Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, held an emergency Facebook Live town hall Thursday, connecting with constituents remotely from Ottawa. (FACEBOOK image)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP holds emergency town hall on pipeline purchase

Sheila Malcolmson says there were already environmental risks, now there are more economic risks

Nanaimo’s member of Parliament sees more risks for Canadians after the federal government’s announcement last week that it will be purchasing the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, held an emergency Facebook Live town hall Thursday, connecting with constituents remotely from Ottawa.

“Far from home, I really wanted to get a sense of how people were reacting, find out what kind of questions that they had, what’s the mood of people on the ground, people whose livelihoods could be affected, people whose pensions might be affected depending how this gets financed,” she said.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced on Tuesday the purchase agreement, which will see the Government of Canada buy Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion project and related pipeline and terminal assets for $4.5 billion.

“Our government believes that the commercial agreement we have reached with Kinder Morgan is the best way to protect thousands of good, well-paying jobs while delivering a solid return on investment for Canadians. This is an investment in Canada’s future,” said Morneau in a press release, with Carr adding that the deal “will help advance Canada as an energy leader, as a place where good projects get built.”

But Malcolmson called the agreement a “lose-lose proposition” for Canadians.

“It’s both economic risk for the taxpayers – not for the shareholders of Kinder Morgan – as well as the environmental risks…” she said. “People are really alarmed.”

RELATED: Prime minister left himself no choice on pipeline

RELATED: Trans Mountain pipeline and the economics of oil

She has concerns about investing in the fossil fuel industry and depending on job creation in the oil sands, and added that “the world is awash in cheaper, better-refinded sources of fuel.”

“It’s not clear at all that if we go ahead and subject now the taxpayer to the risk of spending $10 billion to construct the pipeline, that in fact the economic case is going to be there,” she said. “And that’s what a lot of us feel was Kinder Morgan’s assessment, which is why they were very happy to have it off-loaded to the prime minister and the taxpayer.”

Asked about her constituents working in the Alberta oil fields, Malcolmson said people are going to be working in the oil sands for a long time to come, but she doesn’t think spending billions on a pipeline is the way to save those jobs.

“Regardless, we’re going to have to make … investments in what’s the next layer of energy jobs in this country and I hope that it’s more diverse than what we’ve got right now,” she said.

A full day of debate on the topic is anticipated Monday, June 4, in the House of Commons.

Malcolmson said it’s important for people on Vancouver Island to keep talking about the issue, because she said B.C.’s coast is not something that people in eastern Canada can appreciate in the same way.

“I’m determined to stand up for the coast; I’m determined to defeat the Kinder Morgan pipeline and take the risk away from the people of our coast and the precious places of our coast,” Malcolmson said.

To view the emergency Facebook Live town hall, follow this link.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Plantitude giving Ladysmith vegans equal footing

New downtown restaurant believed to be downtown’s first featuring all vegan options

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

Volunteers take down after another successful Ladysmith Festival of Lights

Good crowd comes out for a sunny Sunday volunteer session of taking down decorations

Blood moon over Ladysmith

Gerry Beltgens shook off cold fingers this weekend to capture this image… Continue reading

Reflections of Ladysmith: The Art of Michael Dean

Work, place and people are inseparable for Vancouver Island painter

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in B.C.

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Most Read