Order of Canada recipients cite climate change and First Nations relations for wanting Trans Mountain pipeline cancelled

A letter by British Columbia recipients of the Order of Canada to the government and the broader Canadian community respecting a collective's view on the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

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Only a handful of Order of Canada recipients from British Columbia chose not to participate in a letter signed by 42 of their peers over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Signatories for a “Better Country”

Those that did decide to sign this letter, did so to vocalize their discontent over the Trans Mountain pipeline as it would be built from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia, impacting the environment and territories belonging to First Nations.

Justin Trudeau cannot afford to build the pipeline unless he wants to upset his gargantuan climate change base and provoke already tense relations between First Nations and the government.

The construction of the pipeline is, within itself, a highly volatile debate topic.

The letter begins with a message that sounds eerily similar to Trump sloganeering: “As members of the Order of Canada, whose motto is ‘They Desire a Better Country,’ we believe it is our role as citizens to speak out about our government’s purchase and building of the Trans Mountain pipeline.”

Addressing controversy

For all intents and purposes, the letter itself is admirable.

The signatories have the right intentions in endeavouring to maintain positive relations between Canadians, their First Nations communities, the government and the environment.

Mention of an inherent debate between the economy and climate is also a part of the letter.

The Order of Canada recipients expressed that they want to help resolve the conflict but also address their objective to see that the State honours its adherence to the Paris Climate Accord.

Lastly, the signatories discuss their desire for a future plan that, “includes opportunities for dialogue among Canadians to reduce divisiveness and create a future that is just and sustainable for all.”

Behind the letter

According to 2012 Order of Canada recipient, filmmaker Bonnie Sherr Klein, the concept behind the letter was fairly disorganized, but once the idea was fleshed out, it really began to prosper.

Other Order of Canada signatories involve such Canadian figures as popular environmental activist David Suzuki and artist Robert Bateman.

Canadians are awaiting a response from the handful B.C. recipients that did not sign the letter.

Sherr Klein admits that some of the recipients who did not sign preferred the government’s action to build the pipeline.  We still do not know if this was a motivating factor for other recipients to not sign the letter.


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Jonathan Wasserlauf
Jonathan is interested in the intersection between politics, pop culture, the media, and their audiences.
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