Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Court nixes Trans Mountain Pipeline

Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain expansion sits at a stockpile site in Kamloops Canadian court blocks controversial oil pipeline project | TheHill
Lloyd Bates | 02 September, 2018, 09:30

Up to C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) in public money was committed by the Alberta government as an emergency fund to cover unpredictable expenses, while a Canadian Crown corporation also was being set up to own the pipeline and manage TMEP.

"This decision takes things further along the path to clarity in terms of what's required to discharge consultation obligations, but some uncertainty remains".

So as to the bottom line, according to CBC Canada, the pipeline project has been left in limbo until the energy regulator and the government reassesses their approvals and they meet with the approval of the court.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said earlier in the day that the federal government is dedicated to move forward with the Trans Mountain project. It was approved by the federal government in 2016.

The decision means the country's National Energy Board will have to redo its review of the pipeline.

The fatal flaw, the court said, was that it excluded the project's impact on marine shipping.

But many indigenous people see the 620 miles of new pipeline as a threat to their lands, echoing concerns raised by Native Americans about the Keystone XL project in the U.S. Many in Canada say it also raises broader environmental concerns by enabling increased development of the carbon-heavy oil sands.

August 23, 2018: The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal by the City of Burnaby to reconsider a lower court decision that denied the port city leave to appeal the ruling by the National Energy Board.

Most of the additional capacity would be destined for points overseas.

Shortly after the ruling, Kinder Morgan Canada shareholders voted more than 99 per cent in favour of a sale.

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. "So we will be considering our next steps in light of that".

"The government was really shamed today, the project is the wrong project, the process was flawed, this is a government that talks about reconciliation, but clearly doesn't know what it means", says Wilhelmson.

He described the pipeline purchase as a good investment that will yield strong returns in years ahead, and that the deal to buy it will be finalized as early as Friday.

British Colombia and its capital Vancouver, which would have seen increased oil tanker traffic due to the pipeline, has been at the centre of the protests.

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May 15, 2017: The Federal Court of Appeal grants Notley's government intervener status in a lawsuit filed by municipalities and First Nations against the project.

"We would encourage the federal government to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada at the first opportunity", he said. The court did not specify a timeline.

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

The environmental groups involved in the case also cheered the ruling, with Ecojustice, the Living Oceans Society and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation calling it a "critical win" for the climate and coastal ecosystems. "They did not behave honourably and the courts agreed every step of the way".

It was that relationship between the state and First Nations that ultimately led to the decision.

Notley said she spoke with the prime minister following the Federal Court of Appeal's decision Thursday to overturn the federal government's approval of the contentious pipeline expansion.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called today's ruling "devastating" news for Canadian workers and taxpayers and a "complete indictment" of the Trudeau government's efforts to get the project off the ground.

"It nearly seems impossible to get a pipeline built, whether it's to the east or west coast", said Yurdiga. "They either kill or cancel the projects based on ideology, or they mismanage and bungle them to the point where they're in a very precarious position".

"Going forward, we urge politicians and other project proponents to shift their focus away from projects that lock us into dependence on fossil fuels", Ecojustice lawyer Dyna Tuytel said.

"Trans Mountain is now taking measures to suspend construction related activities on the project in a safe and orderly manner".

He did not rule out appealing the court ruling.

Just three days ago, the Trans Mountain Twitter account posted pictures of workers beginning construction of the pipeline expansion.

Pipeline capacity is expanded via the construction of a 160-kilometre pipeline loop. "We celebrated the big milestone over the weekend, as crews kicked off construction in Central #Alberta", the tweet read. "It is time to put a stop to the Kinder Morgan buy-out".

"Trans Mountain is now taking measures to suspend construction related activities on the Project in a safe and orderly manner", the statement reads.

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