Lawyers for the federal government are sitting in a Vancouver courtroom this week on opposite sides of seven First Nations who are challenging the federal approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion tarsands pipeline and tanker project, while more than 100 First Nations across Canada and tribes in the United States stand in support.
I can’t imagine that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who claims to be a vocal advocate for improving the lives of First Nation communities, can be happy about this. The problem is, by approving the Kinder Morgan project last November, he is the reason for this court case and conflict.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s approval was based on the National Energy Board’s (NEB) review of the project — the same broken and biased NEB process that Trudeau himself had roundly criticized and that he had promised to overhaul before making any decision on the Kinder Morgan project.
Such broken promises have been disappointing to First Nations who had high expectations after the Harper years. Yet, here First Nations are back in court challenging a federal approval of a B.C. tarsands pipeline and tanker project — almost two years to the day when First Nations challenged another B.C. tarsands pipeline and tanker project: the now-defeated Enbridge Northern Gateway project.