For Immediate Release: August 30, 2018

Statement by Environmental Defence’s Tim Gray on the Federal Court of Appeal quashing the Trans Mountain expansion

We are pleased that the Federal Court of Appeal struck down the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion by agreeing with Indigenous groups, environmental organizations, and local municipalities that the assessment process run by the National Energy Board (NEB) was deeply flawed. This is a huge victory for Indigenous rights, upholding the duty that Canadian governments have to meaningfully consult with First Nations on energy projects that affect their traditional territories. It is also an important victory for ensuring that the rule of law be applied to environmental reviews, and underscores that key impacts of major projects cannot simply be ignored by project proponents and the regulator.

We have had a long held view that the NEB review process was so flawed that the whole institution needed to be reformed and the process started anew. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the last federal election campaign, agreed, saying that the Trans Mountain Pipeline assessment process should be restarted after the NEB is reformed. It is not surprising that the courts found that the NEB approval was so flawed that it should never have been used as the basis for approval by the federal Cabinet.

As the new owner and proponent of this project, the federal government should now immediately cancel this misguided project. It is clear that First Nations, local communities, and the courts see this project as deeply flawed and a threat to communities and our environment. This is very unlikely to ever change.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.


Barbara Hayes, Environmental Defence, bhayes@environmentaldefence.ca