BC government to fight Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion

NDP government won't permit Kinder Morgan to put shovels in ground on public land for pipeline
BC government seeks intervener status on Trans Mountain expansion
Author

12 August, 2017

At issue is inadequate consultation by developer Kinder Morgan with First Nations, said George Heyman, Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister, in a news conference in Victoria.

"It still remains to be seen what the British Columbia government can actually do to stop, or materially delay, the project and how the B.C. government's opposition will be reconciled with Ottawa's approval", said Robert Kwan, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.

"Because at the end of the day, no matter what actions they take, they need to be first and foremost grounded in meritorious legal actions".

"Going forward, we intend to review policies to outline how our government expects to meet all of our commitments to First Nations as well as our commitments to all British Columbians to defend our air land and water this review will clarify and develop government policies for decision-makers as they evaluate all future permits and work plans we know with the federal government's Government's approval of this project that the path forward will be challenging but we're committed to stepping up and fighting for BC's interests".

At the time, Premier John Horgan suggested there were ways to halt the pipeline, including First Nations lawsuits.

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Not all First Nations in B.C. are opposed to the project. The company, which has scheduled most major work for next year, said Heyman's announcement will not affect its timeline for Trans Mountain construction.

When asked what will happen if Kinder Morgan meets all of the government's requirements, Heyman said the province will be using all of the constitutional powers available to it to ensure BC's interests are protected.

Kinder Morgan's project proposes to nearly triple the number of barrels of oil shipped per day from Edmonton to the shores of Burrard Inlet, increasing from 300,000 to 890,000.

"Until those plans are completed, Kinder Morgan, with the exception of private land and some clearing of rights of way, can not put shovels in the ground".

Thomas Berger has been hired as an external lawyer for matters relating to the pipeline, which was green-lighted by the previous BC Liberal government in January and federal government last November. "They will be in violation of their environmental assessment certificate, the one that exists today". All three organizations noted how Kinder Morgan has yet to obtain the necessary permits to proceed with construction. "We have undertaken thorough, extensive and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal peoples, communities, and individuals, and remain dedicated to those efforts and relationships as we move forward with construction activities in September". Meanwhile the City of Burnaby even took Kinder Morgan to court over the proposal, to no avail.


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