Kinder Morgan says investment in oil pipeline expansion may be untenable

Replacement pipe is stored near crude oil storage tanks at Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline terminal in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) – Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N) said on Wednesday that recent events confirm an investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion may be “untenable” and said Ottawa’s pledge of financial support does not resolve political risk related to British Columbia’s opposition.

The comments come as the British Columbia (B.C.) government pledged to file a legal challenge by month-end to determine whether it has the jurisdiction to stop the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) project, which was approved by the federal government in 2016 and would nearly triple capacity on the pipeline from Alberta to a Vancouver-area port.

Kinder Morgan Canada (KML.TO), a unit of Kinder Morgan, halted most spending on the expansion earlier this month and set a May 31 deadline to decide if it would scrap the project entirely, citing legal and jurisdictional issues.

“As we said then, it’s become clear this particular investment may be untenable for a private party to undertake. The events of the last 10 days have confirmed those views,” Chief Executive Steven Kean said on a conference call.

While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada is prepared to offer financial aid to ensure the project goes ahead, Kean dodged a question about whether that support would ensure construction.

“They’re really two separate things,” he said. “Most of the investment is in British Columbia, where the government is in opposition to the project … That is an issue that, in our view, needs to be resolved.”

The Trans Mountain expansion is considered crucial for Alberta’s oil industry which has been beset by transportation bottlenecks. It is fiercely opposed by some B.C. cities, some aboriginal groups, and environmentalists concerned about possible oil spills.

M&A ON THE TABLE

The company said while it is not in a position to move on takeovers until the uncertainty around Trans Mountain is resolved, it sees good opportunities in the western Canadian midstream space.

“There are some very capable players with good midstream assets,” Kean said, adding: “Intent is, and was, that KML would be the vehicle to invest in those opportunities.”

The company has a strong balance sheet and is well positioned for takeovers, especially if cash earmarked for capital projects is freed up, said M. Paul Bloom, investment manager with Bloom Investment Counsel.

“I think you can expect if the Trans Mountain pipeline does not go ahead (Kinder Morgan) will be bidders for various assets here in Canada, and probably fairly quickly as well,” he said.

Kinder Morgan Canada, which was spun off from parent Kinder Morgan in May last year, reported a net income of C$44.4 million ($35.17 million) for the first quarter ended March 31, down from C$46.8 million for the same period last year.

Texas-based Kinder Morgan separately reported net income available to common stockholders of $485 million, or 22 cents per share, in the quarter to the end of March, compared with $401 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.

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‘We want to be owners’: Fort McMurray First Nations and Métis unite on pipelines

The Fort McMurray regions’s 10 First Nations and Métis community say they want to be pipeline owners. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

‘Let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil’

First Nations and Métis communities in the Fort McMurray region are expressing interest in becoming business partners in the pipeline industry.

The indigenous communities want to either buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline or partner and build another future line.

“We want to be owners of a pipeline,” Allan Adam, chief of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, said in an interview. “We think that a pipeline is a critical component to the oil and gas sector, especially in this region.”

“If Fort McMurray and Alberta are going to survive, the Athabasca Tribal Council has to be alongside.”

Adam, a board member with the Athabasca Tribal Council, an umbrella organization that represents the regions’s five First Nations, admitted, the details still need to be worked out.

Ron Quintal, president of the Athabasca River Métis, the organization that represents five Métis communities in the region, confirms it too is on board with the proposal.

But, Quintal said, he expects they would need backers to help guarantee loans to help fund the multi-billion dollar project.

Tired of fighting oil companies

The announcement happened on the heels of the groups’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the basement of a Fort McMurray hotel on Friday.

Participants say it was the first time region’s Cree, Dene and Métis communities met together with the head of the federal government. Typically such high level meetings don’t take place together.

Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, says the Fort McMurray region’s First Nation and Métis communities back pipelines and they want to own one. (The Canadian Press)

Also in the background is the uncertainty over the fate of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion which would ship bitumen from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

On Sunday, Kinder Morgan announced it will halt “non-essential activities” and related spending on the project and set a May 31 deadline to decide whether the project will proceed. The company declined to comment for this story.

Premier Rachel Notley said the May deadline is a serious concern and suggested Alberta may become a co-owner in the pipeline’s construction.

The announcement from Adam is a change in position for the chief who is no stranger to pipeline opposition. The chief has posed with celebrities and activists critical of the oilsands’ environmental legacy.

