Several B.C. First Nations have been denied leave by the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)

Several B.C. First Nations have been denied leave by the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

A decision by Canada’s top court rejecting an appeal by three B.C First Nations challenging the second approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a failure to uphold Indigenous title and rights, according to the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).

In a statement, UBCIC said it shares its ‘deep’ disappointment with the Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band on the Supreme Court decision issued Thursday, July 2, 2020.

“The court’s decision to dismiss this application for appeal is a continuation of Canada’s adversarial approach to Indigenous peoples and our rights. It is disheartening that the federal government has fought Indigenous nations in court at every turn in order to build an oil pipeline during a global climate emergency,” said UBCIC vice-president Chief Don Thomas.

“Cabinet’s commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples rings hollow when they force Indigenous Nations to defend their lands and their rights in a courtroom year after year.”

The three First Nations were seeking for leave to appeal a February 4, 2020 decision by the Federal Court of Appeal upholding the second approval of the $12.6-billion project.

Read More: Supreme Court will not hear B.C. groups’ Trans Mountain pipeline expansion appeal cases

Subject to 156 conditions, the twinning of the pipeline will result in nearly a billion barrels of heavy oils such as diluted bitumen being transported daily from Alberta to B.C’s coast where it will be shipped via tankers to markets around the world. It is a project the federal government maintains that Canada needs.

Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan, said construction of Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) is underway and has already created more than 4,900 well-paying jobs. He noted the pipeline will help Canada gain access to new markets for its resources and generate revenue to help fund clean energy and climate change solutions.

Also hailing the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada as welcome news was the Trans Mountain Corporation and Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.

Tsleil-Waututh First Nation Chief Leah George-Wilson said the decision is a major setback for reconciliation.

Squamish Nation spokesperson and Councillor Syeta’ xtn (Chris Lewis) said as Indigenous people they have the constitutional right for meaningful consultation and accommodation.

“The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to let federal government basically be the judge and jury of its own consultation efforts was in our view was very flawed in many ways…”

Read More: Trans Mountain pipeline restarts after light crude spills in Abbotsford, B.C.

Syeta’ xtn maintains Canada isn’t prepared to mitigate potential environmental impacts from the project.

Read More: Western Canada Indigenous leaders choose pipelines over poverty

“We continue to hear we’ll study this into the future, we’ll have a study on the cumulative impacts or any of the impacts the Squamish Nation has stated but yet again they just went ahead after a very abbreviated short consultation period with the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in round two and approved it without having those studies done prior to that.”

Syeta’ xtn said the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations are participating in a joint study with Canada on modelling and studying the behavior of diluted bitumen in their waters if such a spill would occur.

The Nations have vowed to explore all legal options moving forward.

“The government still has a constitutional duty to consult us on the regulatory and permitting process so we’ll continue to voice our concerns throughout those aspects.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsSupreme CourtTrans Mountain pipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)
Fire and explosion wakes Keremeos residents

A motorhome was consumed and a boat severely damaged after the 3 a.m. fire

(Contributed)
Penticton Regional Hospital Auxiliary donates $78k to school breakfast programs

The Penticton Breakfast Club runs programs at Queens Park, Westbench and Columbia Elementary schools

South Okanagan Women in Need Society and TIME Winery will be accepting donations from noon to 4 p.m. at Time Winery Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 to help women and children in need during their annual “Time to Give” event. (Contributed)
Support women and children in need this weekend at TIME Winery in Penticton

SOWINS has seen more women than ever become victims to domestic abuse this year

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

The Cactus Court housing property was intended to have zero barriers for accessibility, but the door sills are visibly above the outer layer of concrete. It is one of the issues that BC Housing is currently working on with the contractor for the project. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Affordable housing projects in Keremeos continue to sit empty

Cactus Court was supposed to be finished around July this year

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP was called to a report of a fight at an Okanagan Landing Halloween party Saturday, Oct. 31, but issued the homeowner a ticket  under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act for having too many people at the party. (Black Press file photo)
West Kelowna man, dog rescued from carbon monoxide poisoning

The man was quickly transported to the hospital

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

The former BC Tree Fruits office building at 1473 Water Street has been sold. (Contributed)
BC Tree Fruits downtown Kelowna office sold for $7.5M

Historic building sold for 44 per cent more than the $5.2-million asking price

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Margaret Holm
HOLM: Better Bicycle Lanes

Margaret Holm writes about solutions to global warming

The newly opened Switzmalph Child Care Centre at Salmon Arm offers culturally enriched programs featuring the Secwépemc culture but is open to children of all heritages. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Video: Switzmalph Child Care Centre shares culture with Shuswap community

New daycare at Salmon Arm offers Secwépemc culturally enriched programs to children of all heritages

Man walking in the winter downtown.
Dyer: The role of air tightness testing in energy efficiency

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Most Read