Canada province to challenge Kinder Morgan pipeline

B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman and Attorney General David Eby are holding a press conference Thursday morning to make an announcement on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

"There are consitutional principles that outline the power of the B.C. government versus the powers of the federal government, with respect to provincial pipelines", he said. The NDP said without the certificates, the Trans Mountain expansion can not move forward on public land.

The $7.4-billion project has already been approved by Ottawa, the former B.C. government, and the National Energy Board (NEB).

"We've said we'll use every tool available to defend B.C.'s interests".

But it still faces a number of hurdles, including a legal challenge by British Columbia's First Nations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau granted federal approval to the project in November 2016, six months after the National Energy Board concluded it to be in the national interest.

Eby and Heyman also announced that they would continue to consult with First Nations on land rights and titles.

Berger, 84, headed the federal government's MacKenzie Valley Pipeline review in the mid-1970s, which led to the project being scrapped.

First Nations consultations are also a requirement for the environment assessment certificates Kinder Morgan needs to begin work on any publicly owned land, and Heyman said the NDP is committed to ensuring that requirement is met.

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"Until those plans are completed, Kinder Morgan, with the exception of private land. can not put shovels in the ground", the minister said.

But Kinder Morgan's timeline for construction will not be affected, the company said in an email.

That's when Barrett appointed Berger as a B.C. Supreme Court Judge.

Kinder Morgan released a statement after the government's news conference, saying it remains "ready and willing to meet with the government to work through their concerns and the issues" raised by Heyman and Eby.

The company obtained National Energy Board approval to almost triple shipments of Alberta oil to the Lower Mainland through its Trans Mountain system.

"We are committed to working with the province and permitting authorities in our ongoing process of seeking and obtaining necessary permits and permissions", said Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada Limited, in the statement. "We have undertaken thorough, extensive and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal peoples, communities, and individuals, and remain dedicated to those efforts and relationships as we move forward with construction activities in September". The provincial government has not accepted five of Kinder Morgan's eight plans to mitigate the project's environmental impact because they do not adequately address aboriginal consultation, he added.

Berger will also assist the province with the Squamish First Nation's legal challenge of the project, brought while the Liberals were still in office.

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