Most recently, Adam was pictured with Hollywood actress Jane Fonda who described the oilsands on a 2016 trip to Fort McMurray as if “someone took my skin and peeled it off my body over a very large surface.”

Adam denied he was ever anti-pipeline or against the oilsands, rather the chief said he is critical of the feverish pace the oilsands developed without environmental considerations.

But, Adam also admitted fighting oil companies and industry has been tough and it’s time for a change.

“The fact is I am tired. I am tired of fighting. We have accomplished what we have accomplished,” Adam said. “Now let’s move on and let’s start building a pipeline and start moving the oil that’s here already.”

Archie Waquan, chief of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, also supports a pipeline partnership.

“No disrespect to the other First Nations that are against the pipeline in B.C.,” Waquan said.

“From our end — from this northern territory where the oilsands comes from — we would like to see more things happen and hopefully this will go ahead.”

Ultimately we are the keepers of the land

The region’s Métis communities say their Indigenous pipeline ownership would help alleviate the roadblocks the oil and gas infrastructure have been facing lately.

Elaborating, Quintal said, First Nations and Métis would provide ease of access for the pipeline route on their traditional territory.

Also, he said, Indigenous owners would take the upmost care to ensure the pipeline route would avoid sacred or sensitive areas and the infrastructure is maintained to the highest standards to prevent spills.

Chiefs and heads of the Athabasca Tribal Council and the Athabasca River Métis Council pose after a meeting Tuesday at Fort McMurray’s Raddison Hotel where they announced they are willing invest in pipelines. (David Thurton/CBC)

“From our perspective, the Métis have always for the most part been pro-pipeline,” Quintal said. But, “I am not saying that it’s an open book or a blank cheque for the industry to develop pipelines.”

“Ultimately we are the keepers of the land and it is of the upmost importance that lands are protected as much as possible.”

Quintal also said, Indigenous owners behind a pipeline, might also lend credibility that could quell some of the opposition.

This article was originally published by David Thurton  · CBC News · Posted: Apr 15, 2018

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Justin Trudeau to Pressure British Columbia to Accept Trans Mountain Pipeline

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | Reuters

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau | Reuters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to pile pressure on British Columbia’s provincial government to drop its resistance to a pipeline project, but will try to avoid tougher measures that might alienate voters who helped his Liberals win power, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.

Trudeau is racing against time. Kinder Morgan Canada said it would scrap the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the west coast unless all legal and jurisdictional challenges facing the project are resolved by May 31.

The pipeline, which Canada’s oil industry considers crucial, is opposed by British Columbia’s left-leaning New Democratic provincial government. Environmentalists and aboriginal activists are mounting frequent protests and British Columbia police have arrested about 200 people around Trans Mountain facilities since mid-March.

Trudeau’s Liberals picked up seats in the province in the last election, but the federal NDP – which opposes the pipeline – remains a force there.

This could make Trudeau’s federal government cautious as it is locked in a rare standoff with a provincial counterpart. British Columbia opposes the expansion, citing fears that the risk of a spill in the Pacific province is too great.

Ottawa insists it has jurisdiction over the project and Trudeau is under huge pressure to crack down. For now, he will press the provincial government, pointing to polls showing most Canadians want the expansion to go ahead.

“We need to take actions that are focused on the government of British Columbia,” said the source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. Trudeau will hold more talks with the province as well as Kinder Morgan Canada, the source added.

Trudeau must be careful because British Columbia voters and environmentalists gave him strong support that helped bring him to power in 2015. A crackdown could cost him support in both camps ahead of a federal election set for October 2019.

Although Ottawa says it is exploring all regulatory, legal and financial alternatives, the source conceded “there aren’t an awful lot of options for the prime minister.”

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau discussed the matter with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Toronto on Wednesday and told reporters that Ottawa had yet to make a final decision.

“We are working, using all the tools at our disposal, to make sure we move forward in short order to absolutely ensure this project goes forward,” he said, without giving details. “We have to ensure the rule of law in this country works.”

Some pipeline supporters have urged Trudeau to declare a national emergency to push through the pipeline, but the source said that idea is “preposterous.”

Also off the table for now are calls from opposition members to reduce the payments Ottawa sends to British Columbia to help fund social programs.

“Are they actually suggesting we cut … health and social transfers to hard-working British Columbians?” said the source.

