B.C.’s environment minister says he is “very disappointed” by a federal judge’s dismissal of the province’s request to appeal a National Energy Board ruling that allows Kinder Morgan to circumvent city bylaws as it continues to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline.
In response to Friday’s decision at the Federal Court of Appeal, Minister George Heyman said this “allows the local permitting process to be needlessly undermined,” and that the province will keep looking into ways to fight the $7.4-billion pipeline twinning.
The province had filed its appeal in mid-February, after the NEB’s ruling a few months earlier that allowed Kinder Morgan to bypass city bylaws and continue work on the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who had said in her province would fight B.C.’s appeal if it got the go-ahead, called Friday’s decision “another step forward for market access, the national climate plan and a strong Canadian economy.”
The Trans Mountain projects has caused months of tension between the two provinces, with Notley bringing in, and then stepping back from, a B.C. wine ban and a suspension of talks to buy B.C. electricity, and Premier John Horgan vowing to fight the pipeline in court.
Opposition to the project has spilled out onto the streets in recent weeks, with dozens of arrests at anti-pipeline rallies near Kinder Morgan sites and protests across Burnaby and even south of the border.