GSA responds to TMX decision by the Federal Court of Appeal

Photo credit: Carla Hunt.

Today, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision regarding six challenges made by the Coldwater Indian Band, the Squamish Nation, the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribes, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation regarding consultation with Indigenous communities affected by the Trans Mountain project following the project’s second approval by the federal government last June.

In response, Christianne Wilhelmson, the Executive Director of Georgia Strait Alliance, said:

“Today, the Court of Appeal sided with Big Oil. 

We thank the Coldwater Indian Band, Squamish Nation, the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribes, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation for their strong opposition to Trans Mountain. Indigenous communities have led the fight against this tanker and pipeline project, defending the B.C. coast from the risk of a diluted bitumen oil spill that would have a devastating impact on marine life, coastal communities and economies. 

This decision demonstrates that if the Government of Canada enters into consultation with First Nations with its mind made up about a project, the Court will not hold the government to account. 

It means that Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment to propping up a sunsetting fossil fuel industry, one with an increasingly short shelf-life and less and less long-term job creation, will continue to put taxpayers on the hook for billions of public dollars for a money-losing pipeline. 

Globally, we’re in a climate emergency, with the severity of local consequences becoming more pronounced. The federal government cannot justify this project on climate grounds. 

Oil and gas development is not climate action. 

It’s time for the federal government to get serious about the climate crisis: to put that money into building a sustainable economy, with oil sands workers at the forefront of a green energy transformation. Prime Minister Trudeau needs to stop pretending you can balance the needs of our climate with projects that are going to further destabilize it.”