Today, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that the Province does not have the jurisdiction to regulate the transport of heavy oils through its territory. The provincial government had argued that it should be allowed to use its environmental laws to restrict the transport of bitumen via pipeline, however, the ruling said this would be in direct conflict with federal jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines. The Province plans to appeal the decision with the Supreme Court of Canada.
In response, Georgia Strait Alliance’s Executive Director, Christianne Wilhelmson, said:
“Today’s decision means that our coastal communities and economies continue to face the threat of a spill of diluted bitumen on our coast. We’re not prepared to respond to a diluted bitumen spill, which would have long-term consequences on our environment, economy and on human health. It would also likely mean the extinction of the remaining 75 southern resident killer whales.
We must continue to remind Prime Minister Trudeau that the national interest is not served by the potential for devastating and long-term impacts of an oil spill on B.C.’s coast. It’s disappointing that our federal government continues to invest billions in a sunset industry that is destabilizing our climate when it has the choice to invest in clean technologies. Simply put, Trans Mountain isn’t worth the risk.”