VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories – A new backgrounder released today by West Coast Environmental Law Association outlines concrete legal strategies that British Columbia could employ to stand up to Kinder Morgan and defend the environment, communities and the climate from the risks associated with the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project.
The backgrounder, A Legal Toolbox to Defend BC from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline & Tankers Project, was delivered to BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Andrew Weaver in response to their recent agreement to “immediately employ every tool available to the new government to stop the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”
“There’s no question that the provincial government has some powerful legal tools in its toolbox. It’s time to put them to use to defend BC communities and Indigenous rights from the risks presented by this project,” said Eugene Kung, Staff Counsel with West Coast Environmental Law Association.
“It’s time for BC to hit the ‘pause’ button on Kinder Morgan, uphold its obligations to Indigenous peoples, and properly assess the project’s impacts – before it’s too late,” he said.
The backgrounder outlines several legal approaches that could be used to:
impose further processes and conditions on the Trans Mountain project related to matters within provincial jurisdiction;
prohibit any new provincial approvals or permits, and suspend existing approvals until the additional processes and conditions have been satisfied;
require that the proponent demonstrate that all potentially affected Indigenous peoples have provided their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for the project – as required under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The provincial government has the authority and an obligation to meet its duties to Indigenous peoples, and to protect the interests of British Columbians from this risky project,” said Jessica Clogg, Executive Director and Senior Counsel.
“The legal approaches we’ve laid out here are, in our view, the most reasonable, logical and moral options to ensure that Trans Mountain does not jeopardize the environment, Indigenous rights and public health.”
For more information, please contact:
Jessica Clogg, Exec. Director & Senior Counsel | West Coast Environmental Law Association