Trans-Mountain pipeline news expected today
VaNCOuVEr — Two key B.C. cabinet ministers are expected to outline the government’s next steps Thursday on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after campaigning against the project.
No details have been provided about the announcement by attorney general david Eby and Environment Minister george heyman, but the future of the $7.4-billion project has been heavily scrutinized since the NdP government came to power.
Premier John horgan promised on the campaign trail earlier this year to use “every tool in the toolbox” to stop the project, but a mandate letter to heyman softened the language, saying instead he must “defend B.C.’s interests in the face of” the expansion.
Last month Eby said the province would not artificially delay permits for the project, because doing so would risk a costly lawsuit from proponent Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada.
several First Nations and municipalities have filed legal challenges against the expansion, which would triple the capacity of the alberta-to-B.C. pipeline and increase the number of tankers in Vancouver-area waters seven-fold.
The project has been approved by Ottawa and the province’s former Liberal government.
Trans Mountain says construction is set to begin in september.
“It could have serious detrimental effects,” said Lynch-Staunton, who also serves as Issues Manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
As the Canada Food Guide is taught in schools as nutritional curriculum, he’s especially concerned about the long-term effects.
“One of the problems is that children are especially vulnerable to not getting the right nutrients — especially protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12,” Lynch-Staunton said.
“Instead, they’re eating too much sugar or processed foods, which can be a problem.”
With statistics suggesting a drop in meat consumption among Canadians, he questions why obesity levels aren’t seeing similar declines if animal-sourced proteins are such a concern.
Colleen Biggs, owner of TK Ranch near Hanna, agrees the province’s beef industry is too important to risk any rash changes to Canadian food policy.
“Ranching in a commodity driven world is difficult at best, it is very similar to the boom and bust economy of the oil industry,” she said.
“Many ranch families barely survived the post-BSE era and continue to struggle to make ends meet. Perhaps those that are suggesting changes to the Canada Food Guide need to spend more time down on the farm to determine what is actually healthy for Canadians instead of further deteriorating our agricultural communities.”