Trans Mountain pipeline expansion quashed by Federal Court of Appeal

Aug 31, 2018, 03:42
Trans Mountain pipeline expansion quashed by Federal Court of Appeal

VANCOUVER-The Federal Court of Appeals has sided with pipeline opponents Thursday morning in a pivotal case against the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline. The Trans Mountain expansion would cause tanker traffic to balloon from about 60 to more than 400 vessels annually as the pipeline flow increases from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

In a unanimous decision by a panel of three judges, the court said the National Energy Board's review of the project was so flawed that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion.

Kinder Morgan shareholders are to vote later today on whether to approve the sale to Canada.

McLeod said twinning the pipeline would be safer than transporting oil by rail, opining in a social-media post that the federal government "botched the process". "More was required of Canada". There was no "meaningful two-way dialogue". Environmental groups, such as Stand.earth, celebrated the decision because it requires new consultations with First Nations and new environmental assessments. Trans Mountain is now taking measures to suspend construction related activities on the project in a safe and orderly manner.

"Now the incompetent Trudeau gov't owns a pipeline it can't build", opposition deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt tweeted.

Christian noted Kinder Morgan pays into the city's utility tax category, revenue that was set to increase with the expanded infrastructure. When asked if the pipeline project is dead, he said it will no longer be "top of mind for British Columbians".

The court decision is a victory for indigenous leaders and environmentalists, who have pledged to do whatever necessary to thwart the pipeline, including chaining themselves to construction equipment.

Some First Nations are celebrating the ruling. The consultations with First Nations must be re-done before the project can be considered for approval again.

Developer Kinder Morgan issued a statement Thursday stating the company is suspending construction on the project, at least for now.

Bill Morneau, Canada's finance minister, said the government is reviewing the court's decision carefully, but it has not yet decided what its exact response will be. He said it was a good day for the Tsleil-Waututh and other First Nations who mounted this fight.

The decision was a major victory for Canadian First Nations, environmental groups and US tribes that opposed the pipeline expansion.

Stone is on the same page and says leadership for the Trans Mountain issue needs to come from the federal government, as its creation is in the national interest.

Lee Spahan, chief of the Coldwater First Nation in the Nicola Valley - which he said is known as the people of the creek - said the ruling helps save water.

Stewart Phillips, head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said he had not anticipated a positive ruling. He is expected to speak to reporters in Toronto on Thursday afternoon. "Now it's time for Prime Minister Trudeau to read the writing on the wall, dump this pipeline and shift the billions of public dollars slated for this problem-plagued project into Canada's renewable energy economy", Mike Hudema of the organisation said in a statement.

"Our reference case establishing jurisdiction not just for this government but for future B.C. governments is still important", Horgan said.

Christian says the ball is in the federal government's court.

Trudeau himself laid out for students Wednesday how the pipeline is a crucial piece of his government's climate change and economic growth puzzle.

"But my responsibility is to the people of British Columbia".

"While we want to make sure the project proceeds, we want to make sure it proceeds in the right way", Morneau said.

The expansion would almost triple capacity on an existing line from Edmonton, Alberta to a port in the Vancouver area for export and was approved by the federal government in 2016.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the decision validates his city's concerns about marine impacts and Indigenous consultation. Critically endangered southern resident killer whales face a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic through their critical habitat if the project is built.

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