VICTORIA B.C. – Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is asking why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not holding public meetings with community leaders who are concerned about the Trans Mountain pipeline during his visit to British Columbia.
“Prime Minister Trudeau ran on a platform of openness and transparency that included a commitment to dialogue, yet he is hiding behind scripted answers and media interviews. Mr. Trudeau is well aware of the deep concern British Columbians have with his approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline. He is now in B.C. for the first time since the approval and is not making a single public appearance. He has not announced any plans to hold an open, public forum or to engage directly with British Columbians and community leaders around their concerns.
“No wonder no one believes what politicians say. Trust is something that is earned, and the prime minister doesn’t seem interested in it.
“The Liberal election platform stated very clearly that, ‘While governments grant permits for resource development, only communities can grant permission.’ B.C. communities are far from granting permission for this pipeline to bring heavy oil to our pristine coast.
“Part of the reason for that is that British Columbians have consistently seen their concerns ignored. Hundreds were denied the right to participate in the National Energy Board review and those who were involved couldn’t get answers to basic questions from Trans Mountain.
“You cannot address those concerns through tug boat announcements and media interviews. Only an open, unscripted debate will give British Columbians the opportunity to hear their concerns truly represented and responded to.
“We have heard elected officials, nonprofit leaders and community members from across our province raise highly informed and credible concerns about the pipeline. If Mr. Trudeau truly stands by what he says about social license and honest dialogue, then he owes it to British Columbians to have an open dialogue with these community leaders.
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Mat Wright, Press Secretary, Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
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