Wilderness Committee celebrates allies’ court win and urges feds to abandon project
VANCOUVER, Unceded Coast Salish Territories — Wilderness Committee is celebrating this morning’s decision of the Federal Court of Appeal to reverse Cabinet’s approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project because the government failed to properly consult with Indigenous communities and consider the impacts of tanker traffic.
“We must have woken our neighbours this morning with all the cheers,” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “Thankfully, the court recognized what pipeline opponents have been saying all along — this process was botched from the start.”
In its decision, the court said Canada failed “to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the concerns expressed to it in good faith by the Indigenous applicants.” It ordered the government to redo its consultation with First Nations and to evaluate the impacts of marine shipping on endangered killer whales.
“This is a major win for Indigenous rights and it gives Canada an opportunity to advance real reconciliation,” said McCartney. “Rather than appeal this case, the government must sit down with First Nations in good faith — as they should have from the start — and respect their right to withhold consent from this project.”
Trans Mountain’s license to construct the pipeline has been revoked so work cannot proceed on the pipeline unless a new cabinet decision is made after a lengthy process. It all comes as Canada is in the process of buying the project from outgoing Texas-based Kinder Morgan. The company’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the deal today.
“Justin Trudeau has made a costly mistake but this sale is still not finalized,” said Vancouver Island Campaigner Torrance Coste. “This government needs to do the right thing, admit defeat and abandon any plans to resurrect this pipeline.”
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For more information please contact:
Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
Torrance Coste | Vancouver Island Campaigner, Wilderness Committee