How the debate on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has impacted Canadians living along its route.
In just under a week, the people living along the proposed route of the long-stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could learn its fate.
The debate over the expansion project, which would triple the amount of diluted bitumen and other oil products moving from Alberta to Burnaby for international shipment, has pitted individuals, ideologies — and even provinces — against one another.
But there are more than two sides to this debate, as The Current’s Anna Maria Tremonti discovered when she set out on a road trip along the expansion’s proposed 1,150 km route, from Edmonton, Alta., to the B.C. coast.
Tremonti met a pipeline worker for whom Trans Mountain would mean work closer to home, and time with his young family. She also visited a school that has refused money to endorse the pipeline passing under its fields. And in Burnaby, she met a man who argues that the long-running pipeline debate has descended into a for-or-against mentality, where tribal loyalties beat informed opinion.
Consistent opposition and legal challenges have stalled construction of the expansion since its approval in 2016. In August, the Federal Appeal Court overturned Ottawa's approval of the project, citing inadequate consultation with Indigenous people.
The ruling also found the National Energy Board did not properly consider the impact of increased tanker traffic on the region’s endangered southern resident killer whales.
That decision was announced minutes before Kinder Morgan shareholders voted to approve the $4.5 billion sale of the pipeline to the federal government.
After further consultation and an environmental review by NEB, the government is expected to make its final decision by June 18.
In her documentary, Tremonti meets the people whose lives have become tangled up in years of divisive debate. Here are some of their voices.