Supreme Court rejects B.C.’s appeal of Trans Mountain pipeline
The Supreme Court has dismissed B.C.’s appeal of the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
The province was asking for jurisdiction over the project, but the Supreme Court deemed that the natural energy project was completely a federal jurisdiction.
Jesse Winter, a photojournalist who has worked with Vice, The Guardian, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, was blocked from trying to cover anti-pipeline protestors in Coquitlam, BC.
“Sgt Waters with the CN police just threatened to arrest me for attempting to cover the #wetsuweten supporters rail blockade in Port Coquitlam,” Winter tweeted.
“If you are a protestor, then you are protesting, right? But if you’re just the media, that’s different. You’re not allowed on private property,” the officer said.
In a follow-up tweet, Winter said, “Specifically Waters said multiple times that if I was a protester I could stay, but that if I was independent from them I was being asked to leave. If I did not, I would be subject to arrest because it is private property. #freepress.”
Winter stood his ground, and the officer did not forcibly remove him from the scene.
The protests and blockades across Canada are a response to the raid of an anti-pipeline camp in Northern British Columbia that was opposed to the building of a pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
The Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council supports the pipeline project.
The internet has dubbed him “Speedo-man” after a video posted shows a man skiing down residential streets being pulled by a pick-up truck. Zak Mousseau is the fashionable athlete who claims he was “just bored” that day.
Fernie, a ski-town in the mountainous East Kootenays had a power outage on Feb. 1 and it was Mousseai and his friends who decided to make the most of a rainy day according to Vernon Info News.
The video shows Mousseau donning only a speedo and a pair of skis, gliding through the slushy streets.
“The streets were filled with water and I just wanted to go for a rip,” he said. “I was just thinking to myself ‘what would Vin Diesel do?’ So I just channelled my inner Vin Diesel and obviously the Speedo was the (right) move.”
Mousseau used his friend’s vehicle to propel him down the town streets which were flooded due to recent high temperatures. Neighbours seemed to enjoy his antics and one of them filmed the scene.
“It was mostly my idea,” Mousseau said. “It was only one stretch of maybe like a block that you could pond skim and we lapped it. We probably did like six laps,” he said. “The whole street was outside because they were all on the same program. The power was out and they (weren’t doing anything).”
Mousseau was surprised to learn that the video went viral having been shared almost 9,000 times on Facebook and picked up by multiple news outlets.
“That’s my stunt Speedo,” Mousseau said, adding he’d be happy to do it again. He seems to be enjoying his newfound viral fame, changing his Instagram handle to “man_in_speedo”.
The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by several Indigenous groups challenging the Liberal government’s approval of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline.
The dismissal is a big step in the legal battle that has delayed the pipeline project for months. The project, totalled at $7.4 billion, is set to transport nearly one million barrels of Albertan oil per day to British Columbia.
The Indigenous groups that went to court were the Coldwater Indian Band (Coldwater), Squamish Nation (Squamish), Tsleil-Waututh Nation (Tsleil-Waututh) and Aitchelitz, Skowkale, Shxwha:y Village, Soowahlie, Squiala First Nation, Tzeachten and Yakweakwioose (Ts’elxweyeqw).
The decision came in at a unanimous 3-0, with the court ruling that Ottawa acted reasonably and conducted “meaningful” consultations with Indigenous peoples that would be affected by the pipeline’s construction.
The courts also found that out of all 129 Indigenous groups potentially affected by the pipeline’s construction, the overwhelming majority support it or do not oppose it. 34 groups have signed benefit agreements.
“This was anything but rubber-stamping exercise. The end result was not a ratification of the earlier approval, but an approval with amended conditions flowing directly from renewed consultation,” the court ruled. “All very much consistent with the concepts of reconciliation and the honour of the Crown.”
The court’s ruling states that the groups “did not show that Canada failed to meet its duty to consult and accommodate during the re-initiated consultations.”
“For the foregoing reasons, the applications for judicial review are dismissed with costs to the respondents.”
The groups have 60 days to appeal the court’s decision, thus bringing the issue up to Canada’s Supreme Court.
‘A victory for common sense and rule of law’
Premier Kenney commented on the victory, calling it a win “for common sense and the rule of law.” His full comment can be read below:
“This is a victory for common sense and the rule of law. We are pleased the Federal Court of Appeal made a fair decision. This ruling confirms what we’ve known all along: the Trans Mountain expansion project has been held to the highest standard at every turn.
“Now that this legal hurdle has been cleared, there is absolutely no denying that it’s time to get this pipeline built. TMX will result in billions of dollars of economic prosperity for Canadians and create well-paying jobs throughout the country.“
“While we respect the opinion of those who have voiced opposition to the project, the fact is the majority of First Nations communities – and the majority of Canadians – want to share in the economic benefits of responsible resource development. That’s demonstrated by the 58 mutual benefit agreements that Trans Mountain has signed with Indigenous communities across Alberta and British Columbia.“
“We particularly appreciate the clarity in the decision that the duty to consult does not equal a veto.“
“This marks an important milestone for TMX, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. Completion of construction remains the one true measure of success. We will hold our celebrations until oil is flowing through the pipeline.“
“Our government will continue to stand up for Alberta by advocating for increased market access and protecting the value of our energy exports to grow our economy and create jobs.”
Criminals are using the latest technology to innovate their unlawful ways. A bag of crystal meth was discovered inside the prison walls of Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Jan. 9 around 11 am.
The bag of narcotics was attached to a carbon-fibre sporting arrow which was used to launch the package over prison walls according to the Campbell River Mirror.
The package contained nine grams of drugs with a total institutional value (what it’s worth inside the prison) of $7,200 according to Correctional Service Canada. The B.C. prison has since tightened up their security and an investigation is underway with local police.
There has been a recent spike in criminal innovation when it comes to smuggling things into prisons, mostly due to the use of drones. In the Fraser Valley region alone last year, more than $86,000 in contraband was seized from Agassiz’s Kent Institution. One such item seized was a drone used for such activity.