OTTAWA, O.N. – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the federal Liberals should both appeal the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion before the Supreme Court of Canada and legislate the project into existence.
The Federal Court of Appeal last month overturned federal approval for the pipeline, citing insufficient consultation with Indigenous communities and the National Energy Board’s lack of attention to the environmental impacts of additional oil-tanker traffic off British Columbia’s coast.
Scheer says the Liberals only created fresh delays last week by issuing a directive to the NEB that it spend nearly six months conducting an environmental review of tanker activities.
Instead, he says the government should pass emergency legislation to use a 2012 Transport Canada expert review of all oil tanker traffic in the country.
Scheer also says Ottawa should support a private member’s bill from Alberta Senator Douglas Black that reaffirms federal jurisdiction over the pipeline’s construction.
He says the government should appoint a special cabinet representative to oversee a targeted consultation with Indigenous communities that takes into account their concerns without giving anyone a veto over the project simply for ideological reasons.
The multi-billion dollar pipeline expansion project, which would more than triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., is in limbo while Ottawa tries to address the court’s concerns.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS)