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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Every Albertan eligible for COVID-19 testing

22 new cases confirmed on Friday

Lacombe Hospital Auxiliary sews 200 scrub bags for local healthcare workers

Bags were delivered to the hospital, the Community Care Centre and Royal Oak Dementia Care

Anna Maria’s Cafe opens at LMC after renovation hiatus

Operator: Guests are noticing the brightness of the space

LPAC, Lacombe Tourism hosting Lacombe Canada Day Block Parties

Lacombe will be split into five sections, with each section receiving a live travelling music show

Fast-food restaurants serving up free non-medical masks

Free protection will come in packages of four

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The Lacombe Express covers the stories that matter to you and to our community

PODCAST: The Expert tackles the return of sports

Cam Moon, Joe Whitbread, Byron Hackett and Todd Vaughan discuss how sports can come back

Crude has best month on record in May as prices surge 88 per cent

Crude has best month on record in May as prices surge 88 per cent

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

Hitching a ride: How risky is carpooling during COVID-19 pandemic?

Hitching a ride: How risky is carpooling during COVID-19 pandemic?

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

Most Read