Forty-two Order of Canada recipients from B.C. have penned a letter calling for the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to be abandoned altogether.
In a letter posted Thursday, the signatories said they are concerned about how the debate between economy and climate has divided the country deeply – a few weeks after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned approval for the project.
“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,” the letter reads.
Signed by recipients including Haida artist Dorothy Grant, pharmacology scientist Sidney Katz and child advocate Raffi Cavoukian, the group says they want to see a comprehensive energy transition plan that accounts for climate change.
“We agree with the Prime Minister that a healthy economy and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive. We propose that as a nation we invest in the transition to clean energy and a diversified economy as rapidly as possible,” the letter says.
“Working together, Indigenous communities, business, the labour movement, the non-profit sector, religious organizations, and government can generate long-term sustainable jobs in the field of clean energy. Re-training for those who suffer immediate job loss in this transition should become a public policy priority.”
Since the federal government purchased the pipeline for $4.5 billion in July, officials have said the government is considering what steps will be taken next.