Who Supports the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion in Canada?

With all the media coverage of anti-pipeline protestors and anti-pipeline narratives over the past several years, you would think no one in Canada supports the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion (TMX). This is a major misconception many have about the project which could not be further from the truth.

Recent polls suggest that a majority of both Canadians and British Columbians support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. A few examples of the most recent polls conducted in Canada (Note: these are not "hand-picked" either, but show a general trend of consensus across the country):

Dec. 2019: More British Columbians Supportive of Trans Mountain: Canseco

Dec. 2019: Three-in-five Canadians Support Construction of New Pipelines: Nanos

June 2019: Majority in every province but 1 back Liberals’ Trans Mountain decision: Angus Reid

But lets put the microsample polling aside for now. Several First Nations, organizations and governments have voiced their support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Here's as many as we could find:

Indian Resource Council

The Indian Resource Council (IRC) has membership totalling over 130 First Nations communities throughout Canada. Its board of directors support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and have been actively opposed to Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 in the past.

Today, some members of the IRC have formed a group called Project Reconciliation which aims to buy a 51 per cent stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Project Reconciliation is offering all Indigenous groups in Western Canada – more than 300 in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan – an opportunity to be a stakeholder in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

National Coalition of Chiefs

The National Coalition of Chiefs (NCC) is an organization of First Nation Chiefs and Mètis leaders who supports the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The NCC’s motto, “Working to defeat on-reserve poverty.”

Leaders of the NCC look to natural resource development as the best opportunity to get their communities out of widespread poverty.

Dale Swampy, President of the NCC:

"There are maybe as many as 400 Chiefs across this country who support industry, who are pro-development, who want to participate as partners in this economy."

Dale Swampy, National Coalition of Chiefs, Supports Resource Development

Iron Coalition

The Iron Coalition is an Alberta-based group of First Nations who are looking to purchase a majority stake in the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

The organization has sent formal letters to all First Nations and Mètis in Alberta to join their ranks; several communities have already committed to the coalition.

The Iron Coalition is the only Aboriginal group to be mandated by the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs (AoTC) to pursue ownership in the TMX pipeline.

Project Reconciliation

Project Reconciliation is an Aboriginal-led organization looking to purchase a majority stake in the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

According to the group, the TMX purchase is an opportunity for its members to lead their communities out of widespread poverty and reap the economic benefits the project would bring.

Led by Delbert Wapass, a former Chief of the Thunderbird First Nation in Saskatchewan and board member of the IRC, Project Reconciliation has put together an innovative financial structure that makes it easy for any of the 340 First Nation and Mètis communities across western Canada to join the initiative.

Delbert Wapass, Executive Chair & Founder, Project Reconciliation:

“It’s high time Indigenous Peoples had a seat. This is about us taking the lead on protecting the environment and controlling the revenue that will allow us to move from poverty to prosperity.”

“The owners of traditional lands should own the pipeline to take Canada’s resources to market. That’s reconciliation in action and it will improve Indigenous lives.”

Delbert Wapass, Project Reconciliation, First Nations Group Wants to Buy Trans Mountain

48 First Nations En-Route

According to Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project now has signed 48 benefit agreements with First Nations communities along the pipeline route compared to 43 a year prior.

Mutual benefit agreements (MBAs) define a voluntary and long-term relationship between the project operator and First Nations communities.

By April of 2018, Kinder Morgan had entered into around 100 agreements, including:

> Letters of Memorandum or Understanding

> Relationship Agreements

> Mutual Benefit Agreements

> Integrated cultural assessments

> Capacity funding agreements

With the most recent rounds of consultations by the federal government, now even more agreements have been made with Indigenous communities along the pipeline route.

Confidence in Canada Coalition

The Confidence in Canada Coalition was founded in 2018 to support the Trans Mountain pipeline and bring awareness to other potential economic-stagnating policies.

It represents the interests of over 110 businesses and organizations across Canada.

In response to the TMX pipeline's approval on June 18th, 2019, Confidence in Canada issued a statement saying while it supports the approval, government needs to now get the project built.

Confidence in Canada Coalition (June 2019):

"We are pleased to see the federal government’s final decision today granting approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) Project.

After more than seven years of review, it’s time to get shovels in the ground.The government of B.C. must now respect the federal government’s decision that this project is in the national interest and must proceed without further delay."

4 Major Organizations in British Columbia

Shortly after Kinder Morgan announced its decision to stop all work on the pipeline in May 2018, four major organizations in British Columbia were quick to express their concern and reiterate support for the TMX. They include:

> Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

> Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC)

> Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA)

> Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia (ACEC-BC)

Iain Black, President & CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (May 2018):

“This matter has gone well beyond the merits of a project. It has gone beyond the debate as to carbon-based energy exports and Canada’s global role in producing and selling them.

