By Dave Core for Pipeline Observer Newsletter

TC Energy is the latest pipeline company to talk about selling equity to First Nations groups.

In January reports circulated saying the Nova Gas Transmission line would be opened to investment by Indigenous groups.

Last year Enbridge CEO Greg Ebel also announced his company’s infrastructure should become Indigenous owned.

This follows word for years now that the nearly completed Transmountain Expansion project (TMX) would be “acquired” by First Nations groups along the corridor and perhaps from across the country.

CAEPLA called this trend in the last edition of the Pipeline Observer newsletter.

The trend is clear. Canadian pipeline companies are divesting themselves of infrastructure.

The plan is, offload pipe to Indigenous groups in Canada, focus on operations in this country, and concentrate on their more promising properties in the United States.

And if you are a Canadian pipeline landowner, this trend is not your friend.

The general consensus on the part of pipeline companies, First Nations groups, governments and their regulators is, this is happening and will be financed by taxpayers.

Enbridge’s Ebel is lobbying Ottawa to issue loan guarantees for First Nations groups to pay for the acquisitions.

I am prepared to call it now: Ebel will get his way.

This is a done deal.

Which means that pipeline landowners will soon be hosting First Nations governments and other groups on their farms and ranches.

For years now CAEPLA has been warning that the Canadian Energy Regulator, (CER), has become more of a United Nations agency than an actual energy regulator.

Together with the pipeline companies themselves, they have been advancing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the federal government’s Truth and Reconciliation agenda.

As CAEPLA has spelled out numerous times in the pages of the Pipeline Observer and online, this has implications for landowners as Indigenous activists can now piggyback on visits by company employees.

If so much as an arrowhead or bone fragment is found during these visits, your farming operation can be tied down indefinitely.

The bottom line is this: New ownership means new risks for landowners and means a new deal is needed, and soon.

Dave Core is the founder of CAEPLA. He grew up on a farm with pipelines. That, and his early experience helping other pipeline landowners resist expropriation turned Dave into a student and promoter of property rights. Dave has worked in politics, as a poultry farmer, and owned a trucking business. Today he is CAEPLA's Director of Special Projects, and principal at Dave Core & Associates, a consulting firm focused on helping landowners of all kinds solve problems with government, regulators, and corporations.

Pipeline Observer


Landowner-driven, CAEPLA advocates on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and other rural landowners to promote safety and environmental protection through respect for your property rights.