The Squamish Nation is taking its fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to court.
The nation has filed an application in the Federal Court of Appeal, seeking to overturn the National Energy Board’s conditional approval of the project, granted last month.
Chief Ian Campbell says the Squamish are appealing because the NEB failed to properly consult with them.
“Other than meeting a couple of the ministers on individual occasions, where there was complete radio silence after meeting with them. They continued to act as though we’re just a stakeholder in our own lands and that they were going to issue rights to third party interests.”
He says environmental impacts and issues around aboriginal rights and title fell on deaf ears with the previous conservatives.
“It did not engage nation to nation or include the Squamish in any sort of designing of the scope or the terms of reference, the goals and objectives, any framework.”
Campbell says the NEB doesn’t have scientific data to back-up its decision.
He adds additional research is needed to ensure protection and emergency response if a spill were to occur in English Bay, the Burrard Inlet or the Salish Sea.
The NEB recommended the federal government approve the $6.8 billion dollar project in May, subject to 157 conditions, many surrounding safety, environmental, and emergency preparedness concerns.
Some of the conditions must be met before construction begins, others prior to operation, and other conditions for the operation of the pipeline.
Among them, requirements for Kinder Morgan to quantify greenhouse gas emissions released through construction, as well as establishing a plan to offset GHG emissions throughout the entire project.
The pipeline expansion has attracted vocal opposition, including a 2014 protest camp set up on Burnaby Mountain in an effort to block geotechnical survey work.