VANCOUVER – The Federal Court of Appeal is set to release its decision on the latest challenge of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion today.
Four First Nations from British Columbia filed court challenges after the federal government approved the project a second time last June.
A court hearing in December focused on the government’s consultation with the First Nations between August 2018 and June 2019.
The consultation took place after the Court of Appeal struck down the first project approval in August 2018 in part because of insufficient dialogue with Indigenous groups.
At the hearing last month, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and a coalition of small First Nations from the Fraser Valley argued that the government came into the consultations having predetermined the outcome.
The federal government responded that consultations were meaningful, saying that instead of just listening and recording the concerns it heard, it also incorporated them into broader programs to protect the environment.
The project is to triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to carry diluted bitumen and refined products from Alberta’s oilsands to a shipping terminal in Burnaby, B.C.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government purchased the pipeline and related infrastructure for $4.5 billion in 2018 and construction of the expansion is underway.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2020.