Victoria/Vancouver (with files from Global, CBC) – The B.C. Court of Appeal has stifled the provincial government’s attempt to introduce environmental laws.
In essence, the new rules would have blocked the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The panel of five judges found that if introduced, the amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act would essentially usurp the National Energy Board’s role in approving projects in the national interest.
It is expected that the next step in this case will go to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The current Kinder Morgan pipeline and the proposed twinning, from Edmonton to Burnaby, rolls through the Fraser Valley.
David Eby, Attorney General, has issued the following statement in response to the judgment by the British Columbia Court of Appeal on B.C.’s reference case:
“We thank the B.C. Court of Appeal for considering this reference. Our government said from the outset that we would stand up for British Columbia’s environment, economy and coast. Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity would be put at risk by a diluted bitumen spill.
“While we are disappointed with the decision, our courts have an important role to play in upholding the rule of law. That is why we referred this question to the courts in the first place.
“Our government always said this case would likely be heard before the Supreme Court. In fact, we asked the federal government to join us in a joint reference to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“We continue to believe that we have the authority and the responsibility to defend our environment and economy, so we will exercise our right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.”