Friday , August 19 2022

More court challenges are expected over the new Trans Mountain Pipeline decision


Trans Mountain marine terminal in Burnaby.


Even before the National Energy Board presented its answer on Friday reconsidering the expansion of the $ 9.3 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline, opponents say that there will be more court challenges of any decision.

The last fall, several First Nations, including the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish, as well as environmentalists and urban leaders, said that the rapid re-examination of the marine traffic effects of the project, including on slaughtered whales, was inadequate and could create grounds for another court challenge.

Concerns included that the 155 day schedule of the review was too short and its scope was not wide enough, including that it had limited a 12 mile strip along the coast.

The NEB releases its reconsider report for 9 a.m. UN and environmentalists have organized a news conference at 10 a.m. in Vancouver.

Eugene Kung, a staff lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law who has worked with First Nations in the past on the challenges of the Trans Mountain court on Thursday said it was felt that the shortcomings of the review process were not addressed.

In fact, they have become exacerbated, he said, emphasizing the recent refusal of NEB to include the effects of the climate change of the project.

"So legal challenges are certainly possible again," said Kung.

One that would be launched against the NEB award or waiting until a subsequent federal government decision, which is usually made within 90 days, is clear.

The last fall by the federal government referred to the NEB to reconsider the project after the decision of the Federal Appeal Court last summer abolished the pipeline's approval. The court found that Canada had inadequate First Nations consultation in the final stage and that the scope of the "unfair" review did not include project-related tanker traffic.

Earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, First Minister, had bought the current project and Trans Mountain pipeline for $ 4.5 billion.

The expansion project has been suspended since the decision of the federal court in August 2018.

Professor Dwight Newman, Saskatchewan University, said Thursday that the opponents could launch more court action and expected some wills.

"At some pragmatic level, it could influence it (the courts) that it is now round after further government efforts, but at some level of principle they have to look straightforward on how the law is relevant to what has been done or not done, "said Newman, who has the Canadian Research Chair of Indigenous Rights at the University of Saskatchewan.

The project – with the help of a lot of B.C. businesses, some First Nations, oil producers, some unions and federal government – mean opening new markets in Asia through terminal ships at Burnaby.

Business Advice B.C. President Greg D 'Avignon said on Thursday, if these types of projects can not be built, there is a real problem in Canada, as they pay bills for education, health and fighting poverty.

The most involved in this is that Canada's investment confidence is increasingly eroded as it is known as where you can not do things, says Avignon.

Although Canada's rule of law allows challenges to be filed in court, they are also being used as a tool when some parties will not get their way, he says.

"That's not how our country was built – it provides for the minority," added Avignon D '.

In early January, the NEB released its draft recommendations on reconsidering the marine effects of the project. They included the creation of a marine mammal defense program, as well as measures to offset the increase in the underwater noise and the potential to jeopardize shipping vessels. The NEB also seeks to limit the number of boats watching watts and how much time they spend on the water.

There is a separate process in place to meet the need for deeper UN consultations, led by a pre-justice retired by the Supreme Court Frank Iacobucci.

Canadian Natural Resources spokesman Alison Reilander said around 60 government consultants on the daily floor at B.C. and Alberta, and met nearly three quarters of the 117 affected communities.

The federal government did not respond to questions about when its consultations would be complete.

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