Ecojustice lawyers represented ForestEthics Advocacy, Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation, in legal challenges of the federal Cabinet’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. With our help, our clients took part in the 18-month review of the Northern Gateway proposal, after which the National Energy Board recommended that Cabinet approve the project contingent upon the company fulfilling 209 conditions. In June, 2014 Cabinet accepted that recommendation and approved the project.
Our clients argue that the environmental assessment in this case did not consider all the necessary and available science. They allege that the review panel report erred by (among other things):
- failing to comply with the Species at Risk Act;
- considering irrelevant evidence;
- failing to balance Northern Gateway’s economic benefits and environment impacts; and
- determining, despite a lack of evidence, that the project is unlikely to result in significant adverse environment impacts as a result of a diluted bitumen spill.
In October 2015, we appeared — alongside First Nations, environmental groups, and organized labour — before the Federal Court of Appeal to make the case for why the federal government’s approval of Enbridge’s controversial pipeline should be revoked. In June 2016, the Court issued a strong ruling that overturns the government’s approval of the project. (Gitxaala Nation v. Canada, 2016 FCA 187.)