Coldwater Band Chief Lee Spahan talks about Indigenous opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline at a news conference in Vancouver Tuesday, Oct. 23. (UBCIC/Twitter)

Pipeline opponents blast Trans Mountain re-approval plan

Environmental advocates, First Nations leaders say NEB review has same flaws as it had before

Environmental advocates, politicians and Indigenous leaders are pushing back against what they call the “ridiculous” timeline of the new Trans Mountain pipeline environmental assessment.

Eugene Kung, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, told reporters at a news conference Tuesday the new National Energy Board approval process was rife with “the exact same mistakes that landed them in court last time.”

In August, the federal appeals court quashed the energy regulator’s previous approval of the $9.3-billion pipeline, citing a lack of “meaningful” consultation with Indigenous peoples and its exclusion of the project’s impact on marine shipping.

The ruling required the NEB to conduct a new review and re-do its consultation. Ottawa has given it 155 days – from Sept. 20, 2018, until Feb. 22, 2019.

VIDEO: B.C. First Nations hail court’s quash of Kinder Morgan pipeline approval

Kung said the “incredibly tight timelines” for intervenors to file their arguments has drawn the review’s integrity into question.

“Five weeks to find and file expert evidence when it was initially seven months, and eventually 14 months last time,” Kung said.

The federal government’s decision to limit the scope of the review to 12 nautical miles as it consider the impacts of increase tanker traffic, rather than 200, he added, undermined the validity of that analysis.

“The only people who asked for a smaller limit were the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada and Trans Mountain,” he said.

“In my view, the 12-nautical-mile scope does not extend to Canada’s full regulatory jurisdiction (exclusive economic zone) of 200 nautical miles.”

Squamish Nation Coun. Khelsilem Rivers slammed the timeline as well, saying the government was not keeping its promise to allow for proper First Nation participation.

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart did not make his scheduled appearance at the news conference.

He was replaced by newly-elected Vancouver Coun. Jean Swanson, who said the review seemed “designed to fail” and did not take into account the impact of the pipeline on climate change or salmon stock.

Neither the federal government nor the National Energy Board immediately returned a request for comment.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Residents escape fire in Campbell River mobile home

CR Firefighters respond to mobile home fire this morning. No injuries reported.… Continue reading

Future of Campbell River Sportsplex will go to public consultation

‘We have buckets on the floor to catch the leaks in the roof. That’s unpalatable to me’

City of Campbell River Budget 2020: Capital projects

Over $30 million of city’s 2020 budget will be spent on infrastructure improvements

Still time to grab a tag and help a local child this Christmas

As of end of day Tuesday, there were still 134 tags remaining on the Angel Tree

Campbell River municipal tax rate to rise 2.9 per cent in 2020

City council deliberated on next 10-year financial plan over three days this week

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

MARS receives the gift of an X-ray machine

Country Animal Hospital in Courtenay donated the machine and processing machine to MARS

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Most Read