In the upside-down-world of government messaging, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the court justified the government's purchase of the pipeline expansion project in the first place, because only the government has the wherewithal to "de-risk" the project.
"Right from the beginning, we always said water is life".
The Squamish Nation cheered the ruling as a recognition of Indigenous rights.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government approved Trans Mountain in 2016 and was so determined to see it built that it announced plans this spring to buy the pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion. The prime minister held a conference call with premiers to discuss the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
That call was echoed by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).
A Canadian court blocked a major oil pipeline project, ruling that the country's federal government didn't properly consider the impacts of the controversial C$7.4-billion, 715-mile pipeline. "And let's not forget: tax revenue from this project would have funded necessary government services for Canadians across the country, including healthcare, infrastructure, and education". "The duty to consult was not adequately discharged".
"There was no meaningful two-way dialogue", Justice Eleanor Dawson wrote on behalf of the panel. Very few responses were provided by Canada's representatives in the consultation meetings ... "We've been part of this court case and clearly concerns about our environment and first nations' consultation won the day".
But it was the equivalent of putting a bandage on a gaping wound and ultimately, the cabinet signed off on something it should not have, the court ruled.
The court further ruled the national energy board had "unjustifiably defined the scope of the project under review not to include project-related tanker traffic".
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"We urge the federal government to explore every avenue possible to get the Trans Mountain expansion back on track, including but not limited to an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court, re-engagement of the consultation process, and potential legislation", he said on Twitter.
Corrigan pointed to the NEB's decision to "artificially cut off consideration at the inlet" as the critical factor in the decision.
He said he was taken aback by the extent of the decision, but is grateful the court "stood on the right side of history".
Several Indigenous groups and environmentalists applauded the ruling, which emerged from a legal challenge backed by more than a dozen groups, including the city of Vancouver, several First Nations and environmental organisations. This is a significant step beyond what other federal governments have done. "Things are unpredictable at this stage". "Now they choose the hard way or the harder way", he said.
An aerial view of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C.
McGuckin said he was in the mood to celebrate on Thursday but he anticipates his group's work is not done.
He also acknowledged that "this decision will be devastating for many in Alberta".
Alberta was also an intervener and the province's lawyer told the court Ottawa's decision to approve the pipeline expansion was based on broad evidence that considered environmental, economic and Indigenous interests. Knaak says while media reports are distilling the court's decision into a couple of paragraphs, it's actually made up of 200 pages.
The decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada either way, Hoberg predicted, and another 18 months to two years will pass before it's settled. Horgan said he acknowledges the ruling "is a devastating decision for many in Alberta", but noted his job is to act on what his government believes to be best for British Columbia.
"Water is life. Water is sacred", he said, adding the federal government "never ever ever got our consent" for the pipeline.