Court Victory for Disputed Trans Mountain Pipeline Project

Court Victory for Disputed Trans Mountain Pipeline Project

  • Construction on the pipeline expansion began in December.
  • Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed a challenge to a controversial pipeline expansion, a victory for the beleaguered project.

The court says the federal government held “adequate and meaningful” consultations with indigenous peoples, as required by law. Some indigenous groups had gone to the appellate court to block construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The federal cabinet approved the project last summer.

“While the parties challenging the cabinet’s decision are fully entitled to oppose the project, reconciliation and the duty to consult do not provide them with a veto over projects such as this one,” reads the court decision, released on [February 4, 2020].

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau called the court decision “an important milestone”.

The indigenous groups behind the court challenge said on Tuesday they were disappointed but vowed to continue to fight the project.

The Trans Mountain expansion project would triple the existing 67-year-old pipeline’s capacity, increasing its capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 per day from Alberta, the heart of Canada’s oil industry, to Burnaby, British Columbia (BC).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the project is in the national economic interests.