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

Just Posted

Williams Lake courthouse. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Preliminary inquiry gets underway May 17 into 2018 murder north of Williams Lake

Wyatt Lee Boffa, Daine Victor Stump are charged with first degree murder

Talia McKay of Williams Lake is a burn survivor who remains grateful for the support she received from the Burn Fund (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
’You have to allow yourself the grace to heal’: B.C. burn survivor reflects on her recovery

Learning how to stand straight and walk again was a feat said Williams Lake resident Talia McKay

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Worth taking another look at hemp for paper production

Ninety years after being deemed illegal, few are afraid of marijauna

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Milking cows and strangers on the premises

Cows in a milking barn may get upset if a stranger comes

Lake City Secondary School Grade 12 students Haroop Sandhu, from left, Amrit Binning and Cleary Manning are members of the school’s horticulture club. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
LCSS horticulture club a growing success

Aspiring gardeners at a Williams Lake secondary school are earning scholarship dollars… Continue reading

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read