Disappointment, frustration in Federal Court quashing of Trans Mountain approval

Dwayne Harmon
September 2, 2018

The expansion project was supposed to extend the 715-mile pipeline and almost triple the flow of tar oil and other petroleum products to 890,000 barrels a day.

In a significant victory for indigenous groups and environmentalists, Canada's most controversial oil pipeline project has been suspended.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty said the ruling "sends a profoundly negative message to investors both here at home and around the world about Canada's regulatory system and our ability to get things done even after the federal government has declared them to be in the national interest".

The court ruling requires the board to conduct a completely new review that considers the voices of the indigenous people the pipeline expansion would affect, as well as the how the expected increase in marine tanker traffic would impact the environment and marine mammals.

Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance Christianne Wilhelmson says the Trudeau Liberals have been shamed.

So as to the bottom line, according to CBC Canada, the pipeline project has been left in limbo until the energy regulator and the government reassesses their approvals and they meet with the approval of the court.

"Our coast was not considered by the National Energy Board and I feel that those citizens have been vindicated today", said Horgan.

Without the pipeline expansion, Notley said, Canada will continue to rely on exporting its oil through the United States - a scenario she said "no other country on earth would accept".

Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Robin Bobocel says the project has been delayed time and time again, and that this latest setback shows a failure to recognize the importance of the project to the national economy. The FCA held that the federal government breached its duty to consult First Nations.

The court combined into one case almost two dozen lawsuits calling for the energy board's review to be overturned.

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The ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal reverses the Canadian government's approval of the troubled multibillion dollar project. The company's shareholders voted on Thursday morning to approve the $3.5 billion ($4.5 billion in Canadian currency) sale to the Canadian government in the spring.

This is the effect of the unholy alliance between the federal government and corporations taking shortcuts through consultation. When the government stepped up to buy the pipeline in May, this one project became symbolic of the country's energy future.

"We understand that climate change is real, it's a major issue for us", he said.

"It's quite a slap to the government by the court on the grounds of reconciliation with First Nations", said Kathryn Harrison, a professor of political science at University of British Columbia.

That's what we're trying to enact, so we is also in the market in the prolonged depart."The court docket has asked us to respond promptly and in a valuable capacity to this day's decision and has given us some factual instructions in subsequent steps", Finance Minister Bill Morneau informed newshounds following the decision."While we wish to make sure the mission proceeds, we additionally wish to make sure it moves forward in the factual capacity", Morneau acknowledged". However, at the last stage of the consultation process prior to the decision of the Governor in Council, a stage called Phase III, Canada's efforts fell well short of the mark set by the Supreme Court of Canada. Other plaintiffs include the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby.

Some BC First Nations welcomed the ruling.

"Of course we're very happy with the decision", Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said, adding that the ruling is "one that I think reflects numerous issues that we have raised throughout the hearings".

While the project could allow Alberta to get its bitumen to markets in Asia and reduce its reliance on the USA market, there has been opposition over the potential for oil spills and the impact that a dramatic rise in tanker traffic could have on the region's southern resident killer whales, a population already on the knife edge of extinction.

October 26, 2017: Kinder Morgan Canada asks NEB to allow work to begin despite a failure to obtain municipal permits from the City of Burnaby.

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