Federal Court Decision Disappointing, But Not the End of the Story
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is disappointed in today’s decision by the Federal Court of Appeal, but this is not the end of the story.
“We are disappointed by today’s decision from the Federal Court of Appeal. In our view consultation was inadequate. Tsleil-Waututh was ready to sit at the consultation table to engage in meaningful dialogue and meaningful consultation, but the concerns we raised were not addressed,” said Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “We are exploring all legal options. What I can tell you today is this is far from the end of the story,” said Chief George-Wilson.
In September 2019, the FCA’s leave decision significantly limited the scope of this case to Indigenous consultation since the August 2018 decision that quashed the original approval. That leave decision has already been applied to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The FCA looked at the overall consultation process and found that the approach was ‘adequate.’ The court focused on the Cabinet’s assessment that their own consultation met the legal standard, and did not engage in many of the issues raised by the applicant First Nations, including oil spills, and the fate of whales.
“It’s a shame that we are at this point where further legal action must be considered when it is clear that this project does not have the free, prior and informed consent of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, even when Canada’s scientists agreed with ours.” said Chief George-Wilson. “This is not just a First Nations issue. It is an issue for everyone who is impacted by this project, those who live along the pipeline and tanker route, or anyone who cares about the sensitive habitat for orcas, salmon and thousands of birds and other species that could be seriously impacted by this dangerous project,” said Chief George-Wilson.
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation first formally rejected the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline after an exhaustive risk assessment study over 6 years ago.
“Our assessment clearly shows that this project represents a risk too great to accept. It’s our sincere wish that we can move beyond this ongoing conflict in the courts and instead move towards a collaborative approach to creating good jobs in alternative energy, green building and other sectors that all Canadians can be proud of.” said Chief George-Wilson.
For more Tsleil-Waututh Nation media inquiries contact Cassie Brondgeest
604-404-9070 or firstname.lastname@example.org