And it has gone beyond the economic argument about B.C.’s ongoing, enormous reliance on natural resources and how Canada is currently selling better, cleaner energy products to the USA at massive discounts because we can’t get them to tidewater.”

Keith Sashaw, President & CEO, ACEC-BC (May 2018):

“If investors cannot rely on a process that spells out what specific steps need to be taken for a project to proceed, especially for major projects that can take years to review and involve billions of dollars, why would they even consider future investment in British Columbia?”

Greg D’Avignon, President & CEO, BCBC (June 2019):

“The approval of the best-in-class Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is vital for an open trading economy that must have access for natural resources and energy products to get to diversified global markets”

Chris Gardner, President, ICBA (June 2019):

“TMX has seen many twists and turns along the way, but we are happy and relieved that construction has been given the green light…

It’s time to build this pipeline and secure the investment, jobs and opportunities that will be an important part of Canada’s long-term prosperity.”

Business Council of British Columbia: Pipelines in Canada and Usa

BC Chamber of Commerce

The BC Chamber of Commerce is yet another major provincial organization who supports the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

As the province’s largest and most proudly based organization with 36,000 members, it expressed support of the federal government’s approval of the project for a second time.

Val Litwin, President & CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce (June 2019):

“British Columbia is projected to receive $5.7 billion in revenue from the project over the next 20 years—to the benefit of communities throughout BC, including First Nations and Indigenous communities.

But ‘approved’ does not mean ‘built.’ We need to see a solid plan to complete the project, in order to realize these benefits and send the message to the world that BC is open for business.”

The Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia

The Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia (COSBC) represents operators, shipping agencies and vessel owners involved in international trade through Canada’s coastal waters.

The organization issued a letter of strong support for the federal government’s second approval of TMX in June.

Robert Lewis-Manning, President, COSBC (June 2019):

“The marine transportation industry is supportive of the safe and responsible export of oil to world markets and we are pleased to see that the federal government is supportive of our ability to move oil safely.

We are optimistic about the future of this project, and the value that it will bring to the Canadian economy.”

Bill C-48 Hurts Canada's Economy and Global Competitiveness: Business Leaders

Surrey Board of Trade

The Surrey Board of Trade (SBofT) “applauds” the government’s most recent decision on Trans Mountain, saying that now construction permits should be “expedited” to speed up construction.

In a news release on June 18th, 2019, the SBofT reiterates how pipelines are critical to the national economy, as they generate research and development, create jobs and investment and “spur growth in all sectors of an economy.”

Anita Huberman, CEO, SBofT (June 2019):

“We have some semblance of economic certainty again in Canada. International investment confidence in Canada has become a concern as a result of this prolonged delay…

Moving crude oil by rail through suburbs is far more hazardous than using state-of-the art technology in pipelines. A portion of the new construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline will go through Surrey.”

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce released a statement online saying:

“We join the BC and Canadian Chambers in supporting the decision. The project will inject billions of dollars into the Canadian economy and provide much needed revenue to support essential services in this province and the country.”

In May 2018 shortly before Kinder Morgan announced it would suspend all construction activities by the 31st, Carmen Sparg, President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce reiterated her organization’s support for the project.

Carmen Sparg, President, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce (May 2018):

“The $7.4 billion project will allow Canada to get one of its most valuable natural resources to international markets and allow Canadian companies to get a fair price for their product.

The Trans Mountain expansion will create thousands of jobs and generate millions of dollars in economic activity across the country.”

Calgary Chamber of Commerce

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce has never been shy about its support for the TMX pipeline.

In a news release on decision day, the chamber insists that access to international markets for Canada’s resources is essential for economic prosperity across the country.

Dr. Sandip Lalli, President & CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce (June 2018):

“This is a conversation that we are already championing alongside a Canada-wide group of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade who are advocating for more ‘and’ conversations.

Canadians for Natural Resources is about getting a fair price for our natural resources so that we can create a strategic plan for our country’s energy future.”

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce joints the long list of Canadian chambers across the country who support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

With suspension of all construction activity looming on May 31st, 2018, the Edmonton Chamber issued a news release saying it was happy that the federal government bought the pipeline, but it wasn’t time to celebrate just yet.

Janet Riopel, President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce (May 2018):

“The completion of Trans Mountain will reinforce Canada’s reputation as a stable and reliable destination for international investment.

This pipeline is fundamentally important for economic and environmental reasons, but it has now taken on broader significance as a symbol of Canada’s inability to approve and build major projects.”

