Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen as well as Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MP for Nanaimo – Ladysmith and BC Caucus Chair, expressed relief and satisfaction with the ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal stopping construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
“This is a win for Indigenous rights, for protection of the coast and waterways of British Columbia and for the future of our climate,” said Cullen. “Trudeau made a clear promise to properly review this pipeline and to meaningfully consult Indigenous groups. Instead the Liberals went ahead with the same failed approval process inherited from Stephen Harper. In the Northwest, we faced and fought the exact same process with Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and it was clear it gave virtually no consideration of the effect of a pipeline project on the coast and waterways.”
The court found serious and fatal flaws with the environmental assessment process conducted by the National Energy Board, which did not consider the risk a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic would have on the coastal environment. In 2015 Trudeau spoke of how “governments grant permits, but only communities grant permission,” Cullen said, with the Liberal election platform promising that future project assessments will honour constitutional and international obligations to consult, accommodate and seek consent from Indigenous peoples. Yet the ruling by the court found that the government failed to meaningfully consult with Indigenous groups.
“This finding is an important moment for Indigenous peoples who have been silenced in the past. It is unacceptable that the government neglected its constitutional requirement to consult with Indigenous peoples while claiming they had. This ruling has exposed the government’s hollow promises to seek consent from Indigenous communities,” said Malcolmson. “Trudeau’s reckless decision to buy this pipeline has put taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars and left British Columbians with a fundamentally flawed expansion project. The government must cancel this expansion completely before even more public money is wasted.”