B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman and Attorney General David Eby (Black Press)

Last-ditch pipeline court challenge going ahead

Reference case to B.C. Court of Appeal by the end of April

The B.C. NDP government is playing its last cards in an effort to have a say in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, bringing a reference case to the B.C. Court of Appeal by April 30.

Environment Minister George Heyman and Attorney General David Eby provided no detail on the reference as they headed into a cabinet meeting Wednesday morning. In general it is to determine what authority the province has to regulate the twinning of the pipeline that has pitted B.C. against the Alberta and federal governments.

Heyman declined to say whether the reference would be a proposed set of provincial regulations or questions to the court about the extent of B.C.’s jurisdiction. His proposal in January to create new regulations to restrict the transport of diluted bitumen sparked a furious response from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who briefly ordered a ban on wine shipments into B.C.

RELATED: Poll finds 54% of B.C. residents support Trans Mountain

Eby said the B.C. Court of Appeal is the highest court in the province, but he could not say how long it would take to get a ruling.

The move comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan Sunday. Trudeau emerged from that meeting saying his government is preparing new financial and legal measures to make sure the $7.4 billion pipeline twinning goes ahead.

With options running out and 14 previous court challenges to Trans Mountain having been rejected by courts, Heyman began anticipating the possibility that the reference case would also fail.

“We’re determined, particularly if the Court of Appeal question is lost and the project is going ahead, to ensure that we exercise every inch of our constitutional jurisdiction to ensure that we’re regulating against the possibility of a spill,” Heyman said. “And to ensure that in the completely event of a spill, that we’re doing everything possible to protect B.C. by having the regulations in place to ensure adequate response, adequate recovery.”

The federal government has announced increased spill prevention and response resources on all of Canada’s coastlines, including spill bases at Sidney, Beecher Bay, Ucluelet, Nanaimo, Richmond and Port Alberni.

RELATED: New spill response bases on hold as pipeline paused

But when Trans Mountain owner Kinder Morgan announced April 8 it was halting non-essential work on the pipeline project, Western Canada Marine Response Corp. said it was also halting capital spending on the new spill capacity.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Ballenas Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Three-for-one at Parksville studio for tour

Local artists participating in Central Island Studio Tour May 26-27

VIDEO: Meet some of the Vancouver Island Tribute Festival performers

The NEWS speaks with Elvis, Liberace tribute artists and others before they go on parade

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

RCMP investigating after gunshots fired in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating after gunshots rang out in Courtenay… Continue reading

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Most Read