BREAKING! BC granted intervenor status in 16 bundled court cases against the National Energy Board and Prime Minister Trudeau's approval of Kinder Morgan!
Kinder Morgan and the Province of Alberta fought hard to keep the new BC government from being able to participate in these court cases as an intervenor.
The Stop Kinder Morgan movement worked tirelessly to elect a government that would do whatever it could to fight Kinder Morgan and it is paying off! Help the movement keep the pressure on by donating now: www.CoastProtectors.ca/donate
What's the impact of the B.C. government joining the case?
If B.C. is granted intervener status, it is expected to make the case about the project's high environmental risks and the inadequacy of consultations with First Nations, said Eugene Kung, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law.
The province's involvement could also bolster the B.C. First Nations' cases. B.C. First Nations already have a strong track record – much of Canada's leading case law on aboriginal title originated in B.C. – and having the province and its resources onside would be a plus.
Can this case actually kill the pipeline expansion?
Maybe. Just last year, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned Ottawa's approval of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project, under similar circumstances. The federal cabinet had granted a permit two years earlier.
The three-justice panel concluded the former Conservative government failed in its duty to consult First Nations prior to issuing a cabinet order approving the $7.9-billion pipeline that would deliver 525,000 barrels a day of oil sands crude to the West Coast for export to Pacific markets.
"It's not necessarily a speculative thing: We have a clear example in recent memory with fairly similar facts," Mr. Kung said.
"Of course, it will fall on the specific merits and facts of this case, but I can tell you as someone who was following both very closely that the NEB process in particular on which both the federal and provincial decisions were made, was fatally flawed – even worse than the process in Enbridge. And we know what happened there."