Federal Court of Appeal sides with opponents of Trans Mountain

02 September, 2018, 09:30 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Kilometre Zero of the Trans Mountain pipeline system at the Kinder Morgan Edmonton Terminal in Edmonton.					David Bloom  Postmedia file

First Nations have been protesting the pipeline expansion project, which would triple the amount of tar sands oil flowing from Alberta to British Columbia, for months. The project features four pump stations along its 1,150-kilometre route and a marine dock that connects loading facilities on the east side of Edmonton with ocean tankers in Burnaby, B.C.

"Pipeline construction for the #TransMountain Expansion Project has officially begun!"

Trans Mountain is now a political millstone. Almost 10,000 barrels of oil are released.

Analysts have said China is eager to get access to Canada's oil, but largely gave up hope that a pipeline to the Pacific Coast would be built.

December 16, 2013: An application is made to the National Energy Board (NEB) to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. Hundreds - including two federal MPs - have been arrested for blocking the entrance of a facility belonging to Trans Mountain. Most of the charges are later dropped.

In a statement, Kinder Morgan confirmed construction will now stop.

"Let's be clear, without Alberta, that plan isn't worth the paper it's written on", she told a news conference the evening of August 30 in Edmonton.

Trudeau's Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, said he would speak about the decision on Thursday afternoon. Proponents will also be required to improve consultations with First Nations.

The project has been at the center of widespread protests from environmental groups and First Nations ever since November 2016, when Trudeau approved a $7.4 billion expansion of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline that would increase the transport of Alberta tar sands oil from the current 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day and increase tanker traffic almost seven-fold through the Burrard Inlet.

January 11, 2017: B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces her support for the project, saying Kinder Morgan has met five government conditions including a revenue-sharing agreement worth up to $1 billion. As for Kinder Morgan's being given shareholder approval to sell the pipeline to Canada, "Kinder Morgan will be happy to have unloaded it", Gallagher said in a phone interview.

The news was met nearly immediately with calls from Indigenous groups to stop the project one and for all.

In terms of meaningful consultation with First Nations regarding the project, Dreeshen feels many were on board with the project.

More news: US Senator and war veteran John McCain dies at 81

December 7, 2017: NEB allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass Burnaby bylaws.

The project and Kinder Morgan had won a long string of court cases related to the project, but this ruling covered a wide range of lawsuits.

January 18, 2018: NEB establishes a process to resolve permitting issues between Kinder Morgan Canada and provincial and municipal authorities.

As with the Trans Mountain projects, the mining industry has seen other setbacks because of a lack of clarity from governments on the duty to properly consult Indigenous groups.

A Canadian court has overturned Ottawa's approval of a hotly-contested pipeline project - throwing plans to almost triple the flow of Alberta's landlocked bitumen to the west coast into limbo - in a ruling hailed by environmentalists and Indigenous groups.

"The Squamish Nation celebrates the court's ruling in favour of our Indigenous rights", it said.

BC Premier John Horgan says the National Energy Board process is flawed and the concerns that opponents of this project have are justified.

The court decision is a blow to Trudeau, whose government is having a bad week after Canada was left out of new free trade deal with the USA and Mexico.

The NEB will have to restart its review of the expansion project.

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - A Canadian court on Thursday overturned approval of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, ruling that Ottawa failed to adequately consider aboriginal concerns, in a blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's efforts to balance environmental and economic issues.

Only the federal government was willing to shoulder the risks that come with Trans Mountain, because Mr. Trudeau rightly believes this project is as important to this generation of Canadians as a railway was in 1867.

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