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

Kwantlen students blast KPU deal for pipeline cash

University's agreement reached without consultation, condemned as 'tacit endorsement' of Trans Mountain oil pipeline

Student leaders have condemned Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s decision to accept a $300,000 contribution over 20 years from Kinder Morgan if its Trans Mountain pipeline twinning proceeds.

The Kwantlen Student Association said it opposes the agreement that would see the pipeline company give about $15,000 a year in scholarships for trades and technology students.

RELATED: KPU inks deal with pipeline firm for $300,000

“KPU’s acceptance of this money amounts to a tacit endorsement of the pipeline project,” said KSA vice-president Alex McGowan, adding the pipeline poses “unacceptable risks” and would contribute to the accleration of climate change.

Students say they weren’t consulted and the move makes a mockery of the university’s commitment to sustainability and the aboriginal group for which it is named.

“KPU students want nothing to do with this project,” added KSA president Allison Gonzalez. “We are shocked at this agreement.”

KPU academic vice-president Salvador Ferreras said Tuesday the money would aid students pursuing jobs in industry and said he had no ethical qualms about the agreement, insisting KPU wasn’t taking a position on the pipeline.

Alumni are also speaking out.

“I have never been so embarrassed to be a Kwantlen grad,” said Justine Nelson.

“Many consider this type of ‘generosity’ to be a bribe,” she said. “While the university states it has no stance on the pipeline, it has a duty to consider the effects this expansion will have, and not succumb to Kinder Morgan’s attempts to buy support of local communities.”

The Kwantlen First Nation, KPU’s namesake, is an intervenor before the National Energy Board opposing the pipeline expansion.

Spokesman Brandon Gabriel Kwelexwecten said the deal “flies in the face” of KPU pledges to closely collaborate with the first nation.

Trans Mountain is pursuing benefits agreements with various municipalities and post-secondary institutions. So far Thompson Rivers University is the only other school to have accepted one.

All the benefits agreements are contingent on the pipeline being approved.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University provost and academic vice-president Salvador Ferreras, with Kinder Morgan’s Lizette Parsons Bell at Tuesday’s announcement of company contributions if the Trans Mountain pipeline is approved. Jeff Nagel photo

Just Posted

Surrey councillor Laurie Guerra resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says her resignation is effective Nov. 12

Surrey Mounties investigate drive-by shooting in Fleetwood

It happened Monday afternoon in the 8000-block of 153A Street. Police say no victim has been located.

18-year-old to hospital after shots fired in White Rock

Police investigating early-morning incident

UPDATE: White Rock RCMP unaffected by Surrey’s choice of police force, city says

Mayor Darryl Walker to meet with RCMP Staff Sgt. Daryl Creighton

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

5 to start your day

One left dead after Abbotsford shooting, touching note left on Langley veteran’s windshield and more

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

Most Read