The city of Burnaby is now on the hook for court costs after failing in its legal battle to stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
In a ruling posted online today, BC Supreme Court Justice George Macintosh ruled the city’s bylaws against the expansion were no match for the National Energy Board Act.
“Burnaby’s bylaws can have no application so as to impede or block the location of the Pipeline or the studies needed to determine its location … Where valid provincial laws conflict with valid federal laws in addressing interprovincial undertakings, paramountcy dictates that the federal legal regime will govern.”
The Trans Mountain Expansion Project’s Ali Hounsell said in a statement: “Trans Mountain respects the court’s decision that reaffirms earlier rulings upholding the National Energy Board’s jurisdiction as it relates to our proposed expansion project”.
The expansion would see a doubling of the pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia’s coast.
Burnaby has been ordered to pay Trans Mountain’s court costs.
Attempts to contact Burnaby’s mayor have not yet been successful.
The National Energy Board recently re-started hearings on the controversial pipeline, after they were put on hold to address a perceived conflict of interest.
Barring further holdups, the process should wrap up in late May.
But project opponents are calling on the federal government to suspend the process.
They say the new Trudeau government promised it would create a new environmental assessment process, and apply it to the Trans Mountain pipeline.