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

Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Mary Lowther column: Seed catalogues and proper storage

Seeds kept dry and at 4 C can last three times as long as if they were held in household conditions.

Chemainus businesses take a direct hit during storm

Last few days before Christmas important to many to compensate for slower times

Annual hockey jamboree at Lake Cowichan coming this weekend

Annual Lake Cowichan hockey jamboree ready to hit the ice

Police officer recounts wild car chase through downtown Ladysmith and Duncan

B.C. Supreme Court trial of Armaan Singh Chandi hears of pursuit following Nanaimo drive-by shooting

VIDEO: Cowichan Secondary starts two-week run of ‘The Addams Family’ Jan. 16

The Cow High cast is ready, the stage is set: all they need is you so make tracks to see this show

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

Most Read