Supreme Court: British Columbia doesn't have the right to block Trans Mountain Pipeline over environmental concerns

Supreme Court: British Columbia doesn't have the right to block Trans Mountain Pipeline over environmental concerns

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a claim filed by the Province of British Columbia over their perceived right to block the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

According to the ruling:

The Province acknowledged that the pipeline is an interprovincial (and therefore federal) undertaking, but asserted that provincial environmental legislation has long affected aspects of federal undertakings without serious challenge... and that the jurisprudence has recognized on occasion that certain functions are best carried out by the level of government closest to the people affected.”

That is, the Province of British Columbia wanted to halt the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline using trumped-up environmental concerns under the guise of provincial “conservation” rights, but the federal government remains in charge of interprovincial shipping as laid out in the  Constitution Act of 1867.

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal has ruled against the Province's attempt to introduce provincial amendments redefining the federally-regulated Pipeline as provincially-regulated “property and civil rights”.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline remains under federal jurisdiction, and the Province of British Columbia may not use environmental “harm” or similar concerns to block its passage.