Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge said he’s concerned that people “could get hurt or even die” if protests against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project become violent.
Dodge reiterated his concerns, which were first made Wednesday at an Edmonton event. In an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Friday Dodge urged Canadian lawmakers to prepare for worst-case scenarios when it comes to Trans Mountain.
“What we know is that a number of groups out there view the pipeline as some sort of terrible icon and that they’re very passionate about it,” said Dodge, now senior advisor at Bennett Jones.
“There’s a risk … that those protests will be passionate, could get violent and in those circumstances it’s very easy for someone to get killed one way or another.”
Canada’s federal government announced last month it would buy the Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C. pipeline system and planned expansion project from Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. for $4.5 billion.
The decision to effectively nationalize the pipeline project came after Kinder Morgan halted non-essential spending on the project as it faced fierce opposition from the B.C. government, environmentalists and protesters.
For the expansion project to be completed, Dodge said Trans Mountain needs to clear legal roadblocks as well as obstructions by “certain passionate groups” before construction goes ahead.
“It’s very important we understand that in a nation that lives under the rule of law, we are prepared to enforce the law and that … there’s some risks out here,” Dodge said.