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Massive political fallout from Trans Mountain court decision

Massive political fallout from Trans Mountain court decision

Given this, it's hard to see how our energy sector will attract investment moving forward.

There's plenty of blame to go around in the epic mishandling of a project of national economic interest and one that should have been a relatively straightforward slam dunk, the twinning of an existing pipeline in operation since 1953.

Speaking for the Squamish Nation, Councillor Khelsilem wrote that though indigenous rights have triumphed, the prime minister must cut off all endeavors to expand the Trans Mountain project.

Notley said she spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and was told Ottawa is still backing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and still intends to have it built. "It is time for Prime Minister Trudeau to do the right thing".

That call was echoed by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).

When asked about feelings concerning Alberta's place in Canada, he said he was at a meeting earlier in the day with energy sector leaders who voiced sentiments that they felt alienated.

Two options include challenging Thursday's decision in the Supreme Court of Appeal or attempting to satisfy the court's demands, which would include redoing the consultation process with Indigenous people and assessing the marine impacts.

Some First Nations are celebrating the ruling. "If Canada properly executed it, Canada would have discharged its duty to consult".

"Dump this pipeline and shift the billions of public dollars slated for this problem-plagued project into Canada's renewable energy economy", Hudema 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.

As a result, it effectively halts construction of the 1,150-kilometre project indefinitely.

The court combined into one case almost two dozen lawsuits filed by First Nations, environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby calling for the energy board's review to be overturned.

The decision from the Federal Court of Appeal came on the same day that Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. shareholders voted 99 per cent in favour of selling the pipeline and expansion project to the Canadian government for $4.5 billion, not including construction costs that could be as high as $9.3 billion. It would also increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet seven-fold.

It also concluded that the National Energy Board - the country's energy regulator - unjustifiably excluded "marine shipping from the scope of the Project".

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Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, an opponent of the project, said he was pleased that the court found there are serious impacts that have not yet been full considered.

"Right from the beginning, we always said water is life".

"This absolutely needs to happen", she said.

The ruling also exposes the federal government's shortcomings when it comes to meaningful dialogue with Indigenous peoples - despite Trudeau's oft-repeated promises to do better.

Thursday's ruling puts the government in a hard position, said Stewart Phillip, grand chief of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

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

"My experience is there's still battle to be fought to make the community and the planet safer", he said.

"Today's decision is a major win for Indigenous Nations and for the environment", said Greenpeace USA Tar Sands Campaigner Rachel Rye Butler.

He said he expects the Kinder Morgan sale to be finalized on Friday and called it a good financial decision.

The North Shore Business Improvement Association took a slightly different tack, releasing a statement with a more positive take on the court's decision.

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney is right when he said of the decision: "We can not function as a prosperous, modern society with an ever-changing legal standard on issues like environmental impact and Indigenous consultation".

"The law requires Canada to do more than receive and record concerns and complaints", the court said.

And each faces resistance from environmental groups and others who contend the projects pose too many risks and would exacerbate climate change. They were supported by the province of British Columbia, which acted as an intervener.


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