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

Just Posted

UPDATE: VIU student dies, another injured in car crash on Nanaimo Lakes Road

Students were in Vancouver Island University’s automotive program

Beefs & Bouquets, Dec. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

No chronic wasting disease found in deer carcass brought to Nanaimo

Conservation officers had asked for public assistance to locate hunters last month

Gabriola Island plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Nanoose residents want court sports at their local park

Regional District of Nanaimo plans to redevelop Jack Bagley Park

Dover Bay Secondary School drama program to stage ‘Addams Family’ musical

Production is first high school musical for teacher and some students

Canadian airline passengers to be eligible for $1,000 in compensation for delayed flights

Passengers can also receive compensation for overbooking, lost luggage and other inconveniences

RCMP take care when burying sex mannequins found this year in Manning Park

Police tasked with ensuring the mannequins were completely disposed

Mount Washington receives more than 30cm of snow

Last week, the resort announced they were pushing back opening day due to lack of snow.

B.C. seniors need better vaccine protection, advocate says

Home support down, day programs up in annual rating

RCMP rescue wounded raven on Vancouver Island highway

Bird expected to make full recovery

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun in Nanaimo

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area

Be aware of ticks when chopping down Christmas trees

Potential for ticks to transfer to clothing

Most Read