Indigenous leaders pitch sustainability to Kinder Morgan shareholders

Shareholders passed a Union of BC Indian Chiefs proposal at meeting

Protests against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion continue in B.C. (Protect the Inlet)

Anti-pipeline activists are declaring a win after shareholders at Kinder Morgan’s annual general meeting Wednesday voted in favour of a proposal to issue annual sustainability reports.

Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Indian Band near Chase, along with a delegation from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, had headed down to the company’s annual general meeting in Houston, Texas, to present a proposal from the New York State Common Retirement fund.

The fund, which is a major investor in Kinder Morgan, wants annual reports that lay out Kinder Morgan’s environmental, social and governance risks, and its efforts to mitigate those risks, related to major projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The pipeline project, which would twin an existing pipeline that extends from central Alberta to the B.C. coast, has faced heavy opposition from some Indigenous leaders.

Kinder Morgan halted all “non-essential” work on the pipeline in early April, ahead of a May 31 final investment deadline.

READ MORE : Chilliwack-area chief touts economic benefits of pipeline deal

Speaking after the meeting, Wilson said that the resolution sent a “fundamental message to Kinder Morgan stockholders.”

“We do not believe that the risks of the project have been properly identified,” said Wilson.

The vote in favour of the sustainability resolution showed that “the investment community is tired of ignoring climate change and denying the rights of Indigenous people,” said SumOfUs capital markets adviser Lisa Lindsley.

Although the resolution at Wednesday’s meeting was non-binding, Lindsley urged shareholders to continue piling on the pressure for the company to pull back from Trans Mountain.

Wilson also raised concerns with the work camps proposed for her nation’s land in the B.C. Interior.

“The 1,000-person man camp that’s proposed near Blue River, Clearwater-area, threatens our women as well,” said Wilson.

“We’re just finish up the national inquiry in regard to missing and murdered women and the violence that those huge hyper-camps bring is a big threat to our women and girls. We do not want that.”

Kinder Morgan did not return a request for comment.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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