Alberta government to provide financial update on heels of Trans Mountain bombshell

Posted September 02, 2018

Canada's Federal Court of Appeal on Thursday halted the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would almost triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast - a setback that comes just as the government is buying the project.

January 11, 2017: B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces her support for the project, saying Kinder Morgan has met five government conditions including a revenue-sharing agreement worth up to $1 billion.

The ruling requires the energy board to conduct a new review, including the impact of tanker traffic. The appeal challenged the governor-in-council's November 2016 approval of the project on two. It would also increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet sevenfold. She said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must also call an emergency session of Parliament to fix the process so that the pipeline can be built.

"We believe the regulatory goat rodeo regarding this project (and others) has led to a significant reduction in investment in Canada and outright divestitures by foreign corporations".

"So today I am announcing that with the Trans Mountain halted, and the work on it halted, until the federal government gets its act together; Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan", she added. The sale will be finalized as early as Friday. They were supported by the province of British Columbia, which was an intervener, as was Alberta.

"I was expecting a more mixed ruling", said Gene McGuckin of Burnaby Residents Against Kinder Morgan Expansion.

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In Thursday's unanimous decision by a panel of three judges at the Federal Court of Appeal, Justice Eleanor Dawson said Canada failed to meaningfully consult with concerned Indigenous groups, as required by law.

The company remains committed to the project "in consideration of communities and the environment, with meaningful consultation with Indigenous Peoples and for the benefit of Canadians", company president Ian Anderson said in a statement.

The court decision is a blow to Trudeau, whose government is having a bad week after Canada was left out of new free trade deal with the US and Mexico.

He argued that it will take years to transition off fossil fuels and, in the meantime, the world will still need oil and Canada will need to generate the wealth needed to fund the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The court also found that during the final phase of Indigenous consultation, the government's representatives limited their mandate to listening to and recording the concerns of the Indigenous applicants and then transmitting those concerns to the decision-makers.

At a press conference in Toronto hours after the decision was released, Morneau said the Liberals had inherited a "flawed" project assessment process from the previous Conservative government, and had "set out to improve that process".

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August 2015: The NEB postpones public hearings after striking from the record economic evidence prepared by a Kinder Morgan consultant who was to begin working for the regulator.

Until that happens, Notley said the province will remain outside the federal climate plan. "It's going to affect the entire country because of the shortsightedness of certain governments". Canada has the world's third largest oil reserves, but 99 percent of its exports now go to refiners in the US, where limits on pipeline and refinery capacity mean Canadian oil sells at a discount. "We know this pipeline, which is in the national interest, needs to get built".

The ruling is a major victory for Indigenous groups and environmentalists opposed to the $7.4-billion project.

The expansion would triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline that carries oil from near Edmonton to Metro Vancouver for overseas shipping.

He said Notley has not helped matters by prematurely celebrating the construction of the pipeline while imposing a carbon tax in the mistaken belief it would provide so-called "social licence" that would persuade environmental opponents to stand down.

"This is a major victory for my community", said Coldwater Chief Lee Spahan.

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Stewart Phillip, the grand chief of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, said the ruling took him aback.