Indigenous activists win ‘David v. Goliath’ victory as court rejects $4.5B Trans Mountain pipeline

On Thursday, Justice Eleanor Dawson nullified licensing for the $7.4 billion project and brought construction to a halt until the National Energy Board and the federal government complete court-ordered fixes.

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Canada’s Federal Court of Appeals has rejected the government’s approval to triple the capacity of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline in a major victory for indigenous groups and environmentalists. On Thursday, Justice Eleanor Dawson nullified licensing for the $7.4 billion project and brought construction to a halt until the National Energy Board and the federal government complete court-ordered fixes. Her ruling cited inadequate consultations with indigenous peoples affected by the project, and found the National Energy Board’s assessment of the expansion was so flawed that the federal Cabinet should not have relied on it during the approval process. Just minutes after the court’s decision, Kinder Morgan’s shareholders agreed to sell the existing pipeline and the expansion project to the federal government for $4.5 billion. Prime Minister Trudeau had announced in May that Canada would purchase the pipeline. This means the government now owns the project as its expansion faces years of further review. We speak with Winona LaDuke, Native American activist and executive director of the group Honor the Earth, and Eriel Deranger, founder and executive director of the group Indigenous Climate Action.

Guests

  • Eriel Deranger founder and executive director of the group Indigenous Climate Action and a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
  • Winona LaDuke Native American activist with the Ojibwe Nation and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota.

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