Vancouver, Canada — Following a challenge by Indigenous Nations and environmental groups, a Canadian Federal Court ruled that the Canadian government failed to properly consult with First Nations on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project and failed to properly consider the impacts of increased tanker traffic due to the project, ceding a win for Indigenous Nations and leading to a major setback for the Canadian government.
In response, Diana Best, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace USA, said:
“The Canadian courts have confirmed Indigenous rights were not respected and there must be adequate consultation with communities who will be impacted by these dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure projects. This decision is not just a win for Indigenous Nations in Canada, but for environment defenders across the globe.”
“The decision reinforces the significant financial risks associated with these tar sands pipeline projects. Banks and financial institutions that provide funding for fossil fuel pipelines should reconsider as these projects continue to face lawsuits, delays, expensive oil spill cleanup price-tags and a growing opposition movement that is spreading around the world.”
The decision could mean a significant delay for Justin Trudeau’s government, which, in May, agreed to purchase the existing Trans Mountain pipeline and infrastructure related to the Trans Mountain Expansion project for CAD $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan.
“Kinder Morgan’s decision to walk away from the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project in the face of mounting pressure from the Indigenous-led movement to stop the project shows that these controversial pipelines are high risk and prove to be more trouble than they are worth,” said Best.
The unanimous court decision showed the consultation with First Nations to be inadequate, sending the project application back to the federal government to correct the errors and to re-engage in consultation.
The Trudeau government’s stubborn support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project continues to weaken Canada’s role as a global climate leader and contradicts its commitments under the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — both of which the Canadian government signed.
Leola Abraham, Global Communications Lead, Greenpeace USA: +1 (202) 413 8930, [email protected]
Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31 (0) 20 718 2470, [email protected] (available 24 hours)