A new case takes on scope of Trans Mountain pipeline review

TsleilWaututhSpeech

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While mainstream media made a fuss over Saskatchewan’s application to intervene in the Indigenous legal challenges to TMX, today Tsleil Waututh announced they will be taking a case to the Supreme Court. Arguing that
the Federal Court of Appeal’s September 4th decision — to allow six First Nations to challenge the re-approval of the pipeline and tankers project — significantly limited the grounds that the First Nations, including Tsleil-Waututh, could argue.

“We are taking this issue to the Supreme Court of Canada not only to stand up for our inherent and constitutionally protected rights, but also to make sure that Canada follows their own laws when making decisions,” said Tsleil-Waututh Chief Leah Sisi-ya-ama George-Wilson.

The limitations being challenged by Tsleil Waututh include:

• Canada’s failure to consider marine shipping throughout Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the environmental assessment and final decision on TMX;

• Failing to comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Species at Risk Act in relation to the Southern Resident Killer Whales;

• Relying on stale economic evidence and ignoring fresh evidence that the project is uneconomic; and

• Failing to consider TWN Aboriginal title and rights by refusing to justify infringement of rights or obtaining consent.

TWN continues to participate in the ongoing case being supported by the Pull Together community, but this new appeal could impact the scope of that case. If successful, it could once again quash the federal approval of TMX.

“We are confident in our case at the FCA – the federal government failed to meaningfully consult Tsleil-Waututh again by aiming for the legal minimum and missing the mark. This appeal is about making sure that the government follows their own constitution and statutes when making decisions that impact us all.” Chief George-Wilson.

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