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B.C. to fight NEB ruling allowing Trans Mountain to bypass Burnaby bylaws

Click to play video 'NEB approves some preconstruction on Trans Mountain pipeline project' NEB approves some preconstruction on Trans Mountain pipeline project
WATCH: NEB approves some preconstruction on Trans Mountain pipeline project – Feb 16, 2018

It appears B.C.’s NDP government does indeed plan to use “every tool in the tool box” in its battle to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

In the latest shot fired over the controversial project, the B.C. government says it is appealing a National Energy Board (NEB) ruling from December that allowed the pipeline project to ignore some Burnaby bylaws.

READ MORE: Rachel Notley wants action on Trans Mountain pipeline impasse by next week

The bylaws in question would require Kinder Morgan subsidiary Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC to have preliminary plans and tree-cutting permits for project-related work approved by the city.

Trans Mountain successfully raised constitutional questions about those bylaws, arguing they don’t apply to work planned for its Burnaby and Westridge terminals and at a temporary work site.

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WATCH: National Energy Board rules against Burnaby in Kinder Morgan pipeline fight

Click to play video 'National Energy Board rules against Burnaby in Kinder Morgan pipeline fight' National Energy Board rules against Burnaby in Kinder Morgan pipeline fight
National Energy Board rules against Burnaby in Kinder Morgan pipeline fight – Dec 7, 2017

On Thursday, the City of Burnaby announced plans to appeal the NEB ruling.

READ MORE: B.C. and Alberta are feuding over wine: Here’s what the trade dispute is really about

Now, the province is also looking to have it overturned.

“The Province’s position is that the NEB erred by too broadly defining federal jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines,” states a news release from the Ministries of Environment and Attorney General.

The Federal Court of Appeal has yet to rule on whether the appeal can go forward.

READ MORE: Federal officials dispatched to tackle B.C., Alberta pipeline battle

The latest move by the province comes with B.C. and Alberta locked in a bitter dispute over the future of the pipeline.

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B.C. has proposed plans to ban any increases in diluted bitumen flowing to the West Coast until the province can better understand the ability to mitigate spills.

WATCH: Coverage of B.C.-Alberta pipeline dispute on Globalnews.ca

Alberta has retaliated by banning the import of B.C. wines, and forming a task force to study further measures aimed at its western neighbour.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley warned earlier this week that she wanted to see progress on the issue within days, or would consider ratcheting up retaliatory measures.

READ MORE: Canada will do what it must to prevent B.C. from stopping pipeline, says Carr

The conflict comes with high political stakes for both Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan.

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Horgan’s party pledged to fight the pipeline in his 2017 election win, and relies on the support of the anti-pipeline Green Party to remain in power. Notley faces a tough battle for reelection next year, but is sagging in the polls and needs a pipeline win to have a shot at being competitive.

The controversial Trans Mountain project would twin the existing line, which runs 1,150 kilometres from Edmonton to Burnaby, while tripling its capacity.

The proposal was first put forward in 2013, and was approved by the NEB in 2016 subject to 157 conditions. The federal Liberal cabinet signed-off on the project later that year, and has since vowed that it will be completed.

— With files from Nadia Stewart

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