This morning, Minister of the Environment George Heyman and Attorney General David Eby announced the BC NDP government's plans to stop Kinder Morgan. Here are the highlights:
- BC must respect its legal duties to consult with Indigenous people in environmental-assessment reviews. Permits rely on meaningful consultation, that consultation was not done under the previous government.
- Until First Nations consultation is completed, there will be no permission for Kinder Morgan construction on public land.
- Former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Berger will join BC's legal team and province will seek to intervene in 21 existing court cases. Berger has spent his career advancing Aboriginal titles on landmark cases like the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry and Caldwell v British Columbia, the basis for the Tsilhqot'in decision that acknowledged Aboriginal rights and title in British Columbia.
Construction on private land - including Burnaby Mountain, the tank farm near SFU and Westridge Terminal - can't be prevented by government. Kinder Morgan's last communique indicated construction starting in September at the tank farm and Westridge Terminal in Burnaby.
This is the best possible news from the provincial government, but we will be prepared to confront Kinder Morgan if they try to start construction in Burnaby next month. You can donate to the resistance here: www.CoastProtectors.ca/donate.
This is a big blow to Kinder Morgan's construction schedule, but the war is not over. Later this month we'll be hosting a "Kinder Morgan: Know Your Rights" webinar - by then we should have a clearer idea of what the mega-corporation plans to do in British Columbia.