Canadian court delivers major victory against Trans Mountain Pipeline

If Trudeau is as serious about the environment and Indigenous rights as he claims to be, he needs to respect the court’s decision, stop wasting taxpayer money on this pipeline, and move on.

Protect-The-Inlet-Protest

On August 30, the Federal Court of Appeal in Canada delivered a resounding victory for everyone who has been fighting the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and tanker project for years — First Nations, environmental organizations, frontline communities, dedicated activists, and everyday citizens. The court recognized the project’s environmental assessment was flawed, and the federal government failed to properly consult with First Nations.

This groundbreaking ruling may be the critical blow we need to finally stop the proposed expansion of this disastrous pipeline. Experts have said it could take as long as a year for the federal government to meet the court’s requirements to redo consultation with First Nations and reassess tanker traffic impacts to southern resident orcas. And while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to be exploring all options available to him to get the pipeline built, so far, none seem to be able to speed up the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion any faster.

This ruling is a vindication for the years of hard work from First Nations and their non-indigenous allies. Stand.earth began our campaign in 2012 — when we were still known by our former name, ForestEthics. A critical and important piece of our campaign strategy was to work under the leadership of, and take guidance from, Coast Salish leaders. Since 2012, we’ve accomplished some amazing things:

  • We supported Coast Salish Water Protectors at Kwekwecnewtxw – the Watch House on Burnaby Mountain, which highlighted Indigenous-led opposition to the pipeline expansion
  • We helped organize a march through the streets of Burnaby — the largest protest of tar sands pipelines in Canada’s history — which helped show how people from all walks of life are opposed to the pipeline expansion
  • We hosted dozens of actions alongside dedicated activists, everyday citizens, and our nonprofit partners that led to more than 240 people arrested for civil disobedience
  • We helped raise more than $20,000 through fundraisers to support Pull Together, which provides financial support to First Nations legal cases, and legal costs for the activists arrested for civil disobedience

What’s next for the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

 

In a confusing pair of public interviews in Alberta, Trudeau first announced the federal government would not appeal the court’s decision, but then a few hours later, he flipped his position and said he’d be willing to appeal the decision or use legislative loopholes to push the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project through.

It is clear that this fight is not over. But whenever Justin Trudeau decides what he wants to do next — we will be ready. Our steadfast opposition to the pipeline has been strengthened by the court’s recognition that Indigenous rights must be respected, and that the Pacific Coast and its endangered southern resident orcas must be protected from oil tankers.   

If Trudeau is as serious about the environment and Indigenous rights as he claims to be, he needs to respect the court’s decision, stop wasting taxpayer money on this pipeline, and move on.

Take action: Call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and tell him to respect indigenous rights, stop wasting taxpayer money, and move on from this disastrous pipeline project. Our climate depends on it.