Multiple court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) have now failed. Despite opposition, it’s time for the project to move forward.
In January, the Supreme Court rejected the B.C. provincial government’s appeal of a ruling that prevented the province from requiring permits before bitumen could be shipped through B.C.
On Tuesday, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Indigenous groups challenging TMX approval.
Back in May 2018, the federal government purchased the pipeline for $4.5 billion. For many, that was the strongest signal that come hell or high-water, the pipeline would go through.
After failing to meet their duty to consult Indigenous groups along the pipeline path, the Liberals conducted new consultations with 129 Indigenous groups to push the project through – nine of which expressed opposition. The federal government has argued that they held meaningful dialogue while Indigenous groups argued that the federal government had already made up its mind on the project prior to consultations. Ultimately, the court sided with the federal government.
The pipeline will be built. Tanker traffic on Canada’s west coast will increase. There will be economic benefit. There will be environmental damage. Whether the project will improve quality of life for Canadians will only be determined once the project is completed.
Costs for the project have increased by billions of dollars because of delays, with Trans Mountain CEO Ian Anderson now putting it “north of $7.4 billion.”
The B.C. NDP have not yet determined how much they have spent to fight the pipeline in court. B.C. Attorney General David Eby said the government has spent only a fraction of what it would cost to clean up an oil spill.
Trans Mountain has obvious pros and cons. However, it is plain to see that no opposition can prevent the project from moving forward. Further opposition to the project will only lead to more wasted money, and further loss of opportunity for Canada’s energy sector.
It’s time to get the pipeline built.
– Black Press Media