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

Province to pass $1.25-million repair bill for South Surrey overpass on to ICBC

152 Street overpass was struck by overheight truck on Dec. 4, 2017

Ex-Mountie who investigated ‘Surrey six’ murders gets conditional sentence

Derek Brassington pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday

How fallen Surrey Mountie’s Stetson ended up in Europe puzzles police

Constable Terry Draginda’s hat is repatriated after being found at a flea market in Hamburg, Germany

Delta considering extending tax freeze, fee waiver for developers on Scott Road

The incentives are aimed at creating more diverse development in the area, says Delta’s city manager

Surrey social justice activist wins Sher Vancouver’s Youth Leadership Award

Shilpa Narayan says her work is about ‘ensuring a safe space’ for marginalized youth

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read