Stop TMX! No New Pipeline in a Climate Emergency!
Canada Is the Highest Emitter of Greenhouse Gases!
During the Vietnam War a United States military officer reportedly told an AP journalist, “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” On August 9, 2021, the Liberal government applied the same brutal logic to the climate emergency, claiming that the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline is needed to fund Canada’s already insufficient emission reduction commitments. Really, what Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Wilkinson are saying is, “We need to destroy the planet to save it.”
This is not the first time that the Liberal government has attempted to justify their continued support for massive fossil fuel extraction projects by claiming that a dirty tar sands pipeline is an environmentally sound project. Back to 2019, when the Trudeau government approved the TMX pipeline the day after declaring a national “climate emergency” in Canada. That time, Trudeau also promised that revenues from the pipeline would go to fight climate change, promising a $3 billion program to plant trees. However, two years later, the $500 million in projected yearly revenues has been exposed as nothing but smoke and mirrors, and the trees are not planted. Meanwhile, Canada is still the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases in the G20.
The TMX pipeline, which was bought for $4.5 billion by the government of Canada in 2018, is now projected to cost $19 billion taxpayer dollars and counting. On top of this, there is the $1.3 billion gifted to oil and gas companies through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program during the Covid-19 pandemic. These same companies continue generating massive profits and paying out millions in dividends to shareholders. Furthermore, there is the at least $3.3 billion annually given as subsidies to the fossil fuel sector. This figure could be at least five times greater according to Environmental Defence who reported $18 billion in subsidies and other forms of financial support handed out to oil and gas companies in 2020.
When Environment Minister Wilkinson says that TMX construction will “raise the revenues that enable you to actually make the investments that are required to go there [to reduce emissions],” it is a bold face lie. The Trudeau government has no excuses for why they couldn’t just have invested all this wasted money in environmental initiatives years ago.
Especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic it has become abundantly clear that the government of Canada and their billion-dollar oil and gas industry backers are sticking to same game plan led us down the treacherous path to the climate emergency to begin with. They continue to give lip service to environmental concerns and Indigenous rights — while going full bore ahead with massive resource extraction projects which completely disregard both.
Together We Can Stop TMX!
BC is halfway through a summer defined by the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, deadly heat waves, massive wildfires, and dangerous air quality. The United Nations IPCC report released this week confirms, once again, that we are in a climate crisis that threatens the future of humanity of this planet. However, we have no choice but to turn every new piece of devastating news about the crisis of our mother earth into a call to action. Now is the time for climate activists across BC, Canada, and the world to come together with creativity and dynamism, united in the belief that building a more united climate justice and Indigenous rights movement is possible and necessary.
Without continued organizing in opposition of TMX, this project would have already been built. Only continued united action in the streets, schools, and workplaces can stop them from being built once and for all. Whatever promises are made — whatever lies are told — it is people organizing against the climate crisis that will win a future for humanity and a healthy planet to live on.