VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green party, is raising concerns about the federal government’s approach to reviewing the Trans Mountain pipeline project. Earlier this month, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the federal government’s approval due to the flawed NEB process.
“This process must be clear from political control and therefore needs to be free from a politically-imposed timeline,” said Weaver.
“Any process that is about getting to ‘yes’ will inevitably fail to protect the public interest. Environmental assessments must be objective and evidence-based. And meaningful consultation with Indigenous people must ensure they are approached as partners, not as barriers to be overcome on the way to a predetermined approval.
“The federal approval of this project was always political. The Prime Minister campaigned to subject all new projects to a revised NEB process, yet pushed Trans Mountain through the old broken one. Meanwhile, additional conditions were imposed on Energy East to ensure the project was assessed through the critical lense of climate change. Why would those same considerations not matter in the case of a pipeline through B.C.? There is no reason for B.C. to shoulder such significant risk simply to fulfill political agendas.
“Both colleague Adam Olsen and I were interveners in the original NEB hearings, focusing on the consequences of a marine spill and on Indigenous rights. We are exploring whether we have rights to intervene in the new hearings.
“We are also sitting down with the provincial government to ensure that they are using all legally available means, including terminating the equivalency agreement signed by the previous administration, to protect our coast from a catastrophic diluted bitumen spill.”
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