Q&A - Trans Mountain Expansion Project

1. What about the old pipeline and an agreement?

In the past, we have not had an agreement regarding the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, even though it runs through our reserves and our territory. The agreement that we vote on in February covers both the old and new pipelines. The agreement is written to cover the ‘Trans Mountain Pipeline System’ because both the old and the new pipe would be two parts of one system. This means we can have an agreement in place that covers the risks associated with the old and new pipeline.

2. Why would an agreement only last 20 years and not the life of the pipeline?

The shipping contracts for the pipeline only last for 20 years meaning that Kinder Morgan was not able to commit to payments beyond that 20 year period. The agreement states that after 18 years we must begin to negotiate a new agreement. We don’t know what the world will look like in 20 years time, or what options will be available to us to exercise our rights, so this option may be beneficial to LNIB in the long run. If we did not come to an agreement after 20 years, our consent to the project would lapse.

3. Why are we having a referendum? How was this decision made?

Deciding whether or not to accept the TMEP agreement is a huge decision for our community. After discussion, Council believed it was appropriate that the whole community have a say in the decision and so it was decided there should be a vote. The vote is being carried out under the rules of the LNIB ratification policy.

4. What happens if we say “no” to this agreement?

Kinder Morgan plans to move forward with the project even if we say no to the agreement. Kinder Morgan has all of the major government approvals that it needs to begin construction later this year. This means that if we say no to the agreement the project may still be built but we would not receive any benefits or oversight rights. To try to avoid this, our leadership would likely take steps to oppose the project, including working with our neighboring bands to protest the project.

5. How long is the agreement for?

If approved, the agreement will stay in place for 20 years from the “In Service Date” of TMEP. On year 18 of the agreement, LNIB and Kinder Morgan will meet to discuss the terms on which this agreement may be extended.

6. How much compensation will there be?

Under this agreement, LNIB would receive a series of payments. This would be a combination of:

  •      One-time payments.
  •      Annual payments for the life of the agreement.
  •      One time payments relating to emergency response, training   and fire hall upgrades.

For confidentiality reasons, the values of compensation cannot be shared in this document but will be available to members at community meetings. Full copies of the agreement are also available for members to view.

COPIES OF THE FULL CONDITIONAL AGREEMENT ARE AVAILABLE TO VIEW AT:

Vancouver
Miller-Titerle
209 Carrall Street #215
Vancouver BC

Kamloops
Raymond Phillips, Barrister & Solicitor
219-345 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops BC

Merritt
LNIB Lands & Economic Development Office
181 Nawishaskin Lane
Merritt, BC

7. What percentage is required for the KM Expansion Project to be passed by our members, etc 40% or under? What percentage is required for the project to move forward?

The vote taking place in February will decide whether or not we accept an agreement regarding the project. The project may get built whether or not we accept the agreement. Kinder Morgan already has all of the major approvals it legally needs to move forward with the project. The vote is taking place under rules set out by the LNIB ratification policy. This uses a ‘simple majority’ rule - we will proceed with whichever option gets the most votes no matter how many people vote. This is why it is so important that everybody votes to make sure their voice is heard.

8. This should be available for all band members to read at their leisure. As soon as possible.

We are making as much information as possible available to all members. The full agreement is available to view at all community meetings and:

  • The LNIB lands office in Merritt;
  • The office of Raymond Phillips, 216-345 Chief Alex Thomas Way, Kamloops; and
  • The office of Miller-Titerle, 209 Carrall St #125, Vancouver.

If you cannot make it to view the agreement, a summary has been produced. If you have not received a copy you can see the same information online here: http://bit.ly/tmepinfopack. All members will also receive a voting package in the mail with some information.

Some members have asked why the full agreement is not available to view online. We want all LNIB members to have the information they need, but there are confidentiality statements in the agreement which mean that we cannot make it available to non-members. If we put it online it would be too easy for others to copy

9. How will we make sure that future generations are considered as our population continues to grow?

If approved by membership, KMC’s proposed project support language would result in LNIB:

  •      Consenting to the Expansion
  •      Expressing its support for the Expansion, including in a “support letter”
  •      Agreeing not to directly or indirectly interfere with the Project

BUT ONLY FOR THE TERM (not before, not after)

This means LNIB could still seek remedies/compensation for past infringements and future operations (after 20 years)

Kinder Morgan will make job opportunities known to LNIB.

  •      LNIB would regularly share with Kinder Morgan a list of members who are interested in working, along with a list of their skills.
  •      Preferential hiring for Indigenous groups, including LNIB, for jobs relating to the Trans Mountain Pipeline System will take place.
  •      Support for short-term training for a member that needs it to qualify for an available position.
  •      LNIB and Kinder Morgan will work together to secure additional funding for education and training for LNIB members.
  •      Contractors working on the project would be bound by the same employment and training conditions as Kinder Morgan.

10. If the agreement is signed with the company would the band see benefits in aspects such as housing programs; elders home, single people, etc? 

If we proceed with the agreement, LNIB would decide how financial payments from the agreement are spent. It will up to our leadership and our community to decide which programs are funded by this in addition to any funding we can secure from elsewhere. It’s up to us to decide if programs like housing or an Elders’ home are priorities.