Federal Court of Appeal to rule on letting pipeline challenges proceed

first_imgOTTAWA — The Federal Court of Appeal is to reveal today whether a new set of legal challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline project can proceed.The federal government has twice approved a plan to twin an existing pipeline from Alberta’s oilpatch to the B.C. coast.Margot Venton, a lawyer with the group Ecojustice, says there are about a dozen challenges from environmental groups, First Nations and the City of Vancouver.“Our challenge focuses on the failure to meet the legal requirements of our federal species at risk act when they approved the pipeline.”Last year the Federal Court of Appeal tore up the original approval, citing both an insufficient environment review and inadequate consultations with Indigenous communities.The Liberals say they fixed both problems and approved the expansion a second time in June.Environment groups still say there are not adequate protections for endangered marine species, including the Southern Resident Killer Whale, that will be affected by tanker traffic picking up oil from a terminal in suburban Vancouver.Several First Nations say the federal government came into the most recent discussions having predetermined the outcome. Do you think the fight against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will ever end?YesNoVoteView Results Take Our PollThe court will decide on whether it will take up any of 12 requests to appeal the June approval. The ruling is to be issued in writing at 2 p.m. ET.The federal government bought the existing pipeline and the unfinished expansion work for $4.5 billion last year, promising to get it over the political opposition that had scared Kinder Morgan Canada off proceeding.The move disappointed environmentalists, who say the global climate can’t handle more emissions from Alberta’s oilsands and the eventual burning of the petroleum they produce. The Liberals say they’ll use any profits from the project to fund Canada’s transition to a cleaner-energy economy.The Canadian Presslast_img read more