March 27, 2018
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is calling a recent court decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project a definitive victory.
The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the B.C. government’s bid to challenge a National Energy Board ruling that allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass local bylaws during construction of the pipeline expansion which would triple the amount of crude flowing from Alberta to a port facility in Burnaby, B.C.
The court also ordered B.C. to pay the costs.
“Another victory for our economy,” Notley told Canadian Press yesterday during an unrelated transit announcement. “Another victory for our climate plan. Another victory for the pipeline and another victory for all Albertans and all Canadians.”
The federal government approved the pipeline expansion in 2016, but the project faces significant opposition in B.C. Thousands of people have rallied in protest and the provincial government has raised concerns about the pipeline’s possible environmental and economic impact.
B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman said the government is disappointed by the court’s decision and suggested it undermines the local permitting process.
“The provincial government has steadfastly assured administrative fairness,” he said in a prepared statement, “while we defend B.C.’s interests by insisting on high standards for environmental protection and First Nations consultations.”
“Our government will continue to explore other legal ways to defend the interests of British Columbians against this unnecessary project.”
There are still a number of other legal decisions pending on the pipeline — including a review by the Court of Appeal of the decision by federal cabinet to approve the pipeline and a review by B.C.’s highest court of the decision by its former provincial government to approve the pipeline.
B.C. Premier John Horgan has also asked for a legal ruling on whether his province can restrict increased amounts of oil from coming into B.C. while his government reviews oil-spill safety measures.
Notley noted Alberta has won every court decision and will continue to fight for the pipeline.
“We know this pipeline is in the national interest and it will be built,” she told Canadian Press. “When it is built, every Albertan and every Canadian will benefit.”