Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce ‘disappointed’ with federal court ruling on Trans Mountain

Decision undermines investment confidence in Canada, writes Chamber president

The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to shoot down Ottawa’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is not sitting well with an organization that represents hundreds of businesses in Langley.

In a decision announced Thursday morning, the appeals court found that National Energy Board’s decision was “so flawed” that the feds could not base their approval on the board’s findings.

Reacting to the news later the same day, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce expressed disappointment, saying the ruling will lead to riskier methods for transporting crude oil through the community.

“The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce is very disappointed with today’s decision from the Federal Court of Appeal to overturn the government’s approvals to build the Trans Mountain expansion project,” said Chamber president Jack Nicholson in a prepared statement.

“Moving crude oil by rail through suburbs is far more hazardous than using state-of-the art technology in pipelines. A large portion of the new construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline will go through Langley via rail. This is not the safest method for our community.

“This decision again undermines investment confidence in Canada,” Nicholson continued.

“Why would investors consider Canada as a place to do business?”

The decision came down minutes before 99 per cent of Kinder Morgan shareholders voted to finalize the sale of the Trans Mountain pipeline to Canada.

The court said that the NEB “unjustifiably defined the scope of the project under review not to include project-related tanker traffic.”

This allowed the board to ignore any harm increased tanker traffic could cause to Southern resident killer whales along the B.C. coast.

The appeals court decision also took aim at Ottawa’s failure to consult with Indigenous peoples.

Although the feds “acted in good faith and formed an appropriate plan for consultation,” they merely listened and recorded Indigenous objections and did not respond with “responsive, considered and meaningful dialogue.”

The court’s ruling means that the National Energy Board will have to redo its review of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the feds will have to reengage with Indigenous groups.

– files from Katya Slepian, Black Press

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