Construction work on previously twinned section of the Trans Mountain pipeline near Jasper.

KPU scraps pipeline benefits deal

Kwantlen Polytechnic University cites namesake first nation's concerns in rescinding Trans Mountain agreement

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has pulled out of an agreement with Kinder Morgan that would have seen the institution collect $300,000 in benefits over 20 years if the Trans Mountain pipeline is approved.

The deal announced in June had come under fire from students, environmentalists and the first nation after which the university is named.

“My decision to withdraw KPU from this agreement was made out of respect for the Kwantlen First Nation’s right to argue its case before the National Energy Board regarding this pipeline expansion project,” KPU president and vice-chancellor Alan Davis said Friday in an emailed statement.

The Kwantlen band is an intervener in the NEB hearings, which are to resume this fall.

“Our longstanding relationship with the Kwantlen First Nation is fundamental to the university’s history and identity,” Davis said after an Oct. 2 meeting with aboriginal leaders. “I heard their concerns and I have acted on them as quickly as possible.”

Asked if the university might still renew the benefits agreement in the future – possibly after a final recommendation on the Trans Mountain project by the NEB – a spokesperson only said: “At this point, KPU is focusing on its relationship with the Kwantlen First Nation.”

Trans Mountain has already struck benefits deals totaling $5 million with 18 municipalities along the pipeline route. They’re contingent on final pipeline approval and aim to provide project legacies while also demonstrating local support.

The money for Kwantlen was to consist mainly of scholarships and bursaries for KPU trades and technology students, and to help fund KPU’s Environmental Protection Technology lab, with potential naming rights flowing to the pipeline company.

KPU students had argued the agreement amounted to a tacit endorsement of a pipeline that posed unacceptable risks and would have gone against the university’s sustainability mandate.

Kwantlen Student Association president Allison Gonzalez said she was “thrilled” and “proud” of KPU’s decision to respect Kwantlen First Nation concerns and rescind the agreement.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
Surrey Eagles in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for BCHL season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

Matthew Campbell, director of the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank, stands amongst a large amount of non-perishable food and household items being stored inside the Pacific Community Church. This year’s ‘Halloween For Hunger’ food drive, put on by students at Clayton Heights, will go to benefit the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Clayton Heights Secondary kicks off annual ‘Halloween for Hunger’ event

Students to collect much-needed items for food bank

Ali Watson in Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of “No Child…,” which plays until Nov. 8. (photo: Moonrider Productions)
Viewers of Arts Club’s streaming plays support Surrey Civic Theatres

Company’s ‘bubble method’ of theatre production means just 50 in-person tickets for each performance

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
OUR VIEW: Lenient courts aren’t helping

It’s hard to fault the palpable frustration of Metro Vancouver Transit Police

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
8 scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Most Read