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Tension at First Nations’ Pipeline Appeal Like Acrimonious Divorce, Says Judge – VICE

by ahnationtalk on December 19, 201957 Views

Canada was in court again defending its controversial Trans Mountain expansion project this week.

Altered and suppressed documents. Missed meetings. Bad faith consultation. Based on accusations made at a hearing appealing Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline approval, you might wonder if the government’s “most important” relationship really is with First Nations, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has famously said.

Four First Nations groups, including the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Coldwater Indian Band, and the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribes, took the Government of Canada to court this week over alleged mishandling of the pipeline consultation process. After all the arguments were heard, Chief Justice Marc Noel compared the tension in the room to an “acrimonious divorce.”

Cue the Marriage Story (2019) memes.

The latest appeal comes in a series of court battles over the controversial Trans Mountain expansion project, which will triple the capacity of a pipe previously owned by Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan, and bring Alberta bitumen to Metro Vancouver ports. Trudeau greenlit the expansion in 2016, but a federal court found that the government didn’t adequately consult First Nations along the route. The feds then bought the pipeline for $4.5 billion in 2018, and approved the project again this summer.

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