Trans Mountain Pipeline: The Truth About Construction

Wednesday September 18, 2019

This report reviews the expected timeline for the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and some of the most troubling hotspots for construction. The public has a right to know what construction will look like and what the social and ecological impacts will be. It shows that Canadian federal government faces bigger construction challenges than previously thought and calls into question the three-year construction timeline for the project. 

Permitting delays include:

  • No approved route: None of the segments of the pipeline route have been fully approved. 
  • New route hearings: In July 2019, the National Energy Board revoked all previous route approvals and required Trans Mountain to complete a new, detailed hearing process along the entire pipeline route. Since then, new statements of opposition have been filed in every major segment of the project, possibly sparking new hearings in segments of the route that had been previously approved.
  • Ongoing challenges: The City of Chilliwack and Coldwater First Nation in British Columbia have serious and well-founded objections to the pipeline route running through the source of their drinking water. The Mountain Cree Traditional Band has filed an official statement of opposition, which means that even in Alberta the project faces delays. 
  • Provincial permits needed: The province of British Columbia is still reviewing 658 permits, and 243 have not even been applied for, of the 1,187 permits needed from the province.
  • First Nations appeal: 6 First Nations have been granted the right to appeal the federal government’s reapproval of the pipeline, including multiple First Nations who were previously successful in overturning the original approval of the pipeline and nullifying the construction permits.