Indigenous-led group submits unsolicited bid to buy Trans Mountain pipeline
'This is a pivotal moment for Indigenous peoples,' says Project Reconciliation founder
Indigenous-led group Project Reconciliation has submitted a preliminary proposal to the federal government to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline.
A federal government official confirmed to CBC News that the proposal has been received, but the government is not yet accepting formal bids.
Project Reconciliation was founded by Delbert Wapass, a former chief of the Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan. The group is based in Calgary, and is proposing ownership of the pipeline be shared among participating Indigenous communities in Western Canada.
"The federal government supports an Indigenous-owned pipeline and we're glad to submit a preliminary proposal to do just that," said Wapass in a statement sent to CBC News.
"This is a pivotal moment for Indigenous peoples. If we get it right, we can build strong, Indigenous economies to give our communities the resources they need to thrive. We look forward to continuing discussions with the government over the coming months."
Project Reconciliation is not sharing details of the proposal as it will be subject to negotiation, but says the plan is to take part in the government's formal engagement process over the coming months.
The group said earlier this week it aims to submit a $6.9-billion offer, and that the investment would pay off by helping to alleviate First Nations poverty, a watershed for Indigenous people who have historically watched Canada's resources enrich others.
The majority of the cash flow would be put into a fund to invest in green projects.
The pipeline carries oil from Alberta to B.C.'s coast. If built, the 1,150-kilometre expansion project would nearly triple the existing pipeline's capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.
With files from Brennan MacDonald