Court allows appeal on pipeline certificate, says B.C. needs to reconsider

Province’s approval of certificate was based on quashed original report from National Energy Board

Pipeline pipes are seen at a Trans Mountain facility near Hope, B.C., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press)

The British Columbia government has been ordered by the province’s highest court to reconsider its environmental assessment certificate allowing the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

In challenges by the Squamish Nation and the City of Vancouver, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled the province’s approval of the certificate was based on the original report from the National Energy Board, which was later quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal.

After the National Energy Board reviewed the project for a second time, the federal government approved the pipeline expansion again.

READ MORE: Thousands of landowners on Trans Mountain pipeline route have yet to grant access

The Appeal Court says in its decision released today that in light of changes to the original report of the energy board when it reconsidered the project, provincial approval also needs to be reconsidered.

B.C.’s former Liberal government approved the expansion with 37 conditions, while relying on an agreement with the energy board that would stand for a provincial environmental assessment.

The three-judge panel said in its unanimous decision that through no fault of the provincial government, what is now Canada’s environmental assessment of the pipeline was not the same assessment used when B.C. approved its certificate.

The court dismissed other claims by the city and the Squamish Nation including that the province failed to sufficiently consult with Indigenous groups.

The Federal Court of Appeal agreed earlier this month to hear arguments from First Nations that argue they were improperly consulted before the federal government approved the pipeline expansion for the second time.

The City of Vancouver says in a statement that it’s pleased with the court’s decision. One of the reasons the city pursued the case was the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision that overturning Ottawa’s approval of the project, which led the energy board to reconsider the project and issue a new report.

“The City remains of the view that the Trans Mountain Pipeline project would have significant environmental impacts, including the unacceptable risk of oil spills and increased greenhouse gas emission related to the project at a time when the world needs to reduce emissions,” it says.

Environment Minister George Heyman was not immediately available for comment. Representatives from Trans Mountain and the Squamish Nation could not immediately be reached for comment.

The project would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Alberta’s oilpatch to a terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

The federal government bought the existing pipeline and the unfinished expansion work for $4.5 billion last year, promising to get it past the political opposition that had scared off Kinder Morgan Canada from proceeding.

The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Pembina CEO says ‘noise’ makes Trans Mountain pipeline bid unlikely

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

7 projects in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Burns Lake receive NKDF funding

Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society announced $139,702 in funding on May 29.

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible.

COVID-19: Fort St. James pharmacy reported to Northern Health for ‘spreading misconceptions’

“We can confirm that there have been lab-confirmed cases across the north - in both large and small communities,” says Northern Health.

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read