Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

Below is an excerpt from the original Canadian Press article where each takeaway is accompanied by an analysis.

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Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain marine terminal, in Burnaby, B.C. Photograph By JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled Friday that the province did not have the authority to restrict shipments of diluted bitumen through its borders. Here are five takeaways from the decision and its impacts:

1. Provinces cannot bring in legislation that interferes with the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines.

2. The court found B.C.’s legislation was aimed directly at the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

3. B.C. still wants to take its chances before the Supreme Court of Canada.

4. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and former premier, Rachel Notley, are celebrating the decision as a win for the province.

5. It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project.

[B.C. Attorney General David] Eby did not directly answer a question about what else his government would do to oppose the pipeline, as he maintained B.C.’s legislation was about protecting its environment and that the Supreme Court of Canada would have the final say. But Peter McCartney, a climate campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, said there was plenty B.C. could do to halt or delay the project, including adding conditions to its provincial environmental certificate or ordering a public health and safety review of the project. SOURCE

B.C. approves 314 new cutblocks in endangered caribou habitat over last five months

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As more caribou populations flicker out, and pressure mounts on the province to protect the species’ habitat, logging approvals have almost quadrupled since mid-October

The B.C. government approved 314 new logging cutblocks in the critical habitat of southern mountain caribou over the past five months, while simultaneously negotiating conservation plans to protect the highly endangered species, according to maps released Thursday by the Wilderness Committee.

The new cutblocks cover almost 16,000 hectares in total, an area almost eight times the size of the city of Victoria.

The Wilderness Committee discovered a sharp spike in logging approvals in the critical habitat of B.C.’s eight most imperilled caribou herds, where last October the group documented an additional 83 new cutblocks covering an area the equivalent of 11 Stanley Parks in size.

“On the one hand B.C. says it’s protecting caribou while on the other they’re handing out permits to log habitat as fast as they can,” said Charlotte Dawe, the Wilderness Committee’s conservation and policy campaigner.

“It’s as if the B.C. government is holding a clear out sale for logging companies to ‘get it while you can!’ It’s the great caribou con from our very own B.C. government.” MORE

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