Ottawa and Alberta have talked about investing in the project, though it was unclear how that would lessen British Columbia’s opposition.

Some commentators suggest provincial and federal governments underwrite the project by providing insurance, essentially leaving them on the hook if the company decides to walk away.

If pipeline supporters view Trudeau as too soft, they could accuse him of not doing enough to prevent a constitutional crisis and of abandoning the energy industry in Alberta, where the Liberals also picked up extra seats in 2015.

“I don’t think it’s a win for him in British Columbia or Alberta under any circumstances,” said pollster Nik Nanos of Nanos Research. “The problem is that is this open warfare on principle.”

By David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon (Reuters)

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Kinder Morgan suspends work on Trans Mountain pipeline amid B.C. opposition

A man holds a sign while listening as other protesters opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension defy a court order and block an entrance to the company’s property, in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday April 7, 2018. CP/Darryl Dyck

Kinder Morgan says it is suspending all non-essential activities and related spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The company says its decision is based on the British Columbia government’s opposition to the project, which has been the focus of sustained protests at its marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

Kinder Morgan says it will consult with “various stakeholders” to try and reach an agreement by May 31 that might allow the project to proceed.

The company’s decision will be seen as a blow Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has insisted that the pipeline would be built, despite the angry protests and the B.C. government’s continued battle against the project in the courts.

The expansion, which would triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta to Burnaby, was approved by the federal government in 2016.

Kinder Morgan says it will make a decision about the project’s future based on whether it can get “clarity” on its ability to do construction in B.C. and protect its shareholders.

“As KML has repeatedly stated, we will be judicious in our use of shareholder funds. In keeping with that commitment, we have determined that in the current environment, we will not put KML shareholders at risk on the remaining project spend,” Steve Kean, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

“A company cannot resolve differences between governments. While we have succeeded in all legal challenges to date, a company cannot litigate its way to an in-service pipeline amidst jurisdictional differences between governments.”

Kean said the uncertainty around the company’s ability to finish the project “leads us to the conclusion that we should protect the value that KML has, rather than risking billions of dollars on an outcome that is outside of our control.”

About 200 people have been arrested near Kinder Morgan’s marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C., during recent protests.

By: The Canadian Press

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‘Intimidated no longer’: Families march in Saskatoon amid allegations of police violence

Sheila Tataquason said she didn’t resist the police dog that bit her in 2013, even after it latched onto her arm. (Guy Quenneville/CBC News)

Parents of 2 dead Indigenous men among those calling for end to police violence

The families of an Indigenous man who was shot at by police and another whose death is at the centre of a police inquest joined a Saskatoon march against police violence on Saturday.

Wearing a shirt that reads “#Justice4Austin,” Agatha Eaglechief joined the march of about a dozen people who played drums, sang songs and carried signs past a heavily trafficked 22nd Street West, as they travelled from Pleasant Hill Park to the police station.

Agatha’s son Austin Eaglechief died in summer 2017 following a police chase in which shots were fired by officers. She said she still does not know what led to shots being fired that day, despite having seen helicopter video footage.

“Everyday I wake up hoping I can get an answer,” Agatha said.

Agatha Eaglechief at a march against police violence, holding a photo of her deceased son Austin Eaglechief. (Guy Quenneville/CBC News)

While an autopsy clears gunshots as the cause of death, which included a high-speed crash with another vehicle, Agatha said in her view shots should have never been fired because her son had mental health and addiction issues.

‘I’m still fighting,’ says mother of Jordan Lafond

Among those speaking before the march began was Charmaine Dreaver, the mother of Jordan Lafond. Lafond died on in October 2016 after crashing into a fence during a police chase. His death is the subject of an upcoming June coroner’s inquest.

“I’m very upset about [how] the police act against so many people [that] have been hurt. It’s been very, very hard. I’m still fighting. I’ll never give up on the fight for Jordan,” Dreaver said to those who gathered.

“We need to be treated better and equally as humans.”

Charmaine Dreaver, left, with family members are still waiting for answers at an upcoming inquest into her son Jordan Lafond’s death. (Guy Quenneville/CBC News)

Police dog bite victim speaks

Sheila Tataquason was bitten by a police dog in 2013 and has been vocal about how it impacted her life.

The canine officer had been chasing an armed robbery suspect and latched onto Tataquason’s arm, although she was not involved, and has not received compensation from police despite facing nerve damage, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder since she was bit.

