Outcome resolves one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project
CALGARY – The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously rejected British Columbia’s move to regulate the flow of heavy oil across its borders, resolving one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
After all-day hearings Thursday, Supreme Court justices dismissed B.C.’s appeal of a lower court decision, which found that interprovincial trade is federal jurisdiction and the flow of commodities such as heavy oil and bitumen should be overseen by federal regulators.
“We are all of the view to dismiss the appeal for the unanimous reasons of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia,” Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner said from the bench after dozens of lawyers from across the country presented arguments.
The B.C. Court of Appeal,the province’s highest court, ruled in March 2019 that the province cannot restrict the flow of heavy oil from Alberta across its border.
“At the end of the day, the (National Energy Board) is the body entrusted with regulating the flow of energy resources across Canada to export markets,” Justice Mary Newbury wrote in her decision, which also noted “the (Trans Mountain expansion) project is not only a ‘British Columbia project’.”