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Salmon and the Pipeline
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:25am

Trans Mountain Pipeline Approvals Quashed By Federal Court
The decision will likely be appealed.
By Emma Paling

Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain expansion sits at a stockpile site in Kamloops, B.C. on May 29, 2018.

The National Energy Board's approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project has been overturned.

Canada failed to consult Indigenous groups in a meaningful way and erred in its environmental assessment, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled Thursday.

The National Energy Board's "critical error" was failing to include tanker traffic in the project's review, the decision said. This was necessary in order to provide a complete assessment of the project's environmental impacts.

Canada also "fell well short" of the Supreme Court's benchmark for consultation with Indigenous groups.

"Canada failed ... to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the real concerns of the Indigenous applicants so as to explore possible accommodation of those concerns," the court ruled.

The successful legal challenge combined applications from more than a dozen groups including the City of Vancouver, multiple First Nations and environmental organizations to send the project back to the consultation phase.

The decision is likely to be appealed at the Supreme Court, which will take up to two years.

Meanwhile, construction that already began in central Alberta will have to stop.

Protest and controversy
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government agreed to purchase the existing pipeline and assets for the expansion for $4.5 billion in May. Construction will see nearly 1,000 km of new pipeline built from Edmonton to the West Coast.

Protest and controversy have followed the project at every turn.

The NDP premier in B.C. has been pitted against the NDP premier in Alberta. First Nations chiefs are divided. At least 41 Indigenous groups in the area have signed deals with Kinder Morgan, the company that currently owns the pipeline, but another 85 groups in the area have not.

Trans Mountain Pipeline Sale To Feds Netted Kinder Morgan A 637% Return.

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