Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project: to Encourage or to Denounce?

by Camillebouchard on December 2, 2017 - 4:32pm

The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project, which consists of expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton and Burnaby, has been a subject of huge controversy ever since the project was announced in 2012. An article by Shawn McCarthy and Carrie Tait explains that although the construction of this pipeline expansion has already started, protesters from Burnaby, BC, have kept the construction from happening in their city. They argue that they have not been given enough information regarding the consequences that will be brought in by the pipeline, so they refuse to issue the permits needed for its construction. The citizens of Burnaby are not the only ones who have expressed concern regarding the Trans Mountain expansion project. The city of Vancouver, as well as many environmentalists and some First Nations, have all been against this project alongside the city of Burnaby.

                Despite the argument of ‘’ethical oil’’, which essentially implies that it is better to exploit oil from our own country than getting it from countries such as Saudi Arabia, people who are not in favor of the pipeline expansion are more worried by the environmental implications of this projects than getting the oil from somewhere else. Their main worries stand in the fact that the pipeline would go over ‘’a number of grounds, including marine safety and reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians’’. Not only would it be dangerous to have a pipeline going over water and risking it spilling in large quantities, as it has happened in other instances in the past, but the pipeline going over indigenous grounds would be disrespectful to First Nations considering that it is their territory and it is in their belief that their ground is sacred.

                Although I do agree with the fact that it would be better to exploit the oil from our country instead of importing it from elsewhere, I do think it is important to avoid going over water and indigenous grounds with the pipeline. I think it would be impossible to ensure the safety of the environment without a doubt, but I do think people in favor of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, especially those that are behind it, should take a step towards making compromises and changing the trajectory of their plan in order not to go over sacred grounds or areas that would be harder to manage if an oil spill ever occurred. It is important to me to take environment-friendly options into consideration when it is a possibility, and although the pipelines constitute a threat to the environment, I think oil spills and other disasters occurring because of the pipeline could be avoided if the company behind it was willing to listen to the people who are against the pipeline expansion.

 Would the best decision be to let the Kinder Morgan pipeline go over indigenous and marine grounds or to cancel the expansion project altogether? 


Mccarthy, Shawn and Carrie Tait. “Rachel Notley, Jim Carr to make case for Trans Mountain oil pipeline in B.C.” The Globe and Mail, 26 Nov. 2017,


Yes, pipelines are great for our economy, mainly because it is a main export, however I agree and disagree with you on some level. Before building a pipeline there should be many factors taken into consideration. For example, indegenous land, environmental implications, human safety etc. I personally think it would be best to cancel the project entirely if it is exploiting land that is not owned by the company. I think pipelines are pretty dangerous and the risks should be taken very seriously before expanding. I enjoyed reading about this topic and think it is very relevant for our economy today.

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