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Canada's high court rules against B.C. government's effort to stop pipeline expansion

This May 3, 2018 photo shows the Kirkeholmen oil tanker anchored outside the Kinder Morgan Inc. Westridge oil terminal in Vancouver, Canada, at the end of the Trans Mountain pipeline that begins in northern Alberta.
Jeremy Hainsworth
/
The Associated Press
This May 3, 2018 photo shows the Kirkeholmen oil tanker anchored outside the Kinder Morgan Inc. Westridge oil terminal in Vancouver, Canada, at the end of the Trans Mountain pipeline that begins in northern Alberta.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against the efforts of the British Columbia government to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. The legal fight to stop proposed project, which is expected to see a massive increase in oil tanker traffic through the Salish Sea, is still not over. 

Canada’s top court unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that overturned efforts of the B.C. government to stop the expansion.

Four of the First Nations opposed to the project, including the Tsleil-Waututh in suburban Vancouver, still have a case before the Federal Court of Appeal to stop the expansion. They say they haven’t been properly consulted.

Shahin Dashtgard, a professor of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University, says there is enough political pressure from the rest of Canada to make the pipeline expansion happen.

“I do think that the federal government and with the backing of Alberta and other provinces, will push it through,” Dashtgard said. “The question will be how they address the concerns of the various First Nations, in particular the Tsleil-Waututh. My feeling is that it will go through, but it is a matter of when.”

The expansion project would increase the number of oil tankers sailing through the Salish Sea and Puget Sound from five to 34 per month.