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B.C. Green politicians become major power brokers with savvy tactics and principled stands
BC to defend Kinder Morgan in one court, after opposing it in another
Due to an absurd legal twist, the new NDP government in B.C. has opposed the Trans Mountain Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in one courtroom while preparing to defend the expansion in another.
Minister says government remains opposed to pipeline expansion
Heyman said earlier in an interview that he understands why some people would think the two legal positions are contradictory and he has sympathy for people who are trying to make sense of it.
“We remain opposed to the project. We think it’s bad for British Columbians, bad for our economy, bad for our traditional marine harvest and other forms of marine activity,” Heyman said, but was unwavering in his assertion that the province must defend the actions of the Liberal government in court.
But Stacey said the government has another option: it could lay out the evidence in the case, but not take a position.
Clogg agrees the province has other options and said she would like to see a meaningful dialogue and process for consultation with First Nations and local governments.
“B.C. still has a myriad of other permits and approvals and unless they’re just going to rubber stamp them all and throw up their hands and say there’s nothing we can do, … it’s time for them to start collaborating with Indigenous peoples and with local governments,” she said. “I think that the province is really going to be under fire.”
Lawyer for Squamish Nation gives another option
Matthew Kirchner, a lawyer representing the Squamish First Nation in both the federal and provincial Kinder Morgan cases, says if the Attorney General reviewed the consultation process and decided it wasn’t up to standard, he should tell the court.
“My view of it is that it is not for the Attorney General to defend provincial conduct in all circumstances, simply because the Squamish are asserting it was not in keeping with the honour of the Crown,” Kirchner said. “If the Attorney General reaches a conclusion, based on his own analysis of the facts … that the provincial officials didn’t meet the standards, then he shouldn’t be defending them in court.”
The City of Vancouver has also filed a case in B.C. Supreme Court challenging the environmental certificate, charging inadequate notice and public consultation. The Ministry of Environment said that in that case, it will present the record and comment only on the standard of review. The reason it can do that in the case against the city, but not against the Squamish again comes down to the honour of the Crown, which doesn’t apply in the case brought by Vancouver.
Stacey said the case against the Squamish is also problematic because the government has promised to forge a new and better relationship with Indigenous people.
“This doesn’t seem to get this off to a very good start,” she said.
But Heyman said the government’s commitment to reconciliation and partnerships with First Nations is firm.
What significant accomplishments did John Rustad achieve as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation for the BC Liberals? Just askin'
And Horgan gets a B+
BC NDP earns a ‘B’ grade on first 100 days in power: Baldrey
Video: Matriarch Camp
Occupation of B.C. Premier John Horgan's Office on Lekwungen territory, in solidarity with 'Namgis and Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw salmon protectors who are occupying open-net Fish Farms operated by the Norwegian company Marine Harvest at Midsummer Island and Swanson Island in the Broughton Archipelago. Indigenous consent has never been given to these Atlantic salmon farms. Removal of the fish farms has been requested by the Nations on whose territories they illegally operate.