“I’m here to support all the people and not to be intimidated no longer by the Saskatoon city police,” she said.

Organizers say events like this, organized by the Saskatoon Coordinating Committee Against Police Violence, are a push toward greater transparency by police and also share information about citizens’ rights when it comes to police.

CBC News · Posted: Mar 31, 2018

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B.C. Premier Predicts ‘Crisis’ from Anti-Pipeline Protests on Burnaby Mountain

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at a Burnaby Board of Trade breakfast event Wednesday morning.

Premier says it’s going to be a long, hot summer of protests on Burnaby Mountain

B.C. Premier John Horgan is predicting a “crisis” over protests against the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline in Burnaby .

According to Burnaby Now, Horgan told reporters Wednesday at a stop in Coquitlam, that the National Energy Board and the federal governments should be accountable for the escalating tensions around the Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion project, calling the resistance an “extraordinary circumstance,” and a crisis.

“It’s going to be a long, hot summer,” said Mr. Horgan, about the situation at an unrelated news conference.

Trans-Mountain pipeline operations have been targeted by protesters concerned about the prospect of a tripling of the amount of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby’s port for shipment overseas.

News1130.com reports, with Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan promising not to pay policing costs associated with the protests, Horgan was asked about whether that’s acceptable.

“The National Energy Board and the federal government have to have some accountability. I believe that British Columbia, on behalf of the province, is doing its due diligence through two court applications.”

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Burnaby is policed by the RCMP, which operates in agreement with the municipality.

“With respect to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, this is not a threat by me, this is self evident by the number of people that are collecting on Burnaby Mountain everyday to express their disappointment with the federal government’s decision to proceed.”

Horgan says the federal government is to blame as well as the NEB.

According to The Globe and Mail, in a statement, a spokesperson for the Trans Mountain project said the initiative is under federal jurisdiction and has approvals from the NEB and federal government. But Ali Hounsell also noted that the courts have ruled in Trans Mountain’s favour in 14 of 14 cases related to the project.

“We support peaceful, lawful demonstrations of views, and trust that the Premier of British Columbia does as well. There are many ways to express opinions in a safe and lawful manner,” Ms. Hounsell said.

 A court injunction bars activists from getting within five metres of Trans Mountain’s two terminal sites on Burnaby Mountain.

Dan Wallace, of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation on Quadra Island, is tackled and handcuffed by RCMP officers after attempting to talk to a young man that locked himself to a piece of heavy equipment being delivered to Kinder Morgan in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday March 19, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

RCMP have made more than 170 arrests since March 17.

Burnaby plans to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal a lower-court ruling last week in which the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a bid by Burnaby and the B.C. government to challenge a NEB decision that allows Kinder Morgan to bypass local laws during pipeline construction.

 There are various other legal decisions pending on the pipeline, including a review by the Federal Court of Appeal of the decision by Trudeau’s cabinet to approve the pipeline and a review by the B.C. Court of Appeal of the decision by the former provincial government to approve the pipeline.

Mr. Horgan has also already said his government will seek a legal ruling on whether his province can restrict increased amounts of oil from coming into B.C. while his government reviews oil-spill safety measures.

Burnaby won’t cover policing costs related to Trans Mountain protests

An RCMP officer reads a court order to Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, right, and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, second from right, before they were arrested after joining protesters outside Kinder Morgan’s facility in Burnaby, B.C., on March 23, 2018.

The City of Burnaby, where protests and arrests have been taking place over work under way to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, has ruled out paying policing costs related to managing the activism, says its mayor.

Like many B.C. communities, Burnaby is policed by the RCMP, and is normally on the hook for expenses, but Mayor Derek Corrigan – a vocal critic of the pipeline project – says he is drawing the line at overtime and other RCMP costs related to Trans Mountain as a project the city opposes.

“We’re not paying for the additional policing costs that are being accumulated as a result of the protests at the Trans Mountain project,” Mr. Corrigan said in an interview. “I don’t think there is anybody in the Western world who doesn’t know now that Burnaby is not paying.”

He casts the position as a reflection of Burnaby’s opposition to the project as well as the view that the Trudeau government, which approved the project, should be picking up the costs to deal with protests against it.

This isn’t the first time the issue has come up. The B.C. government says there is an outstanding $800,000 bill for policing 2014 protests related to the project that “remains in dispute,” according to a statement from the provincial Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor-General.

