Federal Appeals Court Rules on Trans Mountain Pipeline

Legal Update
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OTTAWA – The Federal Appeals Court has ruled against the Trans Mountain Pipeline. This is the pipeline expansion in British Columbia that the Trudeau government invested $4.5 billion into. The court has quashed the construction certificate for the project.

In a statement from the Government of Canada, the Department of Natural Resources says “They have “received the Federal Court of Appeal decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The decision will be reviewed and comment will follow in the coming days”.

The Decision can be read here.

The Court ruled, “As explained above at paragraphs 513 to 549, the consultation framework selected by Canada was reasonable and sufficient. If Canada properly executed it, Canada would have discharged its duty to consult.

“However, based on the totality of the evidence I conclude that Canada failed in Phase III to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the concerns expressed to it in good faith by the Indigenous applicants so as to explore possible accommodation of these concerns.

“Certainly Canada’s consultation team worked in good faith and assiduously to understand and document the concerns of the Indigenous applicants and to report those concerns to the Governor in Council in the Crown Consultation Report. That part of the Phase III consultation was reasonable.

“However, as the above review shows, missing was a genuine and sustained effort to pursue meaningful, two-way dialogue. Very few responses were provided by Canada’s representatives in the consultation meetings. When a response was provided it was brief and did not further two-way dialogue. Too often the response was that the consultation team would put the concerns before the decision-makers for consideration.”

Opponents to the pipeline had argued that there was not full and sufficient consultation. It is likely if this court ruling stands, that the precedent set will impact other mining, oil and natural gas exploration, and forestry projects across
Canada.

In related developments, a vote that resulted in 99% of Kinder Morgan shareholders voting to sell the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the federal government for $4.5 billion dollars, it is now going to take a complete and likely very expensive review process for the project to move forward.

Developing…