Despite BC court loss, opposition to Trans Mountain Pipeline remains strong

Friday May 24, 2019

Tens of thousands of Canadians have pledged to do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop pipeline

UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) —  The British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled today on a reference case brought by the province, which sought to clarify whether or not the province could put a temporary ban on new shipments of diluted bitumen (dilbit) while further scientific studies were conducted into the ability to clean up dilbit spills. The court found that the proposed regulation exceeded the province’s power to regulate interprovincial pipelines.

“British Columbians remain deeply opposed to the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the risks of a devastating oil spill that come with it,” said Sven Biggs, Climate and Energy Campaigner for “While we are disappointed by the court's ruling, we know that Premier Horgan remains committed to protecting the BC coast and he will continue to use every tool in his toolbox to achieve that goal.”

Today’s ruling comes just weeks before the self imposed June 18 deadline for the Federal Cabinet decision on whether or not to reapprove permits for the pipeline, which were quashed by the Federal Court of Appeal in August 2018.

“Despite today's ruling, the fight over the Trans Mountain Pipeline is far from over. People care deeply about protecting the BC coast, and if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tries to restart construction on the pipeline, another wave of protests is guaranteed to greet him every time he comes across the Rocky Mountains to BC,” said Biggs.

Science is out on dilbit spills
More than 9,000 pieces of scientific literature show that more information is needed to understand how dilbit acts in the marine environment.

In December 2018, filed evidence with the NEB stating that there is a lack of scientific understanding about what happens during a spill of diluted bitumen in a saltwater marine environment — and whether a spill of this heavy, sinking oil could even adequately be cleaned up. The evidence included a statement from Dr. Stephanie Green, a PhD in biological sciences from Simon Fraser University. Green is the lead author of the paper “Oil sands and the marine environment: current knowledge and future challenges.” The paper, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, is based on an assessment of more than 9,000 pieces of scientific literature.

Opposition remains strong
Around 230 people have been arrested since March 2018 for opposing the pipeline, with more than 30 serving jail time. More than 26,000 have pledged to do “whatever it takes” to stop Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project. Opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline includes 150 First Nations; the Province of British Columbia; the state of Washington; the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, and Victoria and 19 other BC municipalities; as well as 350,000 petition signers.


Media contact: Sven Biggs, Climate & Energy Campaigner,, 778-882-8354