Court to hear Trans Mountain appeal – again

Federal court agrees to hear appeal of Trans Mountain expansion approval

Photo: Trans Mountain

The Federal Court of Appeal has once again allowed a challenge of the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to be heard.

The expansion was held up for a year after the court quashed an order in council that approved the expansion.

The federal government was forced back to the drawing board and negotiating table to address two flaws identified by the court: failure to properly assess the impacts of increased oil tanker traffic on the marine environment, and fulsome consultation with First Nations.

After addressing those two issues, the federal government once again approved the expansion in June, and once again environmental groups and First Nations sought an appeal.

And once again the Federal Court has granted that appeal.

This time, the appeal will be limited to the question of whether consultations with First Nations was adequate.

“The Court has ordered that the challenges proceed on an expedited basis. Short and strict deadlines for the steps in the litigation will be set,” court said in its reasons for judgment today.

Presumably, work that is to start soon on the expansion will not be held up, unless an injunction is issued.

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv