Alberta pulls out of carbon tax initiative after pipeline ruling

Alberta pulls out of carbon tax initiative after pipeline ruling

Trudeau's government agreed in May to buy the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada for C$4.5 billion ($3.46 billion), betting it would win the court battle and expand Trans Mountain over fierce political and environmental opposition.

"Our government remains committed to ensuring the project proceeds in a manner that protects the public interest", Morneau said in Toronto.

The ruling requires the energy board to conduct a new review -which the court suggests could be kept short - and means the government will have to redo part of its consultations with Indigenous groups.

"So today I am announcing that with the Trans Mountain halted, and the work on it halted, until the federal government gets its act together; Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan", she added.

January 12, 2016: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says in a written submission to the NEB that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is in the best interests of both Alberta and Canada.

The project has been at the center of widespread protests from environmental groups and First Nations ever since November 2016, when Trudeau approved a $7.4 billion expansion of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline that would increase the transport of Alberta tar sands oil from the current 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day and increase tanker traffic almost seven-fold through the Burrard Inlet.

Yao and David Yurdiga, Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP, also said the uncertainty regarding NAFTA's future means pipeline projects are even more important now. That, in turn, meant that the energy board did not assess the potential impact of increased tanker traffic on the endangered southern resident killer whale population.

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Canada failed ... to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the real concerns of the Indigenous applicants so as to explore possible accommodation of those concerns.

Kinder Morgan shareholders voted Thursday to sell the project off to the Canadian government, so this court decision is Trudeau's problem now.

February 21, 2012: Kinder Morgan says it wants to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline after receiving support from oil shippers and will begin public consultations.

For example, the Coldwater Indian Band in south-central B.C. raised concerns about the pipeline route passing through an aquifer that is the sole supply of drinking water for its main reserve.

Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation said he is also still interested in an ownership stake of the pipeline, but said he felt many Indigenous groups had not been adequately consulted.

Regulatory lawyer Bill Gallagher, the author of "Resource Rulers" and the upcoming book "Resource Reckoning", said today's ruling was a "benchmark" in the rise of what he called "Native empowerment" over natural resources in Canada.

"If the Federal Court strikes down the permit authorizing the pipeline because of inadequate consultation, or for another reason, then I don't see how the pipeline project can proceed - unless or until the Supreme Court reversed that decision", he said.

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The court ruled that the energy board review contained a fatal flaw: it excluded the project's impact on marine shipping.

The Trudeau government, he said, "abandoned its promise of reconciliation with Canada's Indigenous Peoples when it forced this unsafe project on numerous individual, rights-holding First Nations in 2016". "To obtain free, prior and informed consent you have to do the proper consultation".

The court's decision "is a major victory for Indigenous rights, coastal protection, and the fight to stop our worsening climate crisis", said Oil Change International's senior campaigner Adam Scott. "I hope our provincial and federal governments work hard at overcoming these hurdles they made in the first place".

Meanwhile, in B.C., the Squamish Nation cheered the ruling as a recognition of Indigenous rights.

Several Indigenous groups and environmentalists applauded the ruling, which emerged from a legal challenge backed by more than a dozen groups, including the city of Vancouver, several First Nations and environmental organisations.

Trudeau had a teleconference with each province's Premier Thursday.

A slim majority of Canadians support the pipeline's construction, according to recent polling.

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