Fossils (fuel) in a Reconciliation Era

Update: CER gave Trans Mountain what they asked for, reducing Sumas' hearing from ~205 km to ~21.

Original post:

detailed_route_and_realignments.pngThe issue of Indigenous title and rights is extra prominent in the Trans Mountain hearings right now, as Trans Mountain, a federal Crown corporation, ask the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) for a ruling reducing the geographic scope within which Sumas First Nation can argue their interests.

WaterWealth, like every Statement of Opposition filer and intervenor in hearings with overlapping geographic scope, was invited by the CER to comment on Trans Mountain's motion.

WaterWealth's comment used quotes from Trans Mountain's own references -- the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report, and a relationship agreement between Semá:th and the company (attached to an affidavit from Ian Anderson) -- as well as the 2015 mandate letter to the Minister of Natural Resources, the Terms of Reference of the Expert Panel on the modernization of the National Energy Board, the Expert Panel's Report, Bill C-69 from which the CER Act came, the CER Act, The CER's Expression of Interest for members of the CER Indigenous Advisory Committee (which has not been formed yet), the CER's 2020–21 Departmental Plan, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a 2017 Kinder Morgan press release quoting then Kinder Morgan Canada president and current Trans Mountain President and CEO, Ian Anderson. (Curiously, bookmark and history links from while writing the comment return 'page not found' errors now. It is available on the Internet Archive at time of writing.)

hearing_with_dino.jpgIt was a bit rushed to get it in by the CER's deadline. But every effort was made to produce a thoughtful and documented comment.

Trans Mountain got hissy in their reply, or that's how it felt anyway. Not addressing any of the points made in WaterWealth's comment, they wrote "WWP, as a long-time staunch opponent to the Project, is seeking to use the Motion comment process established by the Commission as an opportunity to create Project delay. This is an abuse of process that should not be condoned by the Commission."

No explanation of how filing a comment, at the invitation of the CER, by the deadline set by CER, would delay anything. WaterWealth did file a letter in reply to Trans Mountain's reply.

For anyone interested in Aboriginal law and Indigenous rights in Canada (like maybe Trans Mountain even), First Peoples Law (no connection to WaterWealth) have a recently updated reading list available here:


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