Federal appeals court rejects Ottawa’s approval of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Federal appeals court rejects Ottawa's approval of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

File photo.

File photo.

A major victory Thursday morning for opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as the Federal Court of Appeal has quashed Ottawa’s approval of the contentious project.

In a written decision, the court says the federal government did not do enough to engage with First Nations before approving the $7.4 billion dollar expansion.

The court also found Ottawa could not rely on a National Energy Board’s (NEB) review as a basis for approval because of flaws in the review.

The decision means the NEB will have to redo its review of Kinder Morgan Canada’s project, and the federal government will have to do more consultations with Indigenous groups.

The pipeline expansion was approved in 2016 by Justin Trudeau’s government but has been met with fierce opposition from B.C., First Nations and environmental groups.

In an effort to get the project built, Ottawa announced it would buy the project for $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan, and pay for additional costs to complete construction.

The twinning pipeline expansion would triple the amount of diluted bitumen and other oil products flowing from Edmonton to Burnaby.

Thursday’s decision comes a week after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal by the City of Burnaby on the construction of the pipeline expansion.

The National Energy Board (NEB) had ruled Kinder Morgan could bypass local bylaws during construction of the pipeline, which Burnaby took to the Federal Court of Appeal.

With files from the Candian Press.


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