Alberta lawyer says Trans Mountain approval based on sufficient evidence

By The Canadian Press
October 13, 2017 - 3:22pm

VANCOUVER — A lawyer for Alberta’s attorney general has told judges at a Federal Court of Appeal hearing that Ottawa’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline was based on a broad base of evidence.

Doreen Mueller says the governor in council considered economic, environmental, cultural and Indigenous interests in giving the project its go-ahead last November.

Mueller spoke to the panel for less than two minutes but in written submissions, Alberta says it’s not the court’s function to reassess evidence because the ultimate decision to approve the expansion lay with the governor in council.

Alberta is an intervener in judicial reviews launched by several First Nations in British Columbia, two environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby.

British Columbia is also an intervener, but the province has argued against the $7.4-billion project, saying its approval put Alberta’s economic needs ahead of B.C.’s environmental concerns.

The B.C. government has vowed to block the project that would double an existing pipeline from Alberta based on concerns about oil spills from a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic.

New spill rules tag transport companies with response, recovery costs in B.C.