Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal on Tuesday dismissed a challenge to the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, clearing some uncertainty over the project.The court said in a written decision that the government held “reasonable and meaningful” consultations with indigenous groups as required by law.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, today issued the following statement regarding the decision by the Federal Court of Appeal to uphold the Order in Council approving the Trans Mountain Expansion project:
The Government of Canada welcomes the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA).
Today’s ruling affirms that the Government of Canada’s renewed consultations with Indigenous communities addressed the issues identified by the Federal Court of Appeal in its August 2018 decision. This was a responsibility the Government of Canada took very seriously, and it is work the government did in partnership with Indigenous communities.
From the beginning, the Government of Canada worked with communities to shape the consultation process. Ministers engaged directly, project conditions were amended and accommodations were co-developed to respond to concerns raised. The result was the most comprehensive consultation ever undertaken for a major project in Canada’s history.
The government approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project because it is in the public interest. This project will unlock new global markets to boost the price of a valuable Canadian resource; help advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, including through economic opportunities; and generate revenue to help fund clean energy and climate solutions.
Since the fall, construction of the project has already created thousands of good, well-paying jobs. Construction on both Spread 1 in the Greater Edmonton Region and Spread 2 in Yellowhead is underway. Work is ongoing at various pump stations, construction yards, and more.
The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, and it knows that consultations on major projects have a critical role to play in building that renewed relationship. Canada will continue to engage with Indigenous communities at each step of the project in the months and years to come.