The decision by the government of British Columbia to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline is “tainted” because of a conflict of interest that saw the premier and her political party receive more than $560,000 from the project’s proponents, a court petition alleges.
Democracy Watch and PIPE UP Network filed legal documents Tuesday asking the B.C. Supreme Court to overturn an environmental assessment certificate granted earlier this year for Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion oil pipeline project.
The petition is the latest in a string of legal challenges aimed at blocking construction of the pipeline between the Edmonton area and Burnaby, B.C. The expansion would nearly triple the line’s capacity and increase tanker traffic sevenfold along B.C.’s southern coast.
The petition says based on data from Elections B.C., $560,000 in political donations were made over six years to B.C.’s Liberal party by Kinder Morgan and various oil shippers interested in using the pipeline.
The pipeline approval is “tainted by money,” the petition says.
“A reasonable, informed and thoughtful person, after thinking about it for a while, would think that the premier and the ministers would have at least been unconsciously affected by more than $560,000 in payments to the Liberal Party of British Columbia,” it says.
These allegations are now before the court.
October 5th 2016
#525 of 526 articles from the Special Report:Race Against Climate Change
The Trudeau government says that the advice it received from a federal regulator calling for the approval of a major oil pipeline expansion project was based on outdated estimates that fail to account for national efforts to fight climate change.
By Mike De Souza in News, Energy | July 5th 2016
Canada’s pipeline watchdog has given two of North America’s largest energy companies up to six months to fix what industry insiders have described as a series of “ticking time bombs.”
The National Energy Board waited eight years after U.S. regulators raised the alarm about substandard materials, finally issuing an emergency safety order in February. At least one Canadian pipeline with defective materials blew up during that period.
Newly-released federal documents show that Texas-based Kinder Morgan and Alberta-based Enbridge are both looking into the use of defective parts purchased from Thailand-based, Canadoil Asia, that recently went bankrupt. But the companies were not immediately able to say where they installed the dodgy parts. It’s a problem that also struck Alberta-based TransCanada, which had defective materials in its own pipelines, including one that blew up in 2013.
NEB finally orders safety review of substandard parts
The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned approval of Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway project after finding Ottawa failed to properly consult the First Nations affected by the pipeline.
“We find that Canada offered only a brief, hurried and inadequate opportunity … to exchange and discuss information and to dialogue,” the ruling says.
- Northern Gateway pipeline opponents get say at mega-hearing
- Northern Gateway pipeline approved with 209 conditions
“It would have taken Canada little time and little organizational effort to engage in meaningful dialogue on these and other subjects of prime importance to Aboriginal Peoples. But this did not happen.”
Constitutional requirement to consult
The majority ruling was signed by two of the three judges on the Appeal Court panel. Judge Michael Ryer wrote a dissenting opinion.
Pipeline opponents have called the decision “landmark.”
“At every turn you’re going, you are seeing nails in the coffin of the Enbridge project,” said Peter Lantin, president of the council of the Haida Nation, one of the parties that appealed.
“I don’t think there’s enough room for another nail in the coffin.”
“First Nations, local communities, and environmental interests said no to Enbridge 12 years ago when it first proposed the project. And now that “no” has the backing of the courts,” said Ecojustice lawyer Barry Robinson.
“Between on-the-ground opposition and the federal government’s promises to keep B.C.’s North Coast tanker free and demonstrate climate leadership, this pipeline is never getting built.”
The West Coast brought fighting words to Ottawa today, asking the federal government to deny final approval of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
A delegation from Vancouver said it came to Ottawa to urge the government to “say a definitive no” to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to twin its existing line from Alberta to British Columbia.
Meanwhile, Green Party leader Elizabeth May said she would be seeking a judicial review of the National Energy Board’s approval process.
The regulator recently approved the project, and it now waits final approval from Ottawa.
The delegation composed of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chief Maureen Thomas from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Chief Ian Campbell from the Squamish Nation, and Councillor Howard Grant from the Musqueam Nation.
All the First Nations are located near Vancouver, and their representatives said the Liberal government’s actions on the pipeline would prove to be a test of its sincerity in reconciliation with First Nations.
“We are here representing our citizens on the West Coast; our consent is required on this project,” Robertson said. “The vast majority in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland do not support the Kinder Morgan expansion pipeline project.”
Read full article here
Environmental groups launch court challenge over NEB’s Kinder Morgan report
Kinder Morgan recommendation puts one of Canada’s most iconic endangered species, the Southern Resident killer whale, at risk of harm
VANCOUVER – The National Energy Board (NEB) broke the law when it failed to apply the Species at Risk Act in its final report on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project, environmental groups say.
Ecojustice lawyers, representing Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation, have filed for a judicial review of the NEB’s report that recommended the federal Cabinet approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The groups argue that the NEB’s report is unlawful and used an overly narrow interpretation of the law to avoid addressing harm to Southern Resident killer whales and their critical habitat.
Canada can transition its entire energy infrastructure to renewables like wind and solar power by 2050, says an expert at Stanford University but it’s going to take immediate action from both governments and Canadian citizens.
Canadian public interest The National Energy Board (NEB or Board) finds that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project) is in Canada’s public interest, and recommends the Governor in Council (GIC) approve the Project and direct the Board to issue the necessary Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) and amended CPCNs. Should the GIC approve the Project, the associated regulatory instruments (Instruments) issued by the Board would come into effect.
An article printed in the Delta Optimist on February 24 2016 revealed a plan lurking in the shadows for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
The article points out that Delta Council endorsed Burnaby’s request to the federal government to suspend the National Energy Board’s review of the Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Then it goes on to suggest Delta could be a fallback location.
Here is what Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington told the Optimist,
“I have no doubt the powers that be are reviewing the possibility of a pipeline to Deltaport. And the way that the minister of environment provincially has supported every major new development along the Fraser – from jet fuel to coal to natural gas – I have no doubt they will at least be sympathetic to such a proposal,” she said.