Conservationists file legal challenge to Trans Mountain reapproval over whales

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VANCOUVER, B.C. – The federal government is facing a new legal challenge after it approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for a second time.

Ecojustice has filed a motion to the Federal Court of Appeal on behalf of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Living Oceans Society asking for leave to launch a judicial review of cabinet’s decision.

Raincoast says in a statement that it will argue cabinet failed to comply with its responsibility to protect critically endangered southern resident killer whales when it reapproved the project June 18.

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This is the second time Ecojustice has gone to court on behalf of the conservation groups over the pipeline expansion.

In August, the federal court struck down the government’s previous approval of the project, ruling the marine environment hadn’t been considered and Indigenous consultations were incomplete.

Margot Venton, nature program director for Ecojustice, says in the statement that cabinet cannot justify approving the project legally or morally.

“The government itself says endangered southern resident killer whales face imminent threats under their current conditions. This iconic population simply cannot handle increased, unmitigated threats from the Trans Mountain expansion,” she says.

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