In a victory for the Squamish Nation — and a setback to TMX — on September 17, 2019, B.C.’s Court of Appeal ordered ministers to reconsider the Provincial Environmental Certificate issued to Trans Mountain under the previous provincial government.
This means that BC can now impose more stringent conditions on TMX, and could, as Squamish Nation recommends, forge a First Nations-Province of BC partnership to assess risks and recommend alternatives. It also allows BC to delay the issuance of any further permits to the project until tougher environmental conditions are met.
This is just one more blow to this pipeline project: one which may well cause a significant delay. But the fight still continues.
What’s next? First, the Province of British Columbia needs to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of the TMX Project under the new Environmental Assessment Act.
“Premier Horgan and his government need to truly respect Indigenous rights by jointly reviewing with the Squamish Nation and other concerned First Nations whose territories would be directly impacted by the pipeline expansion. There’s a lot of talk of reconciliation at the provincial level, and this is a critical opportunity for the province to put its words into action,” said Khelsilem, Squamish Nation councillor.
According to a report commissioned by the City of Vancouver, the downstream emissions from the Trans Mountain project would exceed 71 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. That’s more than the entire output of greenhouse gases each year in British Columbia.
The TMX Project poses significant risks to First Nations’ unceded territory, the communities’ reliance on healthy marine and aquatic environments, and to the existence of the southern resident killer whale—a species of cultural importance to Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations that the federal government acknowledges to be in a critical state.
This week’s important victory will very likely slow down various pieces of TMX construction that require provincial permits. But — the project is still far from dead, and the ongoing federal court battle that stands to quash the pipeline approval outright still needs support.
We are SO grateful to Squamish Nation for leadership on environmental justice and for upholding Indigenous stewardship practices. Now, Pull Together needs all hands on deck to stop Trans Mountain and defend a safe climate for future generations. Let’s stand alongside Squamish Nation and support their fight for justice.
How can you help?
- Make a donation right now to sustain the campaign to end TMX: https://fundraise.raventrust.com/give/238994/#!/donation/checkout
- Set up an online fundraiser and let your supporters and friends know that funding Indigenous legal challenges is a strategic way to beat TMX: https://fundraise.raventrust.com/campaign/pull-together-the-people-vs-trans-mountain/c238994
- Sign up to organize an event in your community. These fights are won through backyard BBQ’s, pub nights, drag shows and concerts. Got an idea? Visit https://pull-together.ca/organize to learn more and get started.
- Help sustain this fight by becoming a monthly donor: https://fundraise.raventrust.com/give/238994/#!/donation/checkout