The Trudeau Government has announced its first step in getting the Trans Mountain pipeline built after the recent court ruling threw the project into limbo.
Natural Resources minister Amarjeet Sohi says the National Energy Board process will re-start to re-assess the pipeline and re-submit its recommendation to government.
Sohi says the NEB will already have more to consider on the court’s concerns on oil tanker traffic offshore and its impacts on the killer whale population.
“We will present to the NEB recent actions taken by the government to protect southern resident killer whales and implement the oceans protection plan. We will be directing the NEB to provide us the report within 22 weeks. The NEB will hear from Canadians and provide participant funding, which is open to indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.”
Sohi is also not ruling out appealing the original court decision.
“The issue of the appeal or not to appeal is something that we will be considering as part of our next step that we will announce in a short amount of time.”
Fisheries and Oceans minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the feds will submits the actions it has already taken to protect southern resident killer whales and protect offshore waters.
“The issue around the southern resident killer whales and the plight of the killer whale does not relate directly to this project alone. It relates to the lack of availability of chinook salmon. It relates to the contaminates that exist in the water. It relates to all of the marine shipping that happens in the Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea.”
The NEB will now have 22 weeks to re-assess the pipeline considering tanker traffic and First Nations before re-submitting its recommendation to government.
Both ministers say the government will have more to announce soon on consultations with First Nations, another issue highlighted by the courts.