New Challenges to Trans Mountain Expansion Allowed

The long-delayed Trans Mountain pipeline has again ran into legal obstacles. On Wednesday Canada's Federal Court of Appeal agreed to hear six challenges to the Canadian government's earlier approval of an expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

The court said that the six challenges related to the government's duty to consult aboriginals, called First Nations and that they must proceed on strict, short deadlines.

"The applicants do acknowledge that the Government of Canada introduced some new initiatives to assist consultation and added some conditions on the project approval that was ultimately given," the court said in its decision. "But to them this is just window-dressing, box-ticking and nice-sounding words, not the hard work of taking on board their concerns, exploring possible solutions, and collaborating to get to a better place."

As some indigenous groups fear spills and the continued expansion of Alberta's oil sands, projects to expand or build new Canadian pipelines have become deeply contentious in recent years.

"The (project) has already undergone a lengthy, thorough and extensive regulatory review process, including extensive consultation with all stakeholders," Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Chief Executive Tim McMillan said in a statement.

Source:
reuters