Polytechnic University announced that they have signed a Memorandum
of Understanding with Transmountain Pipelines, owned by Kinder
Morgan, to accept $300, 000 in funding over 20 years.
However, this money will only be
presented to KPU if the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan
Transmountain Pipeline is approved by the NEB. While none of the KPU
campuses are directly in the route of the pipeline, the Kwantlen
First Nation, which KPU is named after, are intervenors and strongly
opposed to the expansion.
This comes only four months after KPU
named its first Elder in Residence, Lekeyten of the Kwantlen First
Nation, and only one day after they celebrated National Aboriginal
Day on Campus.
After a significant amount of research the PIPE UP Network has
concluded that this expansion is not in the interest of our
community, from any perspective. It will be detrimental to our
health, environment and economy, especially in the event of a spill.
Not only is KPU suggesting its support for the proposed expansion,
it is disrespecting the opinions of its students, staff and the
Kwantlen First Nation by not having a consultation process on this
Justine Nelson, Chapter Coordinator for the PIPE UP Network and
Kwantlen Alumna, stated: “I am extremely disappointed in my school
for accepting this money, especially since it is contingent on a
project being approved that would be detrimental to our communities
and contribute to climate change. I have never been so embarrassed
to be a Kwantlen grad.”
“Many consider this type of ‘generosity’ to be a bribe, especially
since it will only be delivered if the proposal is approved,” said
Nelson. “While the university states it has no stance on the
pipeline, it has a duty to consider the effects this expansion will
have, and not succumb to Kinder Morgan’s attempts to buy support of
local communities”, she added.
Brandon Gabriel Kwelexwecten of the Kwantlen First Nation explains,
“Kwantlen Polytechnic University carries an Indigenous namesake, a
name which is imbued and carries a lot of respect across this land,
and is not to be taken lightly. Our community has worked hard, and
continues to work hard at trying to maintain an authentic
collaboration with Kwantlen Polytechnic University. This move flies
in the face of that so-called collaboration”.
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