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

Sicamous Eagles lose two on the road

Despite late offensive surges, the Sicamous squad came up short in Spokane and the Beaver Valley.

What financial commitments do you want from candidates running for prime minister?

As the federal election quickly approaches, the Observer took to the streets… Continue reading

In photos: Magician entertains in downtown Salmon Arm

Children of Salmon Arm were treated to the wonders of magician Leif… Continue reading

Salmon Arm councillors examine dangerous bike routes

A tour of problem areas was conducted in downtown Salmon Arm

Survey: Salmon Arm houses cheaper to buy than many towns in B.C.

Only places with lower average price per square foot in study were northern communities

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Shuswap elementary enrolment numbers two times higher than projections

Estimates show increases mainly between four schools

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read