The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is taking the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The nation is seeking leave to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision Sept. 4, which granted leave to six First Nations, but significantly limited the grounds that the First Nations, including Tsleil-Waututh, could argue.
The grounds the appeals court excluded from the court case include:
- Canada’s failure to consider marine shipping throughout Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the environmental assessment and final decision on TMX;
- Failing to comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Species at Risk Act in relation to the Southern Resident Killer Whales;
- Relying on stale economic evidence and ignoring fresh evidence that the project is uneconomic; and
- Failing to consider TWN Aboriginal title and rights by refusing to justify infringement of rights or obtaining consent.
“We are taking this issue to the Supreme Court of Canada not only to stand up for our inherent and constitutionally-protected rights, but also to make sure that Canada follows their own laws when making decisions,” said Tsleil-Waututh Chief Leah Sisi-ya-ama George-Wilson.
The appeal argues that the Federal Court of Appeal made a legal error by raising the legal test applicable to leave decisions, and thereby excluding grounds that were not about Indigenous consultation from the FCA case.
TWN continues to participate in the ongoing case at the FCA, but this new appeal could impact the scope of that case. If successful, it could once again quash the federal approval, reads a press statement.