Two pipeline challenges dismissed by B.C. court

Two pipeline challenges dismissed by B.C. court

The BC Supreme Court has ruled against both of the City of Vancouver and Squamish Nation after they mounted legal challenges aimed at halting the multi-billion dollar project. In that campaign, the NDP vowed it would use every legal tool available to stop the Trans Mountain project if it formed government.

"What this case does concern is whether British Columbia adequately fulfilled its undoubted duty to consult Squamish in relation to its decision to issue an (environmental assessment certificate) to the project", he said.

The court was also ruling on a separate, but similar challenge, launched by the City of Vancouver.

The province, which is fighting the project in three other courtrooms, was forced to defend the environmental certificate granted to the Trans Mountain pipeline project by the previous B.C. Liberal government because its legal advisers said it has a responsibility to defend the integrity of the Crown.

"In this case, there is no doubt that Squamish is deeply disappointed in the approval of the TMX notwithstanding the conditions attached to that approval", said Grauer's ruling. "It strenuously opposed the project and continues to do so", Grauer wrote.

In the latest clash between governments, B.C. They dealt strictly with the question of whether the province could defend its actions in light of the National Energy Board's approval of the project.

"In the City of Vancouver case, the B.C. government took no position on the merits of the petition and appeared in court in order to provide the record of the government's decision and make limited submissions on the standard of review and costs". "The court has made clear that these rulings have no bearing on the ongoing federal Court of Appeal case challenging the federal approval of the project".

Protesters are watched by RCMP outside the Kinder Morgan facility in Burnaby.

That decision, he said, will be "more significant".

He said the province "considered the options constitutionally open to it, and proceeded accordingly".

"We are pleased that the Trans Mountain pipeline took another step forward today", she said in a statement on Thursday.

As far as the concerns of the Squamish Nation are concerned, Grauer noted that the Federal Appeal Court is now considering the adequacy of the NEB's Aboriginal consultation. "While other decisions remain before the courts, the record in the courts of TMX proponents is promising", she said in the release.

The judge said the consultation that took place was adequate. "The failures of the past will not be repeated".

With Kinder Morgan's self-imposed deadline to decide if the project should go ahead fast approaching, and the Federal Court of Appeal not yet ruling on another challenge filed by indigenous groups, a councillor with the Squamish Nation is expecting that to be where many jurisdictional issues will be resolved.

Both the Squamish Nation and the City of Vancouver brought lawsuits against the province, arguing that B.C. had not met the minimum requirements for consultation and review when it approved Kinder Morgan's pipeline project.

"I find that in issuing the EAC in this case, the Ministers' conclusion, that consultation and accommodation sufficient to satisfy section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, had occurred, was reasonable and entitled to deference", Grauer had stated.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr also applauded the ruling.

Kinder Morgan recently issued an ultimatum saying that it may pull out of the project due to uncertainty caused by the B.C. government and its efforts to introduce new rules that could stall the transportation of bitumen on its territory. "Our legal team is reviewing the reasons and the Squamish Nation Council will explore an appeal based on legal advice", Khelsilem adds.

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