Kinder Morgan stalls, but so does Canadian Government on orca recovery
In good news from Canada, Kinder Morgan has stopped all “non-essential production” of its Trans Mountain pipeline as the province of British Columbia and many First Nations continue to fight the proposal in court. The pipeline expansion would increase the number of oil tankers – by as many as 408 per year, a 700% increase – travelling through federally designated critical habitat for the endangered Southern Resident orca community.
Citing concerns from shareholders and political risks, Kinder Morgan stopped non-essential spending and construction in early April, and gave the Canadian Federal Government until May 31st to provide assurance to the company and develop an agreement with those opposing the pipeline. Prime Minister Trudeau continues to support the pipeline, despite multiple environmental concerns and the recognized impacts to the endangered orcas that his administration has committed to protecting.
And despite that promised commitment to protect the endangered Southern Resident orcas and increase recovery efforts, the Canadian Government has continued to stall in identifying and enacting any new initiatives to help the orcas and their primary food, Chinook salmon. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) acknowledged a petition submitted earlier this year by a coalition of Canadian conservation groups, but has yet to take action and issue the requested emergency order.
Canada has developed significant actions on the East Coast to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales after an unprecedented 18 deaths, 12 of which were in Canadian waters, in less than a year. DFO is capable of taking action, but is lagging far behind in following through on its promise to recover Southern Resident orcas.
Help WDC protect the home of the Southern Resident orcas: Sign our letter to expand critical habitat.