasty, tokenistic ‘consultation’ with First Nations. The waste of time and resources of struggling communities, taken up solely to fulfil court-ordered conditions. During that Constitutionally mandated consultation process, a government takes notes with one hand and, with the other hand, writes cheques and orders up supplies for pipeline construction. An army of consultants listens impassively as elders, chiefs and council members explain their unwillingness to see their community aquifers, wild lands and salmon they depend upon sacrificed on the altar of Oil and Gas.
The conclusion? Build it, and figure out how the ‘benefits’ can flow to the same First Nations who just told you the project will destroy their way of life.
So how. On Earth. Do we keep going?
Because we have to keep on going. We plan to re-launch the Pull Together campaign with energy and a dose of joy: what else in these mad times can keep us sane? The movement that has stood firm with First Nations has been so full of spirit and love. Meanwhile, the oily machinations that are occurring in plain sight are hurting our relationships. They’re dividing the country and distracting us from seeing our common interests. They’re tainting the reconciliation process that many of us are deeply invested in. And the risk to our children’s future and to countless species that are being sacrificed as we bulldoze forests to make way for more fossil fuel industry? It’s unconscionable.
What’s left is to make sure that the principled voices of Indigenous Peoples make it to the highest courts in the land. Indigenous-led legal challenges stopped Enbridge, a project that had the full backing and blessing of the Harper regime. While it’s exhausting to hold governments accountable, it’s plainly the only thing that gets their attention.
We’re going to fight this, but you can’t put out fire with fire. We’re going to blow Trans Mountain out of our waters and off of our lands with friendship, solidarity and passion. Sign up to be an organizer in this next round of Pull Together.
For everyone who sees the obscenity of today’s pipeline approval, and continues to fight on anyway: thank you. You are a force for good. There is still a place you can put your energy that can make a difference: RAVEN and our co-conspirators who make up the Pull Together campaign are calling on everyone in this movement to back a new set of legal challenges to Trans Mountain. We also encourage you to take time out to acknowledge and provide supportive encouragement to each other on what is a dark day.
Draw from the never-ending wellspring of beauty and hope that surges through this movement. Tell your fellow coast protectors you love them. Call up that friend who writes every letter and signs every petition. Write to First Nations and thank them for holding the wall. We’re going to need to summon up every ounce of energy we can muster to remain steadfast over the next few months.
Thank you for being a beacon through the fog.