Federal Court of Appeal quashes Trans Mountain pipeline, citing environmental, Indigenous concerns

Federal Court of Appeal quashes Trans Mountain pipeline, citing environmental, Indigenous concerns

Federal Court of Appeal quashes Trans Mountain pipeline, citing environmental, Indigenous concerns

A Canadian court sided unanimously with environmentalist and indigenous groups on Thursday in a decision that indefinitely halts the construction of the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau at a press conference in Toronto on August 30.

In the meantime, she said Alberta won't participate in the national climate plan "until the federal government gets its act together".

"Let's be clear, without Alberta that plan isn't worth the paper it's written on", Notley said. "It is time for Prime Minister Trudeau to do the right thing", the band said in a statement.

Many indigenous people see the 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) 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.

The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned Ottawa's approval of the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Trudeau government planned to sell the pipeline.

"It's at this point we would encourage the federal government to use all of the tools at their disposal to ensure that this nation-building project, this ever-so-important project can start and continue construction to its completion".

Energy analyst Ian Gillies said in a note that the ruling will lead investors to question whether other large projects will move forward. "So we will be considering our next steps in light of that".

Notley also says her government hasn't ruled out acting on legislation it recently passed allowing it to cut oil flows both east and west to drive home the importance of Alberta's bedrock industry to the rest of Canada.

Trudeau has faced mounting criticism for forging ahead with the purchase in order to guarantee the pipeline's completion. That, in turn, meant that the energy board did not assess the potential impact of increased tanker traffic on the southern resident killer whale population.

In a unanimous decision by a panel of three judges, the court said the National Energy Board's review of the proposal was so flawed that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion.

January 27, 2016: The federal Liberal government says pipeline projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion will now be assessed in part on the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the extraction and processing of the oil they carry.

"Only after that consultation is completed and any accommodation made can the project be put before the Governor in Council (cabinet) for approval", the decision reads. "The duty to consult was not adequately discharged".

Meanwhile, in B.C., the Squamish Nation cheered the ruling as a recognition of Indigenous rights.

Political scientist Chaldeans Mensah said the ruling is a setback for the political fortunes of the NDP, which has been trailing the United Conservatives in opinion polls. "They did not behave honourably and the courts agreed every step of the way".

In terms of meaningful consultation with First Nations regarding the project, Dreeshen feels many were on board with the project. "We know this pipeline, which is in the national interest, needs to get built". "It signals that governments, corporations, and funders must all respect Indigenous Peoples' right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent". An appeal to the higher court would drag it out at least another couple of years, Harrison said.

"Many British Columbians have been saying that the Trans Mountain project would create serious risks to our coast".

Kinder Morgan had already won several court victories, including one last week when the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application from the City of Burnaby to overturn a lower court decision. "It has always been obvious that the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project violates Indigenous sovereignty and would cause irreparable harm to our environment and the health of people; while threatening the extinction of the Southern Resident orca".

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