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), has repeatedly voiced his support for the TMX pipeline.

After the National Energy Board (NEB) confirmed for a second time that the project was in the national interest in February, he was pleased with the result and recommended the TMX gets built without any further delay.

The federal government’s recent approval in June of 2019 was also approved by Beatty, as shown by this post on his Twitter account:

Business Council of Canada

Goldy Hyder, President & CEO of the Business Council of Canada (BCC), is another top executive who supports the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

The BCC released a statement after the second approval of the TMX welcoming the decision and reiterating how the project is:

> “…a critical piece of Canada’s energy infrastructure…”

> “… will help to ensure that Canadians receive full and fair value for our resources in international markets…

> “…will create many thousands of well-paid jobs…”

> “…will generate a steady stream of tax revenue for all three levels of government…”

Goldy Hyder, President & CEO, BCC (June 2019):

“The ability to deliver oil to customers beyond North America is critical to ensuring that Canadians receive full and fair value for their resources.”

Goldy Hyder BCC CEO who supports the trans mountain pipeline expansion

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association

According to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), delays in building the TMX are costing Canadians $693 million annually.

This echoes concerns the organization has about further delays as it recommended to government to build the pipeline as soon as possible to avoid more losses for Canadians.

Chris Bloomer, President & CEO, CEPA (June 2019):

“TMEP [Trans Mountain Expansion Project] must be built as soon as possible, and steps should be taken to end government ownership of the pipeline.

With these steps, we will start to signal to the world that Canada is, in fact, open for business.”

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Tim McMillan, President & CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), has always been a vocal proponent of the TMX.

CAPP says that once built, shipping oil overseas will enable Canada to receive full value for its natural resources and help reduce net global greenhouse gas emissions.

Tim McMillan, President & CEO, CAPP (June 2019):

“The Fraser Institute concluded in a recent report that in 2018 alone, around $20 billion in revenues were lost because of the lack of pipeline capacity. The time to build Trans Mountain is now.”

Mayor of Fort St. John, BC

Lori Ackerman, the Mayor of Fort. St. John in northern British Columbia, has consistently voiced her support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

A few years ago she did an interview with CBC’s Radio West, saying there’s “a huge silent majority” of Canadians in the Lower Mainland who support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Just recently she joined Scott Moe, Greg Rickford, Ellis Ross, Sonya Savage and Gèrard Deltell – elected government officials from across the country – at Canada’s largest oil and gas rally on June 11th, 2019.

A few thousand pro-pipeline protestors came to show their support for the TMX pipeline and protest Bills C-48 and C-69.

Lori Ackerman, Mayor, Fort St. John, B.C., supports Canadian natural resources

Mayor of Hope, BC

Peter Robb told CTV News that the twinning of the original Trans Mountain would bring economic benefits galore to his community year-round.

He also added that all of British Columbia would benefit and understands why some are against the project, but feels added precautions will make sure no accidents happen.

Peter Robb, Mayor, Hope (June 2019):

"The expansion will, of course, inject a lot more income into the community. A lot of our businesses in town will benefit from it.

In fact, the province will benefit from it right now, especially with the shutdown of a lot of the mills and forestry sector."

Mayor of Kamloops, BC

Ken Christian has been one of those municipal mayors who have supported the Trans Mountain Pipeline all along.

Ken has voiced his opinion on the expansion, saying that shipping oil by pipeline is much more efficient and safer than doing it by rail.

Ken Christian, Mayor, Kamloops (June 2019):

“The shipment of fossil fuels and oil products by pipeline is far more efficient and far more environmentally responsible than shipping it by train.

The potential for a catastrophic spill within the waterways alongside the railway tracks is a very real situation that will be mitigated by having that product in a brand new pipeline in an existing corridor.”

Mayor Kamloops Ken Christian Supports Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion

Mayor of Williams Lake, BC

Walt Cobb, the Mayor of Williams Lake in the interior of British Columbia, has voiced his support for the Trans Mountain expansion.

He believes it’s important for all municipalities who support the project to express it publicly, as him and his council did with the letter they sent to the provincial and federal governments.

Walt Cobb, Mayor, Williams Lake (2018):

“In all the information I’ve received, without a doubt, it is the importance of this project not only to B.C. and Canada that stands out.

We need development in British Columbia.”

Mayor of Fort McMurray, AB

Fort McMurray’s Mayor Don Scott is a long-time advocate of the TMX pipeline.

When the project’s approval was overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal in August of 2018, he immediately issued a statement reiterating his support and economic importance of Trans Mountain.

Don Scott, Mayor, Fort McMurray (August 2018):

“This critical piece of national infrastructure is much needed and will play a major role in helping create a stronger region, while the long-term social and economic benefits positively impact all of our residents, Albertans and Canadians.

