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Supreme Court dismisses B.C. appeal of Trans Mountain

Unanimous decision quashes B.C. legislation designed to block the Trans Mountain expansion project.

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the British Columbia government's attempt to appeal a lower court decision. That decision quashed provincial legislation designed to block the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.

The B.C. government had drafted amendments to the province's environmental laws aimed at blocking interprovincial shipments of heavy oil through the province—including bitumen that will be transported through TMEP once it is completed. They argued the laws were aimed at enhancing environmental protection.

However the Supreme Court Justices noted that interprovincial shipments are clearly under federal jurisdiction according to the Canadian Constitution. TMEP has twice been approved by the federal government which has conducted environmental reviews and Indigenous consultation on the project.

Tim McMillan, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) weighed in saying, "CAPP is pleased, but not surprised, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously dismissed the Government of British Columbia’s appeal for legislative authority to restrict oil shipments through its borders – a challenge that was intended to block the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline."

"This is a project that has undergone historic levels of consultation, reviews and court challenges, and at each turn has been found to be in the best interests of all Canadians. It is time to unite behind the completion of this nation-building project so Canadians can start to benefit from selling our responsibly produced resources to global markets."