VANCOUVER, BC –(Marketwired – June 30, 2016) – Coast Salish Territories – Environmental lawyers are celebrating after the Federal Court of Appeal reached a decision to quash the federal government’s conditional approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project.
The Court stated that the federal government’s consultation efforts with First Nations “fell well short of the mark,” and overturned Northern Gateway’s federal approval. Canada will now be required to properly consult with First Nations before the federal Cabinet makes a decision on whether to reject or approve the project.
“We are thrilled to see the Court’s judgement acknowledging the serious flaws in the federal approval of Northern Gateway,” said Jessica Clogg, Executive Director and Senior Counsel with West Coast Environmental Law. “This ruling provides an important opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau to do the right thing and put an end to the project for good, by implementing a ban on oil tankers on the north coast of BC.”
The Court’s ruling comes as a result of a series of legal challenges launched after the federal government granted conditional approval for Northern Gateway in June 2014. Eight First Nations sought judicial review of the approval, along with four environmental groups and one union. West Coast acted as legal counsel for two of the successful First Nations litigants in the cases.
Since the legal challenges were launched, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to formalize an oil tanker ban on the north Pacific coast, but so far there has been no movement on plans to implement the ban.
“West Coast Environmental Law will continue to work with our allies to ensure that this risky project is completely off the table,” said Gavin Smith, Staff Counsel. “Now is the time for the federal government to follow through on its commitments and ban oil tankers on the BC coast.”