British Columbia

Supreme Court of Canada won't hear City of Burnaby's Trans Mountain pipeline appeal

The City of Burnaby had applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal an NEB decision exempting Kinder Morgan from certain municipal bylaws.

Country's highest court won't grant city leave to appeal

A protester secures an American Indian Movement flag at Camp Cloud near the entrance of a tank farm in Burnaby, B.C., on the Trans Mountain pipeline route. (Ben Nelms/Canadian Press)

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the City of Burnaby's appeal fighting the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The city was appealing part of a decision from the Federal Court of Appeal, which halted work on the project last August. Construction was suspended after that court found First Nations were not adequately consulted before the project was approved in 2016, and that the National Energy Board (NEB) failed to consider the marine shipping impacts of such a project.

The City of Burnaby supported the federal court's decision, but filed leave to appeal the ruling in October because it wanted additional requirements imposed on the NEB mandated by the court before the project would be allowed to move forward.

The Supreme Court of Canada delivered its judgment dismissing Burnaby's application on Thursday morning.

"It's always an uphill battle," Greg McDade, the city's lawyer, said during a phone call after the ruling came down. "This was just an effort to keep the options [to stop the project] open."

The pipeline expansion will triple the amount of diluted bitumen and other oil products moving between the Edmonton area and port facilities in Burnaby.

The federal government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada for $4.5 billion last year in order to ensure the expansion would proceed.

The federal government is set to make a final decision on the fate of the pipeline by June 18.


  • A previous version of this story stated the Supreme Court of Canada would not hear an appeal from Burnaby concerning municipal bylaws and pipeline construction. In fact, the court issued its ruling on that application in 2018.
    May 02, 2019 9:37 AM PT

With files from the Canadian Press


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