Canada: court halts Trans Mountain pipeline plan

Canada's Federal Court of Appeal on Aug. 30 overturned (PDF) the government's approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. A number of groups challenged the approval, including several First Nations and two municipalities, asserting that the First Nations were not adequately consulted on the project. The court found that Canada failed "to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the concerns expressed to it in good faith by the Indigenous applicants so as to explore possible accommodation of those concerns." The court also found that the National Energy Board's review process on the project failed to include the impacts of tanker traffic releated to the pipeloine expansion. The decision stated that the "unjustified exclusion of marine shipping from the scope of the Project led to successive, unacceptable deficiencies in the Board’s report and recommendations." The government's approval of the pipeline expansion was nullified, halting construction. (Jurist)

Following the Federal Court's decision, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she is pulling her province out of Canada's national climate change plan. Notley said until construction resumes, Alberta will not be party to the pan-Canadian climate framework negotiated between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provinces. While she will maintain the province's existing carbon tax—implemented before Trudeau imposed a national price on carbon—it will not increase each year as prescribed by the federal plan. (CBC)

See our feature on the struggle against the Trans Mountain pipeline.