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

Man in his 60s dies in ATV accident near Cook Creek

BC Coroners Service investigating the death

Qualicum Beach coffee roasters capture silver medal at North American competition

Java masters: French Press Coffee Roasters second in ‘milk-based’ category

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Close to 14 acres of estuary lands protected from development

The land, adjacent to French Creek Estuary, has been designated as parkland

UPDATE: B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

High streamflow advisory in effect across the Island

River Forecast Centre issues advisory as Pacific storms batter the coast

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Woman allegedly responsible for multiple break-ins arrested in Nanaimo

Jennifer Perusini, 35, to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Friday

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Most Read