Supreme Court rejects Burnaby’s Trans Mountain pipeline challenge
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by the City of Burnaby on construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, one of the last court challenges to a project that has pitted British Columbia and First Nations against Alberta and Ottawa.
Burnaby asked the country’s highest court last spring to consider a lower court decision that denied the port city leave to appeal a ruling by the National Energy Board.
That ruling allowed Kinder Morgan to bypass local bylaws during construction of the pipeline expansion, which would triple the amount of diluted bitumen and other oil products moving between the Edmonton-area and port facilities in Burnaby.
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said Thursday the setback isn’t the end of the city’s legal attempts to derail the the project.
“I’m a lawyer and certainly I knew that the odds of that being successful were relatively small,” said Corrigan.
“Certainly our lawyer gave us the same opinion, but he felt that it was appropriate for us to attempt to get the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene at that stage.”
WATCH: Burnaby residents gather to express concerns about Trans Mountain pipeline (May 21)
The federal government approved the pipeline expansion in 2016, but the project faces significant opposition in B.C.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley welcomed the news Thursday, tweeting that her government is “batting a thousand” in its fight for the pipeline expansion.
Greenpeace Canada, however, did not welcome the news.
“We’re disappointed by today’s decision as what we are seeing is the federal government railroading over municipalities just trying to protect the health and safety of their citizens,” Mike Hudema, the group’s climate and energy campaigner, said in an email to Global News.
“While the decision is disappointing it doesn’t change the gloomy outlook for this beleaguered pipeline project. This pipeline still faces significant delays and costs, a litany of outstanding court challenges, and a growing resistance, led by Indigenous communities, on the ground.
“With over 566 wildfires burning in B.C. and temperature records being broken around the world, we hope the climate-fuelled smoke the prime minister is breathing in today is the last sign he needs to realize that building new fossil fuel mega projects in a time of climate crisis isn’t in the country’s, or the planet’s, best interest,” Hudema said.
More Global News coverage of Trans Mountain pipeline:
Thousands of people have rallied in protest and the provincial government has raised concerns about the pipeline’s possible environmental and economic impact.
Burnaby had appealed the NEB’s decision to the Federal Court of Appeal, which dismissed the appeal with costs on March 23.
— With a file from Global News
© 2018 The Canadian Press