The twinning of the 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline would nearly triple its capacity to an estimated 890,000 barrels a day and increase traffic off B.C.s coast from approximately five tankers to 34 tankers a month. (Dennis Owen/Reuters)

The twinning of the 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline would nearly triple its capacity to an estimated 890,000 barrels a day.  (Dennis Owen/Reuters). Photo courtesy of CBC.

The federal government announced Wednesday that it will not appeal a court decision that halted construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline (TMX) expansion.

Instead,  it will conduct a new round of so-called phase 3 consultations with Indigenous groups.

”Our Government has decided to re-initiate phase 3 consultations with Indigenous groups impacted by TMX,” said Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi

“In these consultations, there will be a clear mandate for meaningful consultations, we will work from the start with First Nations and Metis groups, we will increase our consultation team capacity.”

Sohi also announced a former Supreme Court Justice will oversee the consultations.

“I am pleased to announce that the Government  of Canada has appointed former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci as a Federal Representative to oversee the consultation process,” said Sohi.

“We truly believe the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project is an investment in Canada’s future. But it must move forward in the right way.”

It’s the second announcement from Sohi laying out the Liberal government’s strategy for proceeding after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed approval for the project, which would nearly triple the flow of oil from Alberta’s oilsands to the West Coast.

Last month, the government announced it was giving the federal pipeline regulator, the National Energy Board, 22 weeks to review the project and consider its impact on the marine environment.

With files from CBC

Ben O'Hara