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Moe 'disappointed' by Trans Mountain, NAFTA talk delays

Moe 'disappointed' by Trans Mountain, NAFTA talk delays

Alberta's Opposition Leader Jason Kenney said the federal judges who overturned approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are out of touch with the real world.

Opponents of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project were cheering their victory after the Federal Court of Appeal's decision Thursday morning that basically quashed the approval of the pipeline expansion.

Environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby also challenged the project in Federal Court last November. "Now it's time for Prime Minister Trudeau to read the writing on the wall, dump this pipeline and shift the billions of public dollars slated for this problem-plagued project into Canada's renewable energy economy", Mike Hudema of the organisation said in a statement. "It means upholding our commitments with Indigenous Peoples and it means responsibly protecting Canada's and Canadians' investment".

The decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada either way, Hoberg predicted, and another 18 months to two years will pass before it's settled.

The court concluded that the National Energy Board made a "critical error" in not considering marine shipping impacts, leading to "unacceptable deficiencies" in its recommendations to the government to greenlight the project.

August 23, 2018: The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal by the City of Burnaby to reconsider a lower court decision that denied the port city leave to appeal the ruling by the National Energy Board.

The court ruling requires the board to conduct a completely new review that considers the voices of the indigenous people the pipeline expansion would affect, as well as the how the expected increase in marine tanker traffic would impact the environment and marine mammals.

The court found that the government's representatives "limited their mandate to listening to and recording the concerns of the Indigenous applicants and then transmitting those concerns to the decision-makers".

Alberta was also an intervener and the province's lawyer told the court Ottawa's decision to approve the pipeline expansion was based on broad evidence that considered environmental, economic and Indigenous interests.

The court combined into one case almost two dozen lawsuits - filed by First Nations, environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby - calling for the energy board's review to be overturned.

While Quintal called on the federal government not to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called on Justin Trudeau's government to file an appeal and recall Parliament for an emergency session.

Notley says the province is pulling out of the federal climate plan until work on the Trans Mountain pipeline resumes and "the federal government gets its act together". Additionally, the federal government was seen to have not adequately consulted First Nations, as required by law.

Trudeau's Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, said he would speak about the decision on Thursday afternoon. The case combined almost two dozen lawsuits calling for the NEB's review of the project to be overturned.

"As Indigenous owners, it'll give us diversity in terms of best practices of the overall project". "To obtain free, prior and informed consent you have to do the proper consultation".

Further consultation will have to include serious examination of the community's 1,200-page environmental assessment and studies on spill potential and air quality, said Rueben George, a representative of the Tsleil-Waututh.

Some Indigenous leaders in Wood Buffalo said they were not surprised when they heard the news, although they are still interested in purchasing a stake in the project. A federal appeals court, however, has now put a stop to that.

Premier John Horgan said: "This case has always been about First Nations rights" in a press conference. When the government stepped up to buy the pipeline in May, this one project became symbolic of the country's energy future.