Amy van den Berg
The Trans Mountain Pipeline saga has been ongoing for years, but tensions peaked this May when Justin Trudeau announced his government’s plans to acquire the project for $4.5 billion. In 2013, energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan proposed building a new pipeline to run parallel to the existing one, built in 1952. The proposal reignited ongoing disputes around environmental ethics, considerations for traditional Indigenous territories, and the economic benefits of the oil industry. Here’s a look at the different ways news outlets across the country have covered the controversy:
The national broadcaster’s reporting on the pipeline’s recent developments has focused on response to events and moves by the federal government. It has played a key role in breaking news to the public, and its quick takes have been largely centred on the fears and arguments of environmentalists and First Nations leaders.
“Trans Mountain protesters decry ‘Justin Trudeau memorial pipeline’ in Burnaby, B.C.” | JULY 02, 2018
“Pipeline protesters predict number of arrests over Trans Mountain will eclipse War in the Woods” | JULY 16, 2018
The Globe and Mail has largely covered the economic impacts of the pipeline as well as the political sagas that have played out since the Liberals decided to buy out the project. The reporting looks at environmental debates surrounding the expansion, yet these issues are often presented as opposition to the fight for access to land and sea. Another major theme in their coverage is the fear of the pipeline’s demise and the question of what’s next.
“Trans Mountain, Trudeau and the B.C.-Alberta feud: A guide to the political saga so far” | APRIL 18, 2018
“Ottawa is buying Trans Mountain. What does that mean? A guide” | MAY 29, 2018
“Burnaby residents call for pipeline protest camps to be dismantled” | JUNE 17, 2018
The Indigenous news outlet’s coverage has been focused on those protesting the expansion, such as Indigenous people and non-for-profits like Greenpeace. APTN will often refer to protesters as “land” and “water” protectors, usually residents of remote areas who have been left out of the prevailing conversation in mainstream news coverage.
“City of Burnaby serves eviction notice to anti-Trans Mountain pipeline activists” | JULY 19, 2018
“Anti-pipeline aerial activists hang from Vancouver bridge, block oil tanker” | JULY 4, 2018
Coverage by the B.C.-focused independent online news source has challenged the truth of what Canadians are hearing about the Trans Mountain Pipeline. They’ve published a number of deep-dives on the data and history around the expansion project, focusing on educating readers rather than providing updates.
“Trudeau, Notley and Trans Mountain Claims: A Tyee Fact Check” | MARCH 21, 2018
“Pipeline Expansion: U.S. Refineries Win, Canadians Lose” | APRIL 19, 2018
“Canada’s Dirty $20-Billion Pipeline Bailout” | MAY 29, 2018