First Nations and environmental groups are in Vancouver today to challenge Kinder Morgan in the Federal Court of Appeal.
The court is set to start hearing the consolidated challenges from 7 First Nations bands about the National Energy Board’s flawed process and appealing the Federal Cabinet’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline.
First Nations are hoping this case will reverse the controversial decision like in 2015 when the Enbridge Northern Gateway was stopped by the Tsliel-Waututh Nation.
First Nations will be joined with support from the City of Vancouver, the City of Burnaby and environmental organizations. The Province of BC was also granted intervener status in the case.
A group rallied outside of the Federal Courthouse in Vancouver this morning for the first of the ten-day hearing.
Living Oceans, an environmental group, says the government has failed to protect salmon habitats and ensure the survival of the Ocra whales who habituate the area.
The seven First Nation applicants are:
- Tsleil-Waututh Nation;
- Squamish Nation;
- Musqueam Indian Band;
- Coldwater Indian Band;
- Aitchelitz, Skowkale Shxwa:y Village;
- Aitchelitz, Skowkale Shxwa:y Village, Soow Ahlie, Squiala First Nation, Tzeachten, Yakweakwioose, Skwah, Kwaw-Kwaw-Aplit & Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe et al. (Sto:lo);
- Upper Nicola Band; and
- Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc
They will be in court until next Friday (Oct 13).
Kinder Morgan was ordered by the National Energy Board last week to stop the installation of mats on 8 riverbeds along the expansion route that would deter fish from spawning in those locations.
Kinder Morgan has asked the NEB to allow them to continue the installation or risk the project being delayed. Kinder Morgan argues that these mats have to be installed a year prior to construction to be effective.