Mr. Speaker, this summer I had the pleasure of visiting the Coldwater reserve near Merritt, British Columbia. Chief Lee Spahan showed me where the existing Trans Mountain pipeline cuts through the reserve and its water supply. He reminded me that this pipeline, now owned by Kinder Morgan, is a strong symbol of our colonial past. It was rammed through Coldwater and other reserves in the 1950s, when indigenous people were prohibited by law from voting in elections or hiring lawyers.
Yesterday the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the federal government failed in its duty to protect the interests of the Coldwater band by granting new land access rights based on old, unjust colonial arrangements, thus jeopardizing Kinder Morgan's future pipeline expansion plans.
The Prime Minister portrays himself as the champion of reconciliation. A reconciliation champion would not appeal this ruling. A reconciliation champion would not contemplate using the army to force new pipelines through reserves by arresting first nation people and their allies. A true reconciliation champion would reverse the decision on Kinder Morgan.