Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal on Wednesday agreed to hear six challenges to the Canadian government’s earlier approval of an expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, potentially adding to delays ahead of an October election.
In a ruling posted on its website, the court said the six challenges relate to the adequacy of the government’s consultations with indigenous groups, and that they must proceed on strict, short deadlines.
The decision marks the second time in just over a year that Trans Mountain has run into legal obstacles.
The project, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government bought last year, is one of several pipeline projects Canada’s oil industry says are badly needed to allow Canadian crude to reach higher-paying refiners in the United States and Asia.
The six challenges allowed by the court, out of 12 requested by the project’s opponents, all relate to whether indigenous groups were fully consulted about the project, since the government’s previous approval was quashed in August 2018.
That decision led to the government conducting a new round of consultations before re-approving the project in June.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has issued a statement in response to the Federal Court of Appeals’ decision to grant six of 12 requests for appeal on the Trans Mountain expansion project. Please see below:
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is disappointed with the federal court’s decision to grant leave for appeal. The Trans Mountain expansion project (TMEP) is critical to connecting sustainably produced Canadian oil and natural gas to developing economies with high growth markets.
We support meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples for the responsible development of our energy resources. Canada has an opportunity to provide the world with its sustainably produced oil and natural gas to help reduce net global emissions and to meet growing global energy demand.
The TMEP has already undergone a lengthy, thorough and extensive regulatory review process, including extensive consultation with all stakeholders. It has been deemed to be in the best interests of all Canadians.
Despite this setback, CAPP fully expects construction on the TMEP to begin in September.
- Tim McMillan, president and CEO, CAPP