Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP party, did not have nice things to say about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after hearing about the federal government’s plan for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Speaking on Parliament Hill, Singh said the Trudeau government’s overt willingness to work with Kinder Morgan, the American energy company spearheading the pipeline, is a “"betrayal of the people of British Columbia,” reports the National Observer.
Singh’s comment was made in direct relation to the federal government’s proposal to remove any barriers currently in place preventing the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The project is meant to connect oilsands in Alberta to B.C.’s west coast.
The city of Burnaby, part of Metro Vancouver, is preventing the construction of the pipeline by holding back building permits for the project.
Kinder Morgan criticized Burnaby for doing this, since the pipeline was already OK’d by the Trudeau government.
Now the Trudeau government is asking the National Energy Board (NEB) to create e a special panel that will review any building permit conflicts, which could simply go over the head of Burnaby and get construction started.
"They’re supporting the rights of a corporation to override the decision making of an elected body, the municipality of Burnaby," said Singh.
When campaigning in 2015, Trudeau had said that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project would undergo a rigorous environmental review process. That didn’t happen. Instead, the Trudeau government approved the pipeline using an assessment process from the previous Harper administration.
Kinder Morgan is now asking the NEB for approval to begin construction, without the need of building permits from Burnaby.
Natural Resources Minister Jim Car spoke for the Trudeau administration about this, saying “the government is supportive of establishing a process that would assist in resolving any conflicts over the issuance of municipal or provincial permits and avoid unnecessary delays to project construction or regulatory compliance."