ANDREW Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, on Thursday congratulated the First Nations and local governments on the Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling that the federal government made its decision on Trans Mountain expansion without considering all evidence and failing in their legal duty to consult First Nations.
Weaver, who was an intervener in the National Energy Board hearings, said the ruling is further proof that the project should have never been approved.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for First Nations’ rights and for all those who have long held that this project was not approved based on evidence,” said Weaver.
“I am particularly glad to see the court’s judgement that there was an unjustifiable failure at the heart of the federal government’s approval of this project: the failure to assess the impacts of marine shipping on the environment. This was an outrageous omission on the part of the federal government that flies in the face of their stated commitment to evidence-based decision-making. The NEB acknowledged that the marine traffic from this project posed significant harm to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. The government must now justify to Canadians, and to the world, why it is willing to herald the death knell of this irreplaceable species if it continues to pursue this project.
“Coming off of the two worst wildfire seasons in B.C.’s history, it’s clear that we cannot continue down the misguided path of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to begin the immediate transition to the low-carbon economy. B.C. is a leader amongst the provinces, adopting carbon tax increases that are ahead of federal requirements. Our Caucus is working closely with the B.C. NDP minority government to create a clean growth strategy that will further advance our efforts. I hope the federal government will now realize that there is an enormous opportunity to support B.C.’s leadership, rather than attempting to force our province to shoulder the huge environmental and economic risks that this project presents.”
PREMIER John Horgan in a statement said: “This case has been led by First Nations asserting their rights. We joined the case to defend British Columbia’s interests, and to highlight the risks to the province’s environment and economy.
“Many British Columbians have been saying that this project would create serious risks to our coast. Today, the court has validated those concerns.
“The court has found that consultation with First Nations was inadequate, and that the process failed to consider the risks of marine tanker traffic. These are very serious issues for the federal government to address.”