Saskatchewan granted intervener status in First Nations TMX project appeal

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says it has been granted leave to intervene in an appeal over construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The province says it is intervening in support of the federal government by arguing that the expansion project was properly approved.

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The Federal Court of Appeal in British Columbia ruled in September that it would hear six challenges focusing on Indigenous consultation.

Ottawa twice approved the plan, but the Federal Court of Appeal tore up the original approval last year, citing insufficient environmental review and inadequate Indigenous consultations.

The Liberal government said they fixed the problems and approved the expansion a second time in June.

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan says the province will make submissions to the court about the need to balance a duty to consult with matters of public interest, such as transportation infrastructure.

"Projects like Trans Mountain create a stronger economy that allow the federal and provincial governments to invest in programs and initiatives like health and education," he said in a release Monday.

The pipeline project would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Alberta's oilpatch to a terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

Saskatchewan says the court is to hear the appeal in December.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2019.

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