Published: Sat, September 01, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Alberta to leave Canada's climate plan following pipeline decision

Alberta to leave Canada's climate plan following pipeline decision

The Federal Court of Appeals has overturned the government's approval of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

Earlier Thursday, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the approval of the Trans Mountain project after finding that the federal government failed in its duty to engage in meaningful consultations with First Nations before approving the project.

The decision will require the NEB to restart its review of the expansion project. "And how can we get these to move forward, in an environmentally sustainable way".

The Trans Mountain expansion is projected to lead to a tanker traffic balloon from about 60 to more than 400 vessels annually as the pipeline flow increases from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

The Squamish Nation called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to abandon the proposed expansion.

In the spring, Ottawa announced the purchase of Kinder Morgan's core Canadian assets for $4.5 billion to take ownership of the existing pipeline. "It is time for Prime Minister Trudeau to do the right thing".

For example, the Coldwater Indian Band in south-central B.C. raised concerns about the pipeline route passing through an aquifer that is the sole supply of drinking water for its main reserve. "We know we're the ones to de-risk it". "And let's not forget: tax revenue from this project would have funded necessary government services for Canadians across the country, including healthcare, infrastructure, and education".

As for consultations with Indigenous communities, the court found that the government's representatives "limited their mandate to listening to and recording the concerns of the Indigenous applicants and then transmitting those concerns to the decision-makers". Canada's domestic emissions are also more than double the global average on a per capita basis.

That decision means the government will have to redo part of its consultations with Indigenous groups. The court ruled that although the issues were valid, state officials failed to resolve them.

The court combined into one case almost two dozen lawsuits filed by First Nations, environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby calling for the energy board's review to be overturned.

January 27, 2016: The federal Liberal government says pipeline projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion will now be assessed in part on the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the extraction and processing of the oil they carry.

"I'm very disappointed; in fact, I'm angry", he tells KamloopsMatters.

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Sen also mentioned the use of black money, he said that trade and money lending are the commonest ones. Thousands of SME units were shut down.

Corrigan pointed to the NEB's decision to "artificially cut off consideration at the inlet" as the critical factor in the decision.

"The evidence would indicate we are slow learners on the road to resources", he said.

"The government played politics with our livelihood", said Khelsilem, a councillor with the Squamish Nation.

An aerial view of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

What happens next isn't certain, but for now the First Nations and allies who opposed the pipeline expansion are celebrating the victory.

The court decision means a delay, not a death knell, for the project, said David Wright, an energy and Indigenous law expert at the University of Calgary.

He also acknowledged that "this decision will be devastating for many in Alberta".

The Rainforest Action Network cheered the court's decision, saying, "This is a great victory for Indigenous communities everywhere fighting against destructive projects being imposed upon their territories".

The court ruling will halt construction of the 1,150km project, spearheaded by Texas-based Kinder Morgan, until the energy regulator and government can show they have complied with the court's demands - a process that could take years. An appeal to the higher court would drag it out at least another couple of years, Harrison said.

In assessing the Trans Mountain expansion, the NEB was not allowed to consider downstream effects on climate change.

It faces stiff environmental opposition from British Columbia's provincial government and activists.

"Dump this pipeline and shift the billions of public dollars slated for this problem-plagued project into Canada's renewable energy economy", Hudema said in a statement.

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