The B.C. government will have its objections to the TransMountain oil pipeline expansion project filed in court by the end of this week.
Environment Minister George Heyman said Tuesday the province has been granted intervener status at the Federal Court of Appeal. It will file its official position by Sept. 1, and the court is to begin its hearing on Oct. 2.
Kinder Morgan Canada has indicated it wants to start work this fall on twinning the 1950s-era pipeline that brings crude oil and refined fuels to its shipping terminal in Burnaby and to supply refineries in Burnaby and Washington.
The NDP government has promised to use every available means to stop the project, and supporting legal challenges is one of the few options open. The National Energy Board and the B.C. government have given their approval, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated his government’s support.
“It is absolutely appropriate and necessary that we have the opportunity to defend British Columbia’s interests in this very important case,” Heyman said.
B.C. Liberal energy critic Ellis Ross said the province’s court challenge is little more than a tactic to drag out the project that has already seen years of hearings and challenges.
“I’m pretty disappointed,” said Ross, who worked for natural gas pipelines as chief councillor of the Haisla Nation near Kitimat. “They’re not taking into consideration why first nations are signing onto these projects in the first place.”