British Columbia vows legal challenge to Kinder Morgan pipline

"Until it is completed, they are not able to begin work".

Notley was referring to Berger's appointment and to Heyman's promise of strict enforcement of the terms and conditions imposed in the provincial environmental assessment certificate for Trans Mountain. Tollesfon said the first task for Berger will be advising the government on whether to seek the right to intervene in the pending court cases that are before the federal court of appeals. Until it does so, the company can't start construction on public lands, he said.

In a release, Interim Leader Rich Coleman says "Today's announcement by the NDP continues to drive the message home to investors that our province is not open for business or investment of any kind and is willing to forfeit an nearly $20 billion increase to our GDP".

"I think there's a misconception that consultation and accommodation are a tool to get agreement", he said, adding that 41 First Nations support the project and getting 100 per cent indigenous buy-in would be impossible.

If there is any significance to Thursday's manoeuvres, it's that Horgan's government is signalling it "will do whatever it can legally to stop the project", said George Hoberg, UBC professor of environmental and natural resource policy, in an email.

"His history extends all the way back to the Calder decision, which actually established the existence of First Nations title in the highest court in Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada", Mr. Eby told reporters on Thursday.

"We'll be reviewing our environmental standards in British Columbia as well as our standards for First Nations consultation", he said. Based on what we know today, he will ensure that the government's case is airtight and respectful of Indigenous consent and environmental concerns.

"The UNDRIP is not part of that test".

In any event, the courts were already going to hear the case this fall. "I think the courts would look unfavorably on any government using the duty to consult as a foil, particularly if significant third party rights are involved".

In a press release, Kinder Morgan said it was taking seriously the comments from Eby and Heyman and will review them. "We have undertaken thorough, extensive and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal Peoples, communities and individuals and remain dedicated to those efforts and relationships as we move forward with construction activities in September", added Anderson.

"In the B.C. Green caucus's view, the National Energy Board process that led to this project's approval was profoundly flawed", Weaver said in a statement.

"Remember, they said they would use every tool in the toolbox to fight this, and what's left in the toolbox?" "There's only a little screwdriver in there".

Where does that leave massive private-sector investments like the $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan pipeline? The company agreed to what some have characterized as extortion money.

In addition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Coleman pointed to the $8.8-billion Site C dam (under review and threatened with cancellation by the new government), the $3.5-billion Massey Bridge (also threatened with cancellation) and the $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project. The benchmark Toronto share index shed 0.9 percent.

Vanessa Coleman

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