Feds restarting Indigenous talks over pipeline, won’t appeal court decision

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans to triple capacity of the existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby

The federal government will not appeal the court decision that tore up cabinet approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and is appointing former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the government does not intend to start the phase-three Indigenous consultations from the beginning, but will use them to address the weaknesses that led to the Federal Court of Appeal decision in August.

The court found that while the government did spend several months in 2016 meeting with Indigenous communities concerned about the pipeline, those consultations were largely note-taking exercises and the government did not do anything to address the concerns that were raised.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plan to triple capacity of the existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., is in limbo while Ottawa attempts to fulfil requirements to consult Indigenous communities and consider the environmental impact the pipeline will have from additional oil tankers off the coast of British Columbia.

READ MORE: Cost to twin Trans Mountain now $1.9B higher

Last month, Sohi ordered the National Energy Board to go back and do a better environmental review of the risk of oil spills and the impact on marine life when the number of oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet rises to 35 a month from about five.

Sohi gave the NEB until the end of February to report back on the environmental review, but is not putting a deadline on the Indigenous consultations.

“We believe that meaningful consultation can be undertaken in a focused and efficient manner,” he told a news conference today.

“We are not going to put a timeline on these consultations because we feel that it is our duty to faithfully engage with the Indigenous communities to get this right.”

READ MORE: Feds launch review of oil tanker traffic along B.C. coast

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf ready for summer season

The plan is to have the Northern Sea Wolf assume the mid-coast service as of May 18

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read