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

North Thompson Fall Fair Ambassadors crowned

Congratulations to the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association’s newly crowned… Continue reading

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

New Barriere Fire Chief appointed

Ashley Wohlgemuth first woman to serve as Fire Chief in Barriere

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Third overall in Canada for McLure, B.C. cowboy

McLure junior bull rider, Jake Bradley, finished third overall at the recent… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read