Focus On

Ottawa names chair of advisory panel for Trans Mountain Expansion project

Monday, August 12, 2019 @ 12:27 PM | By John Chunn

Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Aug. 9 announced the launch of an engagement process with Indigenous communities aimed at determining how they can potentially participate economically — such as through equity and revenue sharing — in the Trans Mountain Expansion project (TMX project).

To ensure this process is successful, Morneau also announced the appointment of former Enbridge executive Linda Coady to lead an advisory committee of experts.

According to a release from Morneau’s office, other members will be announced shortly. The committee will provide guidance and support to the government as it advances its engagement work and hears from interested Indigenous communities.

The release added that the government intends for the engagement process to be open and fair. Discussions with Indigenous communities will be guided by the following principles:

  • That the potentially impacted Indigenous communities along the pipeline route have an opportunity for meaningful economic participation in the project;
  • That participation of Indigenous communities could help the economic development of their communities in keeping with the spirit of reconciliation;
  • That the government invested in Trans Mountain to benefit all Canadians; and,
  • That the TMX project will be built and operated on a commercial basis.

Morneau sent letters on July 9 to the 129 potentially impacted Indigenous communities, or their delegates, that might have an interest in securing economic partnership in the project.

The letters outline that the government will host discussions in Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops and Edmonton during August.

Indigenous communities are invited to participate and provide additional information about how to pursue the engagement process. Indigenous communities that are unable to attend in-person may arrange to meet by teleconference or to submit views in writing. This step will also allow for input from other interested parties, including the general public.

“The Trans Mountain Expansion project presents a real economic opportunity — for Canadians, and for Indigenous communities. With the approval of the project, we can begin discussions with the many communities that may be interested in becoming partners in getting Canada’s natural resources to market. Our government looks forward to moving the project forward in a way that reflects our commitment to reconciliation,” said Morneau.