Legal Challenges Continue To Plague Trans Mountain Construction

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is still facing an uphill battle.

The Federal Court of Appeal announced Wednesday that six of 12 proposed legal challenges to the pipeline expansion can proceed.

The federal government approved the plan to triple the capacity of the existing pipeline from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia for the second time in June.

“The respondents-those representing the Government of Canada and the proponent of the project-took no position and filed no evidence on eleven of the twelve requests. The Court granted only six of the requests. These parties may now start legal challenges to the approval of the project,” the court said in a release.

In 2018, the court denied the original approval – saying there were insufficient environmental review and inadequate Indigenous consultation.

Despite that, the government approved the expansion a second time in June – saying the issues had been resolved.

The Court notes Environmental and First Nations groups were seeking leave to appeal, citing the ecological assessment and inadequate consultation.

“The allowed challenges are limited to the narrow issue of the adequacy of the consultation with Indigenous Peoples and related issues between Aug. 30, 2018, the date of the court’s earlier decision, and June 18, 2019,” the report notes.

The challenges will proceed on an expedited basis, with short and strict deadlines for the steps in litigation being set.

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