May 19, 2016. The National Energy Board has approved Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion but with 157 conditions. Among those conditions is consultation with Indigenous peoples. NEB’s recommendation for Indigenous interests states, “Should the project proceed, Trans Mountain would be required to continue its consultation with potentially affected Indigenous groups throughout the life of the project. As part of the board’s conditions, Trans Mountain would report to the board on its consultation with Indigenous groups during construction and through the first five years of operations. Consultation would include the development of a number of plans related to, among other things, environmental protection and emergency response programs.” In Alberta, the existing pipeline and corridor crosses Treaty 6 territory, Treaty 8 territory and the Metis Nation of Alberta (Zone 4). In British Columbia, it crosses numerous traditional territories and 15 Indian Reserves. Key First Nations on the coast, including the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam, remain opposed to the project, The project would twin the 1,150-kilometre pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby and triple its capacity, opening up new markets in Asia for Alberta oil, which the NEB found was ultimately in the national interest. Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said the province supported NEB’s “efforts” and looked “forward to a careful discussion of the remaining issues on their clear economic and environmental merits.” The Wildrose said the federal government should “stop creating further red tape and delays and sign off on this pivotal pipeline project.” Federal Environment Minister Jim Carr has promised a decision from the Liberal government by year’s end. Now, a newly appointed panel will gather more information from Indigenous communities and the public and report to the federal government in November.
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