NEB endorses Trans Mountain Pipeline again, despite environmental effects

The Trans Mountain marine terminal in Burnaby.							JONATHAN HAYWARD  THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Trans Mountain expansion would roughly triple the capacity of the more than 60-year-old line, helping carry nearly 600,000 more barrels of oil and fuels a day from Edmonton to a shipping terminal near Vancouver, where they could be loaded onto tankers and shipped to markets in Asia.

It also conceded that the environment would be significantly harmed in the "unlikely" event of an oil spill from a tanker.

"We have to protect those killer whales but they don't know the difference between an oil tanker and a cargo ship and a cruise ship and it's really silly that we have a standard for the energy sector that is not applied anywhere else and we've seen that on Energy East, we've seen that on Bill C-69 and other policy decisions that are absolutely devastating our national economy", he said. The Canadian Court of Appeals last August ordered the board to reconsider its approval, because it had inadequately considered effects on killer whales, and had inadequately consulted with First Nations.

Tzeporah Berman, global program director at Stand.earth, said if the Prime Minister and cabinet rush their decision and approve the pipeline, Canadians will remember on the campaign trail this fall.

It said the oil project is justified based on its economic benefits.

The board's recommendation includes the original 156 conditions related to safe construction and operation of the pipeline, plus 16 new recommendations addressing the marine shipping concerns that fall outside the NEB's mandate but that it is asking the federal government to enforce.

It admits a resulting increase in tanker traffic would hurt southern resident killer whales and increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Expel any thoughts of pressuring Pakistan, FM Qureshi tells India
In the wake of the Pulwama attack , India has reportedly been pressuring the FATF to take strict action against Pakistan . However, the Indian government denied there were any attacks on Kashmiris in the aftermath of last week's bombing .

The NEB was directed by the federal government to reconsider two aspects of the project recommendation report related to marine shipping in September of previous year.

Moe did talk about regulations surrounding the energy industry, saying it's a challenging environment - pointing to the length of time it has taken for the Trans Mountain pipeline to go through the approval process.

At a Vancouver news conference, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said it appears that "jobs are worth more than justice" in Canada.

The NDP's Murray Rankin is disappointed and predicting more lawsuits.

As the fate of the pipeline moves from the regulatory arena to the political one, candidates looking to win seats near its terminus are already piping up. But, he added, continued consultation with Indigenous groups beyond the NEB's process was also part of the Court of Appeal's order last summer and that work is not done yet. The "entire ecological context" of the southern residents is potentially significantly affected because of the project, the board found. "Ecojustice urges the ministers to reject the NEB's recommendation and shut the door on the Trans Mountain project once and for all".

"Instead, the Liberals picked the lengthy, duplicative, costly, unnecessary and most uncertain option by directing the NEB to undertake a 22-week reconsideration, further delaying progress on the Trans Mountain Expansion", McLeod said. The judge cited a lack of indigenous consultation and marine impact assessment as reasons to stall the project.

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