By October 11, 2017 Read More →

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion review flawed: Opponents’ lawyers

Trans Mountain

Upon completion, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would increase tanker traffic from about one per week to a little over one per day.  Trans Mountain photo.

Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would almost triple capacity

Lawyers arguing on behalf of opponents to Kinder Morgan’s expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline say aboriginal, environmental and some local governments were not sufficiently consulted on the proposed project.

Elin Sigurdson, lawyer for the opponents, argued at a judicial review of the project held in Vancouver, that the Canadian government did not provide “meaningful consultation” with First Nations and other groups.  As well, she said the government also did not adequately review some environmental issues.

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According to Sigurdson, these failures show the federal government’s approval of the project was “not a decision made in the public interest”.

Lawyers for the opponents will present their arguments to the judicial review Wednesday and beginning on Thursday, Kinder Morgan and government lawyers will offer their counter arguments to the panel.

The Canadian government has deemed the export of natural resources a “fundamental” responsibility and adds it has considered environmental and aboriginal concerns in approving the project.

Kinder Morgan says it has extensively consulted with First Nations and communities located along the pipeline’s path and it vows it will continue to engage with them.

The Trans Mountain expansion project will almost triple the capacity of the pipeline which ships Alberta dilbit to tide waters in British Columbia.  Upon completion, tanker traffic in Port of Vancouver will increase to 34 each month, up from one per week.

Should the panel decide against Kinder Morgan, the project will be sent back to regulatory review, which will cause long delays and could ultimately derail the project.

The hearings in the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver are scheduled to run two weeks.  There is no firm deadline for when the judgement will be handed down.  Regardless of the decision, it is expected it will be appealed in the Canadian Supreme Court.






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