Blow to Trudeau as Canada court halts Trans Mountain oil pipeline

02 September, 2018, 09:28 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Court quashes Trudeau’s approval of Trans Mountain pipeline By Mike De Souza in News Energy |
August 30th 2018

The Trans Mountain expansion would almost triple capacity on an existing line from Edmonton, Alberta to a port in the Vancouver area for export.

He vowed that a Liberal government would gain the "social license" necessary to build pipelines by working in partnership with environmental and Indigenous groups.

But it has continued to face stiff opposition from environmentalist activists - who once supported Trudeau's rise to power - and indigenous tribes concerned that increased shipping from a marine terminal at the end of the route in Vancouver will impede the recovery of killer whale populations in the area.

Earlier this year, in an escalating dispute with the B.C. government over Trans Mountain, Notley's government passed sweeping legislation allowing it to intervene in the marketplace and restrict oil flows if necessary to maximize prices while also sending a sharp message to Canadian regions reliant on Alberta's oil.

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

"Climate leaders don't buy or expand pipelines", said Singh, adding that the government should "consider all legal options" to cancel the purchase of Trans Mountain.

Corrigan said he doesn't think this ruling will put the nail in the coffin of the proposed expansion project, but he said it remains a "victory for opponents of the pipeline".

In her decision this morning, Federal Court Justice Eleanor Dawson stated that the National Energy Board had failed to account for tanker traffic in its report, and that the federal government had not fulfilled its duty to adequately consult with Indigenous groups before approving the project. The case is a combination of almost two dozen cases against the crude oil pipeline, according to the Globe and Mail.

He said it was clear that the consultations the Trudeau government conducted were inadequate, even though the government did another round of discussions after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned Stephen Harper's approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline in 2016 over a failure to consult.

At the same time the decision was posted, Kinder Morgan shareholders voted overwhelmingly (99.9 percent) at a meeting in Calgary, Alberta to approve the pipeline's sale to the federal government.

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"So today I am announcing that with the Trans Mountain halted, and the work on it halted, until the federal government gets its act together; Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan", she added.

The scheme had been a crucial test for Trudeau and his government, who swept into office in 2015 on promises of striking a balance between economic growth, environmental concerns and repairing the country's fraught relationship with Indigenous peoples. "Alberta has done everything right and we have been let down", Notley 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.

Bobocel says from a Chamber perspective, everyone involved in the project has gone above and beyond what they needed to do.

While the project could allow Alberta to get its bitumen to markets in Asia and reduce its reliance on the U.S. 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.

He said the government remained "absolutely committed" to building the project.

The Squamish Nation cheered the ruling as a recognition of Indigenous rights.

"We would encourage the federal government to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada at the first opportunity", he said.

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. "Trans Mountain has been in consultations with this project for well over five years but just from the outside looking in, I don't see how any reasonable person could say that Trans Mountain hasn't done their due diligence with respect to consultation and educating all affected people of what the impact of this project is going to be".

Greenpeace and others called the court's decision a "major victory" for indigenous rights and efforts to curtail global warming.

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