APTN National News
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs were granted leave Tuesday to apply for a judicial review of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline approval.
The pipeline expansion project was approved by the federal government on Nov. 29 and will increase capacity by 370,000 barrels of oil a day once complete. The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin.
“I am pleased that the Federal Court of Appeal granted us leave,” said AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak. “This is only the first step. While I am saddened we have to go to court to have Justin Trudeau’s government recognize First Nations legal orders, I am hopeful this court case will end with a finding that truly renews a nation-to-nation relationship.”
Nepinak said the pipeline will lead to “further environmental degradation.”
The National Energy Board gave its conditional approval of the project before Trudeau signed off on it.
Nepinak said the NEB failed to acknowledge the existence of The Great Binding Law, the official statement to the NEB from Manitoba elders explained here.
In doing so, “ignored and disrespected” elders’ knowledge and twice declined to learn more about the Great Binding Law by attending the sacred Turtle Lodge in Sakgeeng First Nation in Manitoba.
He also claims the process failed to live up to the Crown’s duty to consult.
On the same day Line 3 was approved, Trudeau also gave the go ahead for the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline that runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.
It is also expected to increase tanker traffic seven-fold within the densely populated Burrard Inlet.
Representatives from the coastal Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish nations, as well as the Coldwater Indian Band near Merritt in B.C.’s Interior, have said recently they intend to launch court action to stop Trans Mountain expansion saying that the federal government failed to meaningfully include them in the planning and review process before approving the $6.8-billion project.
– with files from The Canadian Press