AT WHAT POINT IS IT TIME to stop protesting and accept reality? I have the feeling that even after the last length of pipe of the Trans Mountain expansion is in the ground, somebody will be out there waving placards and vowing to fight it “for as long as it takes.”
Friday, it was revealed that the cost of the expansion has ballooned from $7.4 billion to $12.6 billion, not including the $4.3-billion purchase price. That brought howls from opposition MPs and from the Wilderness Committee environmental group, the latter calling on the federal government in a news release “to cut its losses and abandon the project.”
Said climate campaigner Peter McCartney, “There’s barely any pipe in the ground now but we know legal errors permitting delays, route changes and community resistance will drive up the price tag even further. There’s still time to walk away from this and the sooner the better.”
A couple of days before that, the Federal Court of Appeal decided federal consultations with indigenous groups had met the test. That has not pleased those who oppose the expansion.
One indigenous leader said it was a blow to reconciliation. Others vowed to launch a renewed legal challenge while they plan more protests.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.