Latest Trans Mountain pipeline review flawed, First Nations say

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, speaks during a news conference with Indigenous leaders and politicians opposed to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday April 16, 2018.


Indigenous leaders in British Columbia are threatening future court challenges of the National Energy Board’s review of the marine shipping effects of an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline.

Grand Chief Phillip Stewart, of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says the project is a “stinker” that will worsen climate change, which is already contributing to devastating wildfires and flooding in the province.

The Federal Court of Appeal ruled in August that the energy board failed to examine the project’s impacts on the marine environment, including B.C.’s endangered southern resident killer whales, and the federal government ordered the board to reconsider that part of the process by Feb. 22.

Eugene Kung of West Coast Environmental Law says the review is rushed and too limited in scope, as it only covers up to 12 nautical miles off the B.C. coastline, and is likely to prompt fresh court challenges from the project’s opponents.

Kung says the National Energy Board seems to have learned nothing from the court ruling and is repeating many of the same errors that landed it in court the last time.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has purchased the existing pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion, and Phillip accused Trudeau of lacking a conscience or any concern for future generations of Canadians.

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