B.C. government to join legal challenge against Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

B.C. government to join legal challenge against Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

Province also plans to consult with First Nations

The provincial government announced today that it will take steps to protect B.C.’s interests against increased tanker traffic that would result from the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The government has retained lawyer Thomas Berger, author of the groundbreaking 1977 Berger Report on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, as external counsel in the legal action against the pipeline project.

“We are committed to fighting for B.C.’s interests and it is government’s desire to seek intervenor status in legal challenges to federal approval of the pipeline expansion and increased oil tanker traffic off B.C.’s coast,” said Attorney General David Eby in a release. “Mr. Berger will provide legal advice to government on the options for participation in legal challenges, and those hearings are scheduled to begin in federal court later this fall.”

The government also intends to consult with First Nations, including regarding the project’s potential impacts to Aboriginal rights and title. Several B.C. First Nations have launched lawsuits and occupation camps opposing the Trans Mountain expansion and other pipeline ventures, illustrating the importance of community consent to winning aboriginal approval for resource megaprojects. 

In a statement, Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd., responded: “We are committed to working with the Province and permitting authorities in our ongoing process of seeking and obtaining necessary permits and permissions. We have undertaken thorough, extensive and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal Peoples, communities and individuals and remain dedicated to those efforts and relationships as we move forward with construction activities in September.”