Published: Sun, September 02, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

Court quashes Canada’s approval of pipeline

Court quashes Canada’s approval of pipeline

Most of the charges are later dropped.

"I was expecting a more mixed ruling", said Gene McGuckin of Burnaby Residents Against Kinder Morgan Expansion.

Until then, she said Alberta is pulling out of the national climate plan, meaning the province won't agree to raise its current price on carbon from $30 tonne to $40 tonne in 2021 and $50 a tonne by 2022.

It was that relationship between the state and First Nations that ultimately led to the decision.

The scheme had been a crucial test for Trudeau and his government, who swept into office in 2015 on promises of striking a balance between economic growth, environmental concerns and repairing the country's fraught relationship with Indigenous peoples. "Now it's time for Prime Minister Trudeau to read the writing on the wall, dump this pipeline and shift the billions of public dollars slated for this problem-plagued project into Canada's renewable energy economy", Mike Hudema of the organisation said in a statement.

January 11, 2017: B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces her support for the project, saying Kinder Morgan has met five government conditions including a revenue-sharing agreement worth up to $1 billion.

It also said the government failed in its constitutional duty to "engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the real concerns of the indigenous applicants so as to explore possible accommodation of those concerns".

Following today's ruling, shareholders at Kinder Morgan Canada voted 99 per cent in favour of selling Trans Mountain to the federal government.

May 29, 2017: The B.C. NDP and Greens agree to form a coalition to topple the Liberal party, which won a minority government in an election earlier in the month.

The news was met nearly immediately with calls from Indigenous groups to stop the project one and for all.

Premier John Horgan said: "This case has always been about First Nations rights" in a press conference.

First Nations are already celebrating this victory, which has the potential to kill the project for good.

December 7, 2017: NEB allows Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass Burnaby bylaws. "Trans Mountain has been in consultations with this project for well over five years but just from the outside looking in, I don't see how any reasonable person could say that Trans Mountain hasn't done their due diligence with respect to consultation and educating all affected people of what the impact of this project is going to be".

January 18, 2018: NEB establishes a process to resolve permitting issues between Kinder Morgan Canada and provincial and municipal authorities.

The court decision is a victory for indigenous leaders and environmentalists, who have pledged to do whatever necessary to thwart the pipeline, including chaining themselves to construction equipment.

"The court has sent a clear signal that the rule of law will not accommodate environmental decision-making that fails to address these environmental risks", he said.

The court decision is a blow to Trudeau, whose government is having a bad week after Canada was left out of new free trade deal with the US and Mexico.

April 8, 2018: Kinder Morgan Canada suspends non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain expansion project and sets a May 31 deadline to reach agreements with stakeholders.

The Canadian government's decision to buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline is said to be moving forward despite a unanimous ruling Thursday by a federal appeals court, which concluded that the government's review was flawed and said Indigenous groups had not been adequately consulted.

August 23, 2018: The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal by the City of Burnaby to reconsider a lower court decision that denied the port city leave to appeal the ruling by the National Energy Board.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said earlier in the day that the federal government is dedicated to move forward with the Trans Mountain project.

In its decision, the court found the National Energy Board's assessment of the project was so flawed that it should not have been relied on by the federal cabinet when it gave final approval to proceed in November 2016.

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