OUR VIEW: Pipeline battle over to courts

Pipeline opponents this week received half of what they wanted: one pipeline instead of none.

Pipeline opponents this week received half of what they wanted: one pipeline instead of none.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday the end of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and the federal government’s conditional approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project that would twin an existing line and increase significantly the amount of raw oil product loaded onto tankers on B.C.’s coast.

It’s a win on the one hand — and a vow to move the battleground into the courts and even to the front lines of pipeline construction.

The Trans Mountain project means more tankers and for people who are generally opposed to pipelines and the proliferation of oil profiteering, that means further battles to stop the project — citing potential impacts on resident Killer whale populations and the environment in general. Where the courts will come into play will be mainly in regards to consultation with First Nations and the possible after-effects of what the pipeline would bring, on their treaty rights.

It’s a battle that will undoubtedly occur on B.C.’s west coast — not in the interior and probably not in Alberta, where the proposed pipeline originates. It is, after all, where the pipe ends and empties into the tankers, which transport the raw product to international markets. That means, in many respects, it’s the west coast that is bearing the possible brunt of spills and/or maritime incidents.

Little wonder, then, that it’s on the south coast and Vancouver Island where people feel they will see the biggest impacts from all of the what-ifs in regards to this issue.

As a result, and in the face of the more than 150 conditions placed upon it by both levels of government, this project is years away from construction. Expect it to be held up in the courts over most of that time. And despite it being a political decision to approve Trans Mountain, it could very well be — like Northern Gateway before it — the courts who find it objectionable and toss it back to the government.

All this, while the Energy East replacement pipeline project — over land from Alberta to Minnesota — won approval by somehow managing to stay off the radar.

Just Posted

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read