Canada's Top Court Rejects BC Bid to Halt Trans Mountain Tar Sands Project

Environmental groups fumed Thursday after Canada’s Supreme Court rejected the province of British Columbia’s appeal regarding the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline expansion project.

The decision “is a loss for local governments who want to protect the land, water, and communities within their jurisdictions,” said Sierra Club BC.

The high court’s decision came quickly and unanimously. From The Globe and Mail:

Yet the ruling “does nothing to reduce the risk or damage of a diluted bitumen spill,” said Vancouver-based West Coast Environmental Law.

The pipeline project, which would roughly double the existing pipeline’s expansion, would carried bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands to a terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia. The project has generated anger and calls for resistance from Indigenous and climate groups who say it threatens marine life and communities in its path. 

As The Canadian Press reported, “B.C. argued it has jurisdiction to protect the environment within its borders and, since its land and people would bear the brunt of any damage from a spill if the pipeline ruptured, it should get a say in what can flow through it.”