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

West Shore RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle, seize handgun

Vehicle was reported stolen from Duncan on July 18

Premier John Horgan hints at daylight saving changes after record-breaking survey response

B.C.’s largest public consultation saw more than 220,000 residents respond to time change survey

Victoria Police issue warning after man left dangling from raised Johnson Street Bridge

A man bypassed safety measures and became stranded as the bridge lifted

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Opposition to gravel quarry in Highlands gains traction

Impact on drinking water a major concern

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Tubing world record broken on Vancouver Island

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

The Beaverton’s sharp satire thrives in polarized political climate

Canadian TV series’ third season to air Tuesday on CTV after “The Amazing Race Canada”

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Most Read