Kwantlen Polytechnic University has axed an agreement with Kinder Morgan after pressure from a local First Nation, faculty members, students and environmentalists.
In a statement, president Alan Davis says the school is rescinding a Memorandum of Understanding with the energy giant, out of respect for the Kwantlen First Nation, because it is intervening in the National Energy Board’s review of the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
“We expressed that we were not in favour of the decision that had been made, that we wished there had been more dialogue with Kwantlen First Nation, prior to that decision being made,” says band spokesperson Tumia Knott.
Allison Gonzalez, president of the Kwantlen Student Association, , says the pipeline isn’t good for the community.
“The pipeline was supposed to go through unceded territory. The Kwantlen First Nation is our namesake partner in the community, and to go against something that they’ve been fighting against for so long, really seemed to go against the mandate of the institution.”
The university signed the MoU back in June, which would have brought $300,000 towards student awards and partial operating funds for the its environmental protection technical lab.
Trans Mountain staff responded with an emailed statement, saying they respect the decision.