- The controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project made a landmark step forward with the start of construction in Alberta on Tuesday, two weeks before a federal court of appeal is set to hold hearings on challenges to the project.
- In August, the Canadian federal government announced that work would resume on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project. Just a few weeks later, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal said it would allow challenges to the project, filed by six indigenous groups.
- The Federal Court of Appeal is set to begin three-day hearings in the challenges in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 16.
On Tuesday, Trans Mountain began construction at Acheson, Alberta, with pipes expected to be in the ground by Christmas. The company began construction of Spread 1 in Greater Edmonton, which includes some 50 kilometers (31 miles) of pipeline running from Trans Mountain’s Edmonton Terminal in Sherwood Park to Acheson, Alberta.
The expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline would more than double the oil flow from oil-rich Alberta to British Columbia (B.C.) and potentially from B.C. to export markets in Asia, but B.C.’s government has been a vocal opponent of the pipeline in bitter disputes with neighboring Alberta.
While the construction start of the expansion is a landmark step ahead for the much-delayed project, court challenges remain, and “there still is substantial opposition” to the project, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, who opposes the project, told Reuters.
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