Educator Idea

The Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada is used to transport oil from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia where it is exported to foreign markets. Because of the significance of oil exports to the Canadian economy, multiple projects have been proposed to expand the pipeline system. Explain the controversy to students. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, because of the oil tanker routes, was widely opposed by environmental groups and First Nations (the indigenous peoples of Canada who are not Inuit or Metis), as it posed health risks to indigenous communities and threatened local ecosystems. The Canadian Federal Court killed the project after deciding that Enbridge did not adequately consult with the First Nations that would be affected by the project and did not fully research the environmental risks. Using the map, show students how the proposed pipeline would cross Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia, and then large oil tankers leaving Kitimat would cross the Great Bear Rainforest and the Douglas Channel.

Using the sources below, have students research how pipelines work, how they are monitored, and the incidence of spills. Have them list the pros and cons of expanding the pipeline. As an extension activity, have them research the communities and resources in the Great Bear Rainforest and the Douglas Channel and analyze the economic impact of building the pipeline, the risk of a spill, and the subsequent economic losses that might occur to the economy if there were a spill.

Noun

community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.

First Nations
Noun

indigenous (Native American) peoples of Canada south of the Arctic.

Adjective

characteristic to or of a specific place.

marine
Adjective

having to do with the ocean.

Noun

series of pipes used to transport liquids or gases over long distances.

Noun

area of tall, mostly evergreen trees and a high amount of rainfall.