British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Minister of Environment and Climate Change George Heyman speak to the media regarding the federal government’s decision to go ahead with the Trans Mountain Pipeline during a news conference in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday June, 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VIDEO: B.C. First Nation plans to launch legal challenge after Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan says he’ll continue to defend the B.C. coast

A B.C. First Nation is promising a legal challenge of the federal government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, while the premier says his government will continue to defend the province’s lands and waters.

Environment Minister George Heyman told a news conference Tuesday that tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity are at risk from a bitumen spill off B.C.’s coast.

“So let me say to British Columbians who value our environment, who cherish our coast, who expect their government to stand up for their interests, we will not abandon our responsibility to protect our land and our water,” Heyman said.

“We’ll continue to stand up and defend our environment, our coast and the tens of thousands of jobs that are dependent on them.”

Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation said it will appeal Ottawa’s decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.

“The federal decision to buy the pipeline and become the owner makes it impossible to make an unbiased decision,” she told a news conference on Musqueam territory.

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has purchased the pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion. Construction was paused in August after the Federal Court of Appeal struck down the government’s approval of the project, citing the National Energy Board’s failure to consider the marine impacts and inadequate First Nations consultation.

After an energy board review of the marine impacts and further Indigenous consultation, the federal cabinet announced it was approving the project for a second time on Tuesday.

Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Trudeau before the decision and reiterated his concerns about the potential of a marine spill.

Horgan said his government is pursuing a reference case in the Supreme Court of Canada that asks whether B.C. has the power to restrict oil shipments through its territory, which it lost at the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, B.C. has been responsibly issuing permits as they’ve been requested, he said.

“I believe it’s my job as the premier of British Columbia to always be vigilant to protect those things that matter to British Columbians, and I’ll continue to do that, ” he said. “Although I regret the federal government’s decision, it’s within their authority to make that decision.”

RELATED: Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

It’s now up to the government of B.C. to make sure that as the project proceeds, there are no impacts to marine life, the environment or the economy, Horgan said.

Asked whether he would support any lawsuits filed against the project, Horgan said he’d have to look at the substance of the applications.

“If it’s in the interests of British Columbia to join them, we will,” he said.

He also said it rings “somewhat hollow” that the federal government passed a symbolic resolution in the House of Commons acknowledging a climate emergency a day before approving the pipeline expansion.

The project will triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from the Edmonton area to Burnaby, B.C., and increase tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet seven-fold.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

Mayor says speculation tax is misplaced in West Kelowna

‘I don’t think they really did their due diligence,’ West Kelowna mayor says

Okanagan bike fundraiser raises $146,000 for MS research

Over 130 cyclists from the Okanagan came together to bike for a greater cause

Update: Kelowna Costco may be on the move, council to hear plans within 6 months

Costco has submitted plans to move to a newer Kelowna location

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce release nominees for 2019 Business Excellence Awards

Nominations were submitted by both the local community and businesses

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

Okanagan resident recalls recovery journey after heart attack

Gerry Bakker shares his experience after his heart attack 16 years ago at the age of 48

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Concert raised funds for Agur Lake Camp

Tim Nutt was headline act at Comedy Night Fundraiser in Summerland

Summerland music promoter wins national award

Paul Biro honoured at 2019 CCMA Awards in Calgary

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

Most Read