Squamish Nation, City of Vancouver to appeal Trans Mountain court ruling
The City of Vancouver and Squamish Nation aren’t giving up their legal fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The city and the Nation have filed notice of appeal to the B.C. Court of Appeal, after losing a pair of separate court challenges.
In May, A B.C. Supreme Court judge dismissed petitions aimed at quashing an provincial environmental assessment certificate issued by the previous BC Liberal government for the project.
WATCH: BC Supreme Court dismisses 2 legal pipeline challenge
Squamish First Nation spokesperson Khelsilem said that fight isn’t over.
“The Squamish Nation has always maintained our position that when it comes to our rights, that we have to defend them on behalf of our members,” he said.
“When it comes to the provincial process, we feel it’s important to challenge the province and their approval. The way we feel is that they didn’t properly engage with our nation.”
The federal government announced in May that it will buy the Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure the project gets built. Ottawa says it plans to re-sell the project at a later date.
WATCH: Pipeline protesters still dangling from Ironworkers Memorial Bridge
Khelsilem said that even with the pipeline in public hands, opposition on the coast and through the courts will continue.
“The government is trying their best to push this pipeline, but I think there is a degree of uncertainty about how it’s going to go forward,” he said.
“There is still a federal court case that is pending with many First Nations involved that could also overrule the approval of the pipeline.”
That federal case, in the Federal Court of Appeal, is a consolidation of multiple challenges from First Nations, environmentalists and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby to the National Energy Board (NEB) and cabinet approval of the project.
The B.C. government has also filed a reference question to the B.C. Court of Appeal to determine whether the province can regulate the flow of bitumen through the pipeline.
On Tuesday, seven anti-pipeline protesters dangled themselves from Vancouver’s Second Narrows Bridge, where they remained at mid-day on Wednesday.
Project opponents are staging a rally in support of the dangling activists Wednesday afternoon.
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