“The province is aware of Burnaby’s views on paying for these policing matters and we confirm there is an outstanding non-payment with respect to 2014,” said the provincial statement issued by Colin Hynes for the Ministry of Public Safety.

In their statement, the provincial public safety and Solicitor-General’s ministry said the Police Act in B.C. compels municipalities with populations over 15,000 to pay for the cost of policing within their boundaries. “This includes the cost of policing matters related to civil disobedience.”

However, the ministry said the dispute will not affect policing. “It is important to note that regardless of any disagreement over funding, policing services will continue uninterrupted and will be unaffected by any funding disagreement.”

Ironically, British Columbia’s NDP government has been sharply opposed to the expansion of the pipeline – a policy that has pitted them against the NDP government in Alberta, which is a proponent for the project.

Mr. Corrigan’s stand comes amidst increasing protests over the project. According to the Burnaby RCMP, 54 demonstrators against the project were arrested on Saturday for breaching a court-ordered injunction that prohibits protesters from coming within five metres of a pair of terminals in Burnaby operated by project proponent Kinder Morgan. Last Friday, federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and NDP MP Kennedy Stewart were arrested in protests.

The Trans Mountain expansion project, which has been approved by the federal government, will triple the capacity of the pipeline to about 900,000 barrels from 300,000. In recent weeks, one protest drew more than 5,000 people – and a police presence to manage the gathering.

Ali Hounsell, a spokesperson for the Trans Mountain project, said in a statement issued Sunday that “Trans Mountain’s view is that policing is a local government cost. “

Mr. Corrigan said the Mounties have told him they may take the matter to dispute resolution. While he said he has no details on that process, an RCMP spokesperson in B.C. pointed out there are provisions for working through disputes in the service agreement on municipal policing in B.C.

The mayor also said he is skeptical about RCMP assurances that dealing with the protests won’t distract from routine policing needs in Burnaby.

“They’re telling me, no, they are not diminishing any of the resources that are available to the community. But I can’t help but think this takes a toll in being able to deal with these issues,” Mr. Corrigan said. “While I am being assured that it is now, I am suspicious that it is.”

In a series of e-mail responses to Globe and Mail questions on the issue, a spokesperson for the RCMP E-Division covering B.C. said the force is dealing with protests now and looking to eventually deal with costs.

“The RCMP goal for any demonstrations is to ensure that they take place in a peaceful, lawful and safe manner. We will deploy the resources necessary to accomplish this,” Sergeant Janelle Shoihet said in an e-mail.

Sgt. Shoihet said the Burnaby RCMP don’t have contingency funds for their responsibilities but, rather, respond to calls for service and rolls salaries, expenses and other costs into an annual policing budget for the detachment.

“As you can imagine, it’s difficult to predict how many calls for service we’ll get in relation to one specific event or a series of events and therefore difficult to predict how many resources we’ll need to respond.”

Mr. Corrigan said the protests against Trans Mountain are going to get worse.

“This is the overture to what ‘s going to happen later on. I anticipate there will only be an escalation of the protests over the next months. This problem is only going to become progressively worse.”

The Globe and Mail 

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Indigenous protesters again block entrance to Pinery Provincial Park

Maynard T. George is leader of the Indigenous family group claiming ownership of Pinery Provincial Park. (Submitted by Colin Graf)

Protester Maynard George says the action is connected to a First Nations claim to the land

Indigenous protesters are again blocking the entrance to the Pinery Provincial Park, an action they say stems from a longstanding dispute over First Nations claims to the park on the shores of Lake Huron.

Maynard George of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation told CBC news that he and about four other protesters have pulled into the park’s front entrance in a trailer, preventing visitors from entering the park.

He said Pinery staff told people using the park to leave. As of Monday evening, about 10 trailers have already left, said George.

“We’ve moved in, we’ve taken up our residency here,” said George. “And we’ve shut down the park permanently. We’re in a position where we have to do something to resolve the claim.”

​George was involved in a similar action that ended in November with the park re-opening.

He said the protesters’ claim to the land stretches back to the War of 1812.

The park’s superintendent would not comment on the situation.

Indigenous protesters say they are again blocking the entrance to the Pinery Provincial Park. (Submitted by Colin Graf)

No court action

George’s lawyer Wanda Corston said for now, there are no plans to file any official court claim. She said the OPP have spoken to George about the protest.

“They’ve decided to take over the park with regard to some claims they have,” said Corston. She said for now, there has been no action to file a claim in any court.

“There’s no legal position at this point in time, we just hope the claims can be settled in an amicable way,” she said.

Ministry response

George said police were present in the park on Monday, but that they are only there to maintain order. He said there have been no arrests or confrontations.

In a statement to CBC News, a spokersperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources said, “Ontario Parks is working toward a resolution to this situation – we are engaging with the individuals, their counsel and police to better understand their claims.”

George said he intends to stay at the park. It’s unclear for how long.

CBC News Posted: Mar 19, 2018

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Crown won’t appeal verdict in Tina Fontaine case

Raymond Cormier, right, was acquitted in the death of Tina Fontaine

Crown will not appeal acquittal of Raymond Cormier 

Manitoba Justice says Crown prosecutors will not appeal the acquittal of a man who was accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine.

Last month, a jury found Raymond Cormier, 56, not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Tina, whose body was found wrapped in a duvet cover weighed down with rocks in the Red River in Winnipeg on Aug. 17, 2014.

The verdict sparked rallies and support for Tina’s family from across turtle island.

“After a critical review … by the Manitoba Prosecution Service’s appeal unit and the Crown attorneys who prosecuted the case, it has been determined there are no grounds to base a successful appeal,” says the statement released Tuesday.

The Crown says it has advised Tina’s family of the decision.

Her cause of death remains unknown.

City Centre Mall lifts ban on Métis elder after security guards’ actions reviewed

Terry Lusty at the Truth and Reconciliation event held at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, March 27, 2014. Perry Mah/ Postmedia, file

A well-known and respected Métis elder says security guards banned him from City Centre Mall in downtown Edmonton for one month, all while he was trying to do a good deed.

Terry Lusty said he was catching a quick bite on the third-level food court Wednesday when he spotted a woman’s RBC credit card on the floor.

He picked it up and loudly called out the woman’s first name to see if she was still around so he could return the card.

Getting no response, he moved into the next section of the food court and called out the woman’s name again.

He said he was simply “trying to be an honest citizen and help somebody out.”

He checked the back of the card and began calling the 1-800 number on his way back to his burger and fries when he was approached by a plainclothes security guard wearing a white name badge.

IT DIDN’T LOOK ‘OFFICIAL’

“It didn’t look like anything official. It looked like something anybody could have made up,” Lusty said Friday.

The security guard asked Lusty to give the card to him, but he explained he was already on hold with the bank and that he would look after it.

Lusty told the man he was simply doing his “due diligence” in reporting the card lost. That didn’t wash with the security guard, who summoned two more security guards using his phone.

They asked him to leave, but Lusty refused.

“I told them that I had just bought a meal here and I am going to eat it in peace,” he said.

“They just stood over me while I ate. They were just power tripping. I even told them that they could sit down while I finished my meal.”

After reporting the card lost, the bank official said the card should be destroyed, Lusty said.

“That’s when I handed it over to (the security guard) and told him that he could now have it and he should cut it up,” he said.

The security guard didn’t hear Lusty so he repeated what the bank had told him, followed by “Are you deaf?”

That’s when he said he was told to immediately leave the premises and not to come back until the following day.

He refused and finished his meal. He then headed for the elevator, but not before he snapped a photo of two of the guards.

THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE

At that point, the security guards said he was banned from the mall for one month.

“I mean, this has happened before,” Lusty said, referring to an incident in 2014 when Indigenous outreach worker Gary Moostoos was banned from the food court for six months for no reason.

“This was just racist and discriminatory and it was sheer stupidity,” Lusty said.

“People from our communities need to know that if they assert themselves on matters that they feel are right about, that is their right to do so and they should do so, because otherwise our people will continue being walked all over.”

Mall general manager Olympia Trencevski viewed security footage of the incident and said she was “disappointed.”

The ban was lifted Friday, she said.

“This goes against all of our values and standards and everything we have been working so hard for,” Trencevski said. “What we saw was unacceptable.”

The plainclothes security guard has been removed from duties and will be required to redo all of his training, including diversity, sensitivity, Indigenous awareness and customer service training, Paladin Security executive vice-president Greg Swecera said Friday.

The other two guards will be required to review the footage and may undergo further training.

Lusty will receive a written apology from the group and a face-to-face apology from the plainclothes security guard, Swecera said.

“I’ve had very good, positive, conversation with Terry and we are working through it,” he said.

Canoe.com

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