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

Endangered plant thrives after Sidney Spit restoration

Coastal sand ecosystem returning to health after 1.5 years of work

North Saanich added to list of places that want tax exemption

District seeks meeting with Province about alternatives

Green Team tackles weeds in North Saanich

Greater Victoria group working to connect people with local green groups

2 people injured after assault in Centennial Square

Victoria Police have not said how the two are related, or if any other suspects are involved

New scholarship a memorial to Tally-Ho’s Larry Friedlander

Victoria carriage tours company helping youth participate in equine studies

Could facial scans and fingerprints make you unhackable?

New biometrics capabilities could be a game-changer for those trying to get on your accounts

CONTEST: Readers Choice Awards 2o18

Enter to win one of three $100 grocery gift cards, in this Saanich Peninsula contest

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

4-20: Pot activists continue their fight beyond legalization

Cannabis activists say there is still a lot to fight for beyond legalization

Comey memos: Trump talks of jailed journalists and ‘hookers’

A 15 page document written by former FBI Director James Comey about dealings with Trump is released to press

UPDATED: Prince Charles to be next Commonwealth leader

Prince Charles to succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth II as head of the 53-nation alliance

U.S. team wins BC Hockey League championship for first time in 39 years

B.C. players help the Wenatchee Wild defeat Prince George in best-of-seven series

Robot caretakers could be in your future

If the idea of a sex robot made heads turn this week, what about a robot nurse at your bedside?

Woman sentenced to life in Valentine’s Day shooting plot at Halifax mall

An American woman has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for a decade

Most Read