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Desjardins considers pulling out of Trans Mountain

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World Pipelines,

At a meeting last Thursday, Desjardins senior executives told aboriginal leaders the lender will consider their request to pull its financing for the project.

Desjardins, the largest association of credit unions in North America, said it may make the decision permanent this month, citing concerns about the impact pipelines may have on the environment.

Desjardins spokesman André Chapleau said in a statement the financial institution's "positioning on this issue has not yet been completed."


"We are listening to various stakeholders, internally and externally, and we do not intend to make our exchanges public in all due respect to our stakeholders," Chapleau said.

The expansion is already facing opposition from environmental and aboriginal groups and the government of the British Columbia province, through which the pipeline passes.

The Trans Mountain expansion would nearly triple the capacity of the existing pipeline from Canada's oil heartland of Alberta to the west coast.

In June, Dutch lender ING Groep NV said it would not finance any of Canada's major pipeline projects.

The Treaty Alliance will also be pushing to have Desjardins sell its existing CAN$145 million stake in Kinder Morgan’s credit facility for the Trans Mountain expansion project, part of the company’s CAN$5.5 billion in credit facilities for the project.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said the campaign is about battling the oilsands industry on all fronts.

Kinder Morgan counts Canada’s six biggest banks among the more than 20 financial institutions, including Desjardins, who agreed to lend it money.

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