The project is in the national interest and can only help the oil sands industry be more efficient, effective and sustainable. When we succeed, Canada succeeds.”

Mayor Fort McMurray Don Scott Opposes Bill C-48

Mayor of Kindersley, SK

During the Senate Committee hearing for Bill C-48 in Regina on May 1st, 2019, Kindersley Mayor Rod Perkins showed up with a town council member to testify before the Senate.

As a town of about 5,000 people in rural Saskatchewan, Rod comments on how pipelines have been operating safely in and around his community and that Canada needs to take advantage of the opportunity they bring.

Rod Perkins, Mayor, Kindersley (May 2019):

"To our minds, Energy East and Trans Mountain would give us the opportunity to go both east and west to sell to the world.

Whether or not we like it, our Canadian dollar is a petrodollar. Many economists will say that it’s based on the oil price in a lot of instances."

Mayor of Edson, AB

For the town of Edson and its Mayor Kevin Zahara, the lack of pipelines has left the city's streets eerily quiet. He is another municipal mayor who supports the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Prior to the oil crash, there were up to 1,400 out-of-town workers staying in hotels and using town services daily. Today, all that remains of those good times are large stockpiles of pipelines in nearby yards.

Kevin Zahara, Mayor, Edson (June 2019):

"It's kind of like a dark cloud's been hovering over our community. We're very excited to see this project move forward."

13 Mayors from Edmonton Region, AB

In May of 2018, a coalition of leaders from 13 municipalities representing 1.3 million Albertans in the Edmonton region took action to urge provincial and federal governments to support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Municipalities part of the coalition:

  • Edmonton
  • Leduc
  • Fort Saskatchewan
  • Stony Plain
  • Beaumont
  • Devon
  • Morinville
  • Albert
  • Spruce Grove
  • Leduc County
  • Parkland County
  • Strathcona County
  • Sturgeon County

Just recently, with the second approval of the project, Mayor Don Iveson of Edmonton has reaffirmed his support for the project and how the TMX is “… near and dear to many of our hearts.”

Mayor of Calgary, AB

Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary knows how important new pipeline capacity is to his city and province.

He has repeatedly expressed his support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, recently saying that the pipeline is a “nation-building project,” which will help open up international markets for companies based in Calgary.

He also expressed his concern for Bill C-48 and C-69 which have both passed the third reading in the Senate as of yesterday, meaning they will be given Royal Assent over the summer and made law.

Naheed Nenshi, Mayor, Calgary (June 2019):

“By providing multiple markets for Canadian oil, we will no longer be held captive by a market that is increasingly providing for their own needs”

A Majority of Provincial Premiers

A majority of provincial premiers from coast-to-coast support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. Even Dwight Ball, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, knows the value to Canada and its provinces of an economically strong Alberta:

“…any investment that we would see in Alberta that helps facilitate getting their oil to tide water is good news for all of Canada.”

Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland & Labrador, supports the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Stephen McNeil, the Premier of Nova Scotia, also knows the value of getting Canada’s oil to tidewater for export to international markets. He has expressed his support for access to Canada’s west and east coasts when it comes to moving energy resources and that broadening our country’s access to more international markets just makes sense.

"We've continued to rely on one customer, which is the United States. The movement of that product [oil via TMX] to the West Coast makes sense to me and that product should be allowed to go into the marketplace."

Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, Supports the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion

Blaine Higgs is another proponent who supports the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. As the Premier of New Brunswick, his province is home to Canada’s largest refinery and knows the economic benefit responsible natural resource development can bring to the nation.

"...New Brunswick... we're a recipient of transfer payments, and where is that money coming from? It's coming from provinces like Alberta that are contributing heavility into the coffers of the federal government... so I think we need to fight nationally to help Alberta have a market [for its oil and gas].

Blaine Higgs Premier of New Brunswick supports the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Like McNeil, Higgs is also a strong supporter of the now defunct Energy East Pipeline.

Doug Ford, Brian Pallister and Scott Moe, the Premiers of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, are also on the massive list of Canadian leaders and organizations who support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

A majority of Canadian premiers support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Do You Support the TMX?

An overwhelming number Canadians, premiers, mayors and First Nations all support the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

If you want to see this project get built like they do, we invite you to be a part of the movement at Canada Action in supporting our natural resource sector, which is the backbone of our economic prosperity. The responsible development of our natural resources provides immense opportunities for Canadians coast-to-coast.

As one of the most transparent, regulated and environmentally-friendly nations in the world when it comes to resource development, Canada should be taking advantage of its vast wealth of resources – but we’re not.

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