B.C. city to take Trans Mountain pipeline fight to Supreme Court of Canada

BURNABY, B.C. — The City of Burnaby is turning to Canada’s highest court in the dispute over construction of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

Mayor Derek Corrigan said Tuesday the city plans to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to consider a lower court decision that denied Burnaby leave to appeal a ruling by the National Energy Board.

That ruling allowed Kinder Morgan to bypass local bylaws during construction of the pipeline expansion, which will triple the amount of diluted bitumen and other oil products moving between the Edmonton-area and port facilities in Burnaby.

Corrigan says the city has asked its legal counsel to file the appeal application within 60 days.

In a news release, he said the Federal Court of Appeal did not consider arguments made by Burnaby and the provincial government.

“The court system should be the body that decides whether or not this is fair and just, but they dismissed our application without reasons,” Corrigan says.

“Very clearly, it’s something the court should have dealt with and given reasons why it’s not allowing the provincial government to exert its authority to protect the environmental interests of the province.”

The federal government approved the pipeline expansion in 2016, but the project faces significant opposition in B.C. Thousands of people have rallied in protest and the provincial government has raised concerns about the pipeline’s possible environmental and economic impact.

There are still a number of other legal decisions pending on the pipeline, including a review by the Federal Court of Appeal of the decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet to approve the pipeline and a review by B.C.’s highest court of the decision by the former provincial government to approve the pipeline.

Premier John Horgan will also seek a legal ruling on whether his province can restrict increased amounts of oil from coming into B.C. while his government reviews oil-spill safety measures.

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