Course:CONS200/2020/Implications of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion on First Nations communities in British Columbia

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The Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) is a proposal to expand the current Trans Mountain Pipeline that runs from Strathcona County, Alberta, to Burnaby, British Columbia[1]. The expansion involves twinning the existing pipeline, increasing the capacity of the system from approximately 300,000 barrels per day of oil and refined products to 890,000 barrels per day[1]. The TMX will run through 15 First Nation Reserve lands and many traditional territories of First Nations people in British Columbia[1]. First Nations groups remain divided on the project[2].


1.1 Government (to be expanded on)

  • Canadian Federal Government under PM Justin Trudeau
  • The decision of the federal government's purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
  • Canadian Federal Cabinet Ministers including Indigenous affairs and relations, environment justice and energy
  • British Columbia Provincial Government under Premier John Horgan

1.2 First Nations (to be expanded on)

  • Coast Salish Nations
    • Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe, Shxw'owhamel Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation[2]
  • The Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN)

1.3 Communities (to be expanded on)

  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
    • Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation[2]
    • Raincoast is a team of conservationists and scientists dedicated to using conservation science to protect the land, waters and wildlife of coastal British Columbia[3]
    • Ecojustice[4]
  • Role and impact of non-governmental organizations involved in the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Negative Impacts and Opposition

Concerns about the negative impacts of the TMX on First Nations communities in British Columbia have been raised by First Nations, First Nation individuals, First Nation organizations, environmental conservation groups, scientists, researchers, British Columbia settlers and settler organizations[2][5][6][7]. On July 9, 2019, six First Nations groups, including the Stk'emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation, Shxw'owhamel Nation, Coldwater Indian Band, Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and Squamish Nation legally appealed the Government of Canada's June 18, 2019 approval of the TMX, citing a lack of consultation and consent from impacted First Nations communities as well as not properly addressing oil spill risk[2].

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN), who have been opposed to the TMX since 2012, cite the project as being in violation of their law and a serious threat and harm to their people, culture, and land[5]. In 2015, the TWN released an assessment of the impact the TMX would have on their Nation[8].

Violation of Indigenous Law and Sovereignty




Oil Spill

Climate Change



Over the first 20 years after construction, the $12.6 billion dollar expansion project is expected to yield $46.7 billion revenue including tax[9]. Divided among provinces, Alberta will see $19.4 billion over the 20 year period, with British Columbia and the rest of Canada receiving $5.7 and $21.6 billion respectively[10].


Trans Mountain forecasts that there will be 5500 employees during the peak construction period, set to be mid-late 2021[11]. As of the end of 2019, Trans Mountain reported hiring over 2900, including 300 indigenous, and training 825 people, 110 of whom were indigenous[12].


Commercial Agreements

Mutual benefit Agreements with first nations groups are in excess of 400 million and include pipeline construction, education and jobs training, skills enhancement, business opportunities or improved community services and infrastructure[13]. There is no mention of ownership besides a 10% equity share reported to be a feature of the Northern Gateway MBA[14].

Employment and Training (to be expanded on)

  • employment
  • training
  • engagement
  • information gathering about the community

Procurement (to be expanded on)

  • business opportunities
  • collaboration
  • access to economic development opportunities

Community (to be expanded on)

  • community programs
  • infrastructure improvements
  • environmental stewardship
  • education and training
  • economic benefit from land access agreements
  • economic property tax payments
  • financial contributions  - through community benefit agreements


You should conclude your Wiki paper by summarizing the topic, or some aspect of the topic, and if possible, state a policy or other type of recommendation.


Please use the Wikipedia reference style. Provide a citation for every sentence, statement, thought, or bit of data not your own, giving the author, year, AND page. For dictionary references for English-language terms, I strongly recommend you use the Oxford English Dictionary. You can reference foreign-language sources but please also provide translations into English in the reference list.

Note: Before writing your wiki article on the UBC Wiki, it may be helpful to review the tips in Wikipedia: Writing better articles.[15]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Trans Mountain Corporation. "Expansion Project". Trans Mountain. Retrieved March 8, 2020. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Mengullo, Edwin Vladimir (July 15, 2019). "Report: First Nations groups challenge approval of Trans Mountain pipe expansion". SNL Canada Energy Week. Retrieved March 8, 2020. 
  4. "TransMountain 2.0: Challenging the federal government's project approval". Ecojustice. Retrieved March 16 2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tsleil-Waututh Nation. "Trans Mountain expansion (TMX) concerns". Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust. Retrieved March 8, 2020. 
  6. "Trans Mountain pipeline". Counsel of Canadians. Counsel of Canadians. Retrieved March 8, 2020. 
  7. Jonasson, Michael E.; Spiegel, Samuel J.; Thomas, Sarah; Lassi, Annalee; Wittman, Hannah (December 2019). "Oil pipelines and food sovereignty: threat to health equity for Indigenous communities". Journal of Public Health Policy. Volume 40, Issue 4: 504–517. doi:10.1057/s41271-019-00186-1 – via ProQuest. 
  8. Tsleil-Waututh Nation. "Read the Trans Mountain Assessment Report". Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative. Retrieved March 8, 2020. 
  9. "Project Benefits". Trans Mountain. Retrieved 8 March, 2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. "Project Benefits". Trans Mountain. Retrieved 8 March, 2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  11. "Project Benefits". Trans Mountain. Retrieved 8 March, 2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  12. "Project Benefits". Trans Mountain. Retrieved 8 March, 2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. Flanagan, Tom (2019). "How First Nations Benefit from Pipeline Construction" (PDF). Fraser Institute. Retrieved 8 March, 2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  14. Flanagan, Tom (2019). "How First Nations Benefit from Pipeline Construction" (PDF). Fraser Institute. Retrieved 8 March, 2020.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  15. (2018). Writing better articles. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jan. 2018].

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