Send pipeline fights right to Supreme Court: Scheer

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks at a campaign event in Hamilton, Ontario on Wednesday September 18, 2019. Scheer says he would overcome legal objections to building new pipelines by fast tracking any cases right to the Supreme Court. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

HAMILTON — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he would overcome legal objections to building new petroleum pipelines by fast tracking any cases right to the Supreme Court.

Scheer has long been critical of the Liberal government for spending $4.5 billion to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline when legal challenges gave private company Kinder Morgan Canada cold feet about proceeding with the expansion.

Scheer says Ottawa has to invoke federal jurisdiction to get important projects built but he has not until now explained what that would mean in practice.

He says when jurisdictional challenges arise he would immediately ask the Supreme Court to look at the case and decide.

Two of the last big proposals for pipelines in Canada were stymied when the Federal Court of Appeal ruled government consultations with Indigenous communities and environmental reviews had not been adequate.

Jurisdictional questions about whether British Columbia could interfere with what flows through an interprovincial pipeline also went to the courts, which sided with the federal government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2019.

